Cats are highly valued companion pets in thousands of Australian households - almost 30% of homes have a cat. Cats are skilled hunters and can survive in the wild without any human contact or help whatsoever. Cats can have a devastating effect on native animals. There are steps you can take to help keep your cat safe the stray cat population down and protect native animals.
The Feline Factor
Cats were brought to Australia from Europe in the 1700s. Some were deliberately released into the bush in the 1800s in an attempt to control other pest species, such as rabbits, mice and rats. Cats spread rapidly throughout most of Australia.
Responsible Pet Ownership
Around 80% of accidents involving cats occur at night. Confining your cat at night will minimise the risk of injury and prevent it from fighting and wandering onto neighbouring properties.
Be responsible and desex your cat and don’t dump cats or kittens. If you can’t keep your cat, find new owners or take them to the RSPCA. Give your cat enough food and water and book your cat into a cattery when you go away. Finally, make sure your cat has identification.
Cats and Wildlife
All cats are natural and efficient hunters and do not have to be hungry to hunt. As a result they can kill a significant number of native animals each year and pose a major threat to the survival of many native fauna populations. They eat small mammals, catch birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects, hunting prey up to the size of a brush-tail possum. Cats have contributed to the extinction of many small mammals and ground nesting birds.
Cat Control Programs
Council has taken several measures to protect and conserve local wildlife by declaring significant bushland reserves as wildlife protection areas. All cats are prohibited to enter these reserves.
Council undertakes regular monitoring and trapping programs to detect and remove cats from Wildlife Protection Areas. If your cat is found within a Wildlife Protection Area you may be fined
What Can You Do?
If you spot a stray or feral cat in a Council bushland reserve, please contact Council know and please do not feed it.
Cats and the Law
In NSW thousands of cats are lost or stolen every year. To ensure you can be contacted, the Companion Animals Act 1998, requires all cats in NSW to be microchipped by 12 weeks of age and registered for life by six months.
Own a Pet Cat?
Be responsible and keep your cat indoors at night, desex your cat and don’t dump cats or kittens. If you can't keep your cat, find new owners or take them to the RSPCA. Give your cat enough food and water and book your cat into a cattery when you go away. Finally, make sure your cat has identification.