Responsible Cat Ownership
We all have a responsibility to reduce the impact of our cats. Here are some things that you can do to provide safer and better conditions for your cat, for native wildlife and your neighbours
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.
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.
Never dump your unwanted kittens or cats
Under legislation it is an offence to abandon a cat. Dumped cats have a very poor quality of life. They have a high risk of parasites and illnesses and being in fights and accidents. They can become feral and will prey heavily on wildlife as a food source. If you are unable to care for a cat or find it a good home, it should be taken to a cat management facility.
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.
Whether you see it or not, cats do roam. Research shows that the average cat can roam up to three kilometres in a night or day. That’s three kilometres’ worth of risk and stress for your cat. Containing your cat to your house and yard is safer for your cat, gives you peace of mind and saves you money on vet bills. It will also protect wildlife and stop your neighbours complaining.
Cats don’t need to roam to be content and healthy. Cats are happiest when they are at home. They love your attention and to play, explore, sleep and watch the world go by in the safety of their domain.
Never feed stray kittens or cats
It is estimated that one in five households feed a stray cat that isn’t the family pet. This act of kindness increases the feral cat population, prolongs the suffering of the cat and will impact on native wildlife (through predation and disease). The vast majority of stray cats are not desexed. They will breed more cats into a life of disease and neglect. Please either take full ownership and responsibility for any stray cat or take it to a cat management facility.
Also make sure any food waste, rubbish and grain storage is secure from all animals. This will reduce the food available to stray cats and rats and mice (which attract cats).
Encourage neighbours, friends and relatives to do the same
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.
For further information on Cat Management visit the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment website.