Cats in Kingborough

Cats have been kept for thousands of years by humans as companion animals and for rodent control.  Cats make wonderful pets and bring pleasure and company to many people.  However, cats are also very effective hunters of wildlife and they represent a significant threat to many Australian native fauna species which have not evolved to live with such an efficient predator.

The Kingborough municipality area is home to a significant number of animal species, including endangered species, which are endemic to the State or to Australia.  Many of these species are at risk of predation by cats whether they are pets or feral.  Effective management of cats enables us to minimise the impact that cats have on wildlife.

Humans can also suffer negative effects from cats.  Wandering cats may spray their urine around in order to 'mark' their territories and they may bury their fæces in the gardens of neighbours.  Roaming cats may make a great deal of noise at night when fighting over territory or when seeking a mate.  Encounters with other cats can leave a pet with serious injuries and/or infections, including a range of diseases that may be fatal to cats or harmful to stock and to humans.

With careful management it is possible to better protect and enjoy our pet cats, our environment and our native wildlife. View information on how to prevent your cat from roaming and how to deter unwanted cats in your own yard.

Kingborough Coummunity Attitudes to Responsible Cat Ownership
Feral Cats

There is frequent confusion about what is actually meant by the terms used to refer to cats.

A pet cat is a domestic cat that lives with, and generally relies upon, human owners for food, shelter and other care.  A pet cat regularly and frequently interacts with its owner(s).

A stray cat is a pet cat that has been lost or has wandered from its home, or that has been dumped by its owner(s).  Stray cats usually rely on humans for food at least to some extent, even if it is by scavenging from around human settlement and they have at least some tolerance of human presence.

A feral cat is a cat that lives, feeds and breeds without any input from humans.  Feral cats may never see humans during their lives and they are very wary of human contact.  Feral cats are descended from pet cats whose ancestors were released, lost or escaped from their owners.

Under some circumstances a stray cat, or more usually its descendants, may become truly feral.  Stray cats may of course become pet cats again if they find suitable homes but it is extremely rare for a truly feral cat to ever become a pet.

Cats and Wildlife

The domestic cat, whether it is a pet, a farm/barn cat, a stray, or feral is a very efficient predator of wildlife. We all have a responsibility to reduce the impact that our cats have on native wildlife. Here are five things that you can do to provide safer conditions both for your pet cat and for native wildlife.

1. Have your cat desexed
A desexed cat lives longer and is less territorial. It will wander, fight and mark its territory less and in general it makes a much better and happier pet.

Desexing prevents unwanted litters of kittens that contribute to stray and feral populations and thus to the ongoing demise of native wildlife.

2. Identify your cat as a pet
Cats that are lost and are microchipped and/or collared and tagged, can be identified and returned safely home to their owners.

3. Never dump your unwanted kittens or cats
Dumped cats can become feral and will prey heavily on wildlife as a food source. Unwanted animals should be given to a good home or humanely euthanised. Contact your local veterinarian or cat shelter for assistance.

4. Keep your cat from roaming
Cats kept indoors or in a special 'cat yard' won't prey on wildlife. And you will enjoy their company too!
Pet cats that are prevented from roaming are protected from injury and from catching diseases from feral cats.
Some people keep cats confined only at night. This will reduce their impact on nocturnal wildlife, but not on wildlife such as lizards and birds that are active during the day. Keep your cat confined both day and night.

5. Encourage neighbours, friends and relatives to adopt the actions above
A surprising number of people still do not realise the impact that cats have on wildlife or what simple measures might be taken to reduce this impact. By spreading knowledge about responsible cat ownership we can all help to reduce the pressures that our native wildlife faces from cats.

Cat Management Act 2009

Cats on Bruny Island presents all of the information on the recent surveys and updates on the next steps for managing cats on Bruny Island.



black kitten

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