The Problem with Feral Cats in Australia
Both feral and domestic cats are present in large numbers across the nation. Estimates given to the inquiry indicate that there may be approximately 3.77 million pet cats and around 2.8 million feral cats in Australia.
Cats have been responsible for the rapid and catastrophic loss of wildlife, causing some species to become threatened, endangered, and even extinct. Under the Australian Government’s Threat Abatement Plan, feral cats are recognised as a potential threat to 74 mammal species and sub-species as well as 40 birds, 21 reptiles, and four amphibians. According to estimates, predation by cats is responsible for the loss of 1.6 billion native animals every year, with feral cats responsible for some 1.4 billion of this number. On average a single feral cat in the bush kills about 370 invertebrates, 44 frogs, 225 reptiles, 130 birds, and 390 mammals per year. Pet cats collectively kill some 1 million animals per day.
Feral cats are not native to Australia and arrived on the continent with European settlers. Today, the population of feral cats is estimated to be between 2 and 6 million. These cats hunt and kill native wildlife, including small marsupials, birds, and reptiles. Feral cats are considered one of the most significant threats to Australia's biodiversity.
Feral cats are also carriers of diseases that can be transmitted even to humans, as well as pets and livestock. These diseases include toxoplasmosis, cat scratch fever, and rabies.
Feral Cat Removal Methods
There are several methods used to remove feral cats from an area. These methods include trapping, shooting, and poisoning. However, not all plans are humane, and they can often cause suffering to the cats.
Our preferred method is shooting. When done by professionals. This method is instantaneous, lethal, and the most humane.
Poisoning is a controversial method used to remove feral cats. It involves placing poisoned bait where feral cats are known to be present. However, this method can be dangerous to other animals and can cause suffering to the cats. We do not support this method.
Preventing Feral Cat Infestations
Preventing feral cat infestations is essential to protect Australia's wildlife. One way to avoid feral cat infestations is to keep pet cats indoors or in an enclosed area. This can help prevent pet cats from interbreeding with feral cats and producing more feral ones.
Another way to prevent feral cat infestations is to teach the public about the dangers of feral cats and the importance of responsible pet ownership. This can help to prevent people from abandoning their pets, which can contribute to the feral cat population.
Feral cats are a significant problem in Australia, devastatingly impacting the country's native wildlife. Removing feral cats can be a challenging task, and it is essential to use humane methods to prevent suffering. Preventing feral cat infestations is also crucial to protect Australia's wildlife. By working together, we can help to control the feral cat population and protect Australia's unique biodiversity.
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