Urban feral cats threaten the smallest of our wildlife

Urban feral cats threaten the smallest of our wildlife

Posted: 11 April 2019

Contrary to common perceptions, feral cats are doing very well in urban areas, not just out in the bush! Feral cats result in urban areas when domestic cats are uncared for or kittens are dumped in the bush. They love urban areas where food and shelter are available.

Many people are not aware that cats are not native to Australia and have unfair advantages over our local native animals. Cats are opportunistic predators pushing more than 80 endangered and threatened Australian native species to the edge.

They are skilled hunters that prefer live prey, killing smaller native mammals, reptiles, birds and all sorts of invertebrates. They will also scavenge food scraps.

Pet cats also threaten the native species we love so much in our urban gardens like blue wrens, finches, honeyeaters and skinks. Cats actually prefer hunting for live food over prepared cat food, and 'live food' is most likely a small native animal!

Cat enclosures prevent cats from hunting native animals, and there are plenty of good examples and plans for 'cat resort' enclosures online.

Wodonga Council has taken the lead locally by imposing a cat curfew—all cats must be locked up overnight or risk being impounded. In addition, residents have a right to trap unwanted cats on their property and have them impounded. Feral cats can be trapped and delivered to the Council Ranger to be humanely destroyed.