Responsible Cat Ownership
The City of Cockburn has many areas of native bushland and wetlands that act as refuges for wildlife including birds, reptiles, possums and bandicoots. However, the remaining populations of native animals are coming under increasing pressure from predatory imports such as domestic cats and dogs. Studies have shown that on average in a hectare of urban land there will be two domestic cats and each will kill 8 birds a year. (In most suburban areas only 20 birds hatch per hectare per year!) Cats have also been found responsible for 16 mammal and 8 reptile deaths each per year.
What can you do?
Cockburn supports responsible cat ownership, particularly for residents near to wetland and bushland areas.
Some simple things you can do as a responsible cat owner are to:
Make sure your cat wears a collar with bells. Your cat will get used to wearing the collar and remember, cats can learn to hunt without ringing one bell, so two or three bells are better at alerting prey they may be on the menu!
Desex your cat.
This reduces the tendency of a cat to roam and also reduces unwanted litters and feral cat populations.
The City of Cockburn provides subsidies for cat sterilisation.
Don't allow your cat to roam. Most people are aware that cats should be brought in during the evening to reduce hunting, but it will also assist in reducing cats being involved in road accidents, catching diseases from other cats and fighting with other cats. Did you know that cats can also be turned into content indoor pets. Cockburn's Environmental Services can provide information to assist in adjusting your cat to an indoor lifestyle.
Begin the changes now in time for the Spring breeding season to give our native friends their best chance.