Cats in Australia
Europeans broughts cats to Australia in the 1700s. Some were deliberately released into the bush in the 1800s in an attempt to control rabbits,
mice and rats. Cats spread rapidly throughout most of Australia.
Cats are a problem because
They pose a major threat to the survival of many species of native animals. Cats generally eat small mammals, but also catch birds, reptiles, amphibians,
fish and insects, taking prey up the size of a brush-tail possum. They have contributed to the extinction of many small to medium sized mammals
and ground-nesting birds.
How are they controlled?
Feral cats are shy of traps, and do not take baits readily. They also stay away from humans so are hard to shoot. Control techniques also have
to avoid harming domestic cats. Barrier fencing and eradication of cats inside the fences has proved to be effective for protecting endangered
species that are being reintroduced eg. Bilby colonies in Queensland. Attempts to improve the effectiveness and humaneness of baits and traps
in controlling feral cats are ongoing.
What you can do
If you spot feral cats in bushland reserves, please let Council know on 9970 1111 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you own a cat:
- Always keep your cat indoors at night
- Consider keeping your cat indoors, or within your property, at all times
- Get your cat desexed
- Don't dump unwanted cats or kittens in the bush
- Make sure your cat always has enough fresh food and water
- Check your cat into a cattery when you go away
- Make sure your cat has identification!
- Don't feed stray cats
What the law says about feral cats
Predation by feral cats is listed as a key threatening process under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
Source: Pittwater Council