Sunday 7 March 2021

Australians: 'We need more responsible cat ownership'. True?

This neat little audio presentation gives us a snapshot insight into cat ownership in Australia. But it depends on the state of Autralia where you live. Nontheless the domestic cat is less popular than dogs in Australia and the feral cat takes a bashing almost daily as it kills precious Australia native species. Of course there'd be no feral cats if there was better cat ownership. 

Aussie feral cat with ear tipping
Aussie feral cat with ear tipping. Image in public domain. All feral cats originate in
domestic cats.

There is an ongoing debate about how to reduce predation by outside domestic cats and feral cats on native species. This particular discussion is about controlling domestic cats. The authorities have already decided to kill as many feral cats as possible. Cruel? Yes. TNR would be more humane but impractical as the problem has gone on for too long.

There is a real possibility that an Australian state will introduce a leash law for cats. The authrorities are struggling with the best way to manage indoor/outdoor domestic cats.

The ideas mooted are such schemes as nighttime curfews which keep domestic cats indoors between the evening and the next morning. This would prevent a lot of domestic cat predation and drive them mad as they like to hunt at dawn and dusk. 

Introducing this sort of restriction after a cat has had years of going out at will would be problematic for the cat and therefore also for the owner. It would be chaos actually if the cat was a keen hunter.

Leashes are another possibility but it is hell trying to get domestic cats to walk on a leash. They tend to flop over onto their side! This is a reflex response. If you get them to walk they'll stop all the time.

Obligatory enclosures is another idea but it forces home owners to fork out high costs and a lot of cat owners rent and they won't have the permission under the lease or agreement to build an enclosure.

It is a tricky subject: stopping domestic cats killing wild animals. Historically domestic cats have enjoyed complete freedom outside and legally they can't be done for tresspass. This feline right to freedom might change in Australia as the pressure builds to protect small native mammals and birds.

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