The number of Feral Cats is on the rise throughout Australia. Why is this so? (to borrow a phrase from a very famous Australian). One of the main causes of the feral cat problem is people who do not desex their cat. RSPCA NSW advocates that all cats be desexed at around eight weeks. Cats can become pregnant as early as four months of age.
In 2015, a CSIRO study discovered that feral cats, not climate change, is the main reason for the heavily declining native animal population in Australia. According to the study, there are approximately 15 million feral cats that kill on average 5 animals a night. NSW has one of the highest Feral Cats population in Australia. It is highly recommended that if you’re a cat owner (and not a registered breeder) you have your pet desexed. This lessens the chance of a female cat becoming pregnant or a male cat impregnating a female feral cat. There is more chance of domestic cats interacting with feral cats if you live near bushland; we are after all leafy lane cove with plenty of bushland and bush walks.
Although feral cats are mainly blamed for the native wildlife numbers reducing, domestic cats can still hunt down native animals. If your cat is an escape artist or likes to wander, attach a bell to their collar. This will provide an alert system to native wildlife. Owners are encouraged to keep all cats in a fenced area, at a minimum from dusk until dawn. Keeping your cat contained can help to protect your cat from disease and injury through fighting and accidents, increase the opportunity for owner-animal interaction and reduce the impact of hunting by cats and disturbance caused to neighbours.
Wandering cats also end up with the RSPCA.
RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty says about 45,000 animals come into the their care every year and most have not been de-sexed. There is a massive pet over-population all over Queensland and of course Australia.
Today the Queensland Government and RSPCA Queensland announced that Queensland vets will reduce their desexing fees during a campaign encouraging pet owners to be more responsible. The campaign is supported by more than two dozen local Queensland councils. One Hundred and Seventy vets in Queensland will reduce their de-sexing fees by at least 20%. The campaign is called Operation Wanted and they want you to “desexify” your pet (dogs and cats). You can see they are selling the campaign with a bit of humour!!
This is a great initiative and one that NSW RSPCA and vets should follow – the Lane Cove Council and local vets could lead the way!!
What do you think? Should Lane Cove Council get involved and work with the local vets on this issue?
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