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Soft kitty, stray kitty, feral kitty grrr grrr grrr

Lets just say I'm a Cat lover. My wife is allergic but when the kids have grown up and left home we are going to get an expensive sphinx cat (no fur), I've already purchased the enclosure and playground in my mind.

I was brought up with cast and dogs. I lost my first cat Julie Leah to a dog attack as a teenager and it devastated me, the next was the loss of my Nana Whitton's Cat Ambrose due to old age.

Having stated my love for them, I am still acutely aware of the damage that stray cats and feral cats do to the environment.

The councils animal management officers remove hundred of stray cats per year from within our city. Most of these cats are feral or not owned.

According to Victorian animal management data, one un-desexed, stray, female cat can produce as many as 60 offspring in 12 months.

Unlike southern states the breading season in Darwin is based on proximity to other cats in heat and a stray can live near several different cats within a small area. This results in an increase in cats fighting over territory, food and mating. This can result in injuries and disease transmission not only to other unowned cats but also to residents pet cats. It also results in hundreds of unwanted litters of kittens being born under houses, around sheds, warehouses, in drains, parks and bushes.

The worst thing a person can do is actually feed a stray cat, and I have over the years been guilty of this myself. A major contributing factor to the cat overpopulation problem is people feeding unowned cats but not taking full ownership or responsibility for them.

Feeding unowned cats helps keep them strong enough to reproduce. They keep breeding more and more kittens into a life of injury, hunger, disease and neglect. This contributes to the tragic cat overpopulation problem in Australia. People feed unowned cats because they genuinely care about them and feel sorry for them. However many don't realise they are causing a bigger problem by feeding, but not owning (desexing, microchipping and registering) these cats.

If we are not willing to keep the cat and raise it as our pet then we shouldn't feed it. Instead, we should phone the Council ranger to arrange the hire of a humane cat trap.

If you contact the ranger they will give you more advice on how to calm the cat through covering the cage etc. on 08 8930 0606.

  • There is an estimated over 18 million feral cats in Australia and 2.7 Million domesticated cats.

  • Cats are apex predators and mainly eat birds, native marsupials such as ringtail possums and bilby's as well as small lizards, tata's, goannas and native frogs. I have even seen my past cat Julie go for a fruit bat. The also eat rodents and small insects.

  • They have already been linked to the extinction of over 100 species in Australia.

So apart from micro-chipping and desexing and registering a cat what are some other ideas that we could seek to implement -

  • Making it an offence for a cat to enter onto the land of another person without that person's permission. With different penalties apply depending on whether the offence was committed in the day or night.

  • Making fines unbearable such as many councils in Queensland having $2000 fines for owning an unregistered, unchipped cat.

  • Registration fees for Cat breeding etc

I would like to hear your idea's

A special thank you to Lynne Woodcock who motivated me to do the research and seek more idea's.

Note : Written and Authorized by Sam Wilks. The views included may not be those of others mentioned in the article but are those of Sam Wilks. If you have other idea’s feel free to comment below. Idea’s and differing opinion is recognition of a free and just democratic society. A Society I am happy to live in. Please however try not to be abusive or discriminate, you may be. But if I feel that your opinion may be harmful or is reported as being harmful, I will delete it. Sam Wilks 0402 152 929 PO Box 40441 Casuarina NT 0810

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