Cats fee-line fine at home
Native wildlife in NSW will be better protected thanks to an innovative project officially launched by the NSW Government and RSPCA NSW encouraging cat owners to keep their pets safe at home.
Environment Minister James Griffin said nationally, domestic cats kill about 390 million animals every year in Australia, including mammals, reptiles and birds.
“Owners who let their cats roam might not think their moggie is doing much damage, but we know that on average, each roaming pet cat kills an average of 186 reptiles, birds and mammals per year in Australia,” Mr Griffin said.
“The majority of animals killed by pet cats are native Australian species. Cats roaming away from home is disastrous for our native species and the ecosystems that rely on each species’ existence.
“Cats are lovely companion animals, which is why we’re working with RSPCA NSW to encourage pet owners to keep their cats at home.”
The NSW Government has awarded a $2.5 million grant from the NSW Environmental Trust to RSPCA NSW to deliver the Keeping Cats Safe at Home project.
Minister for Local Government Wendy Tuckerman said the project involves partnering with 11 councils to educate and help people contain their cats.
“Each Council will get a tailored program to address specific needs and challenges they encounter in their local government areas,” Ms Tuckerman said.
“Crucially, the project will also improve access to free desexing and microchipping for cat owners in target areas to address cat overpopulation, shown to be highly effective in curbing the stray population.”
RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman said the project’s initial research showed the owners of Australia’s approximately 3.8 million cats are starting to understand the importance of keeping their cats at home.
“Although our surveys have found that at least 50 per cent of people contain their cats, either indoors or through outdoor enclosures, it’s vital that we continue to increase this figure and improve the lives of our pets and our wildlife,” Mr Coleman said.
“Pet cats kept safely contained live up to 10 years longer than cats allowed to roam, making it an important change to adopt for their overall health and safety.
“The Keeping Cats Safe at Home project aims to engage directly with cat owners, school children, veterinarians and the public to help shift community behaviours and attitudes about what it means to be a responsible cat owner.”
The 11 councils in the project are:
1. Blue Mountains City Council
2. Byron Shire Council
3. Campbelltown City Council
4. City of Parramatta
5. Hornsby Shire Council
6. Northern Beaches Council
7. Shoalhaven City Council
8. *Tweed Shire Council
9. *Kyogle Council
10. Walgett Shire Council
11. Weddin Shire Council
* Tweed Shire Council and Kyogle Council will have a joint tailored program.