A survey of residents of the town of Mount Barker near Adelaide, Australia, came to the conclusion that 68% of residents supported a two cats per household limit. In addition, 71% supported a curfew on cats and 73% supported action by the council to address cat behavioural issues.
There appears to be a backlash by residents on what is considered to be ‘nuisance cats’ and nuisance feline behaviour. Nuisance cat behaviour is described as, for example, defecating on people’s lawns, cats spraying on people’s front doors and cats fighting. Also killing wildlife is considered to be a nuisance.
The mayor of Mount Barker, Ann Ferguson, said:
“There are more people out there who love cats and tolerate cats. Cat haters exists but they are few and far between.”
The mayor said that the crackdown on domestic cats is the result of an outcry from the community about the nuisance caused by wandering cats. Residents will be penalised if their cats are found roaming the streets at night.
How will they enforce this? It is going to need a lot of surveillance and it may not be financially viable. Mount Barker is one of a number of local authorities to introduce tough new domestic cat regulations. For example, Adelaide Hills, are making it compulsory for domestic cats to be confined to their home from 2022. Gawler Council are discussing a bylaw which will give them the authority to seize and destroy any cat found roaming within its boundaries if the cat has not been claimed by their owner within three days.
Arguably, this crackdown on domestic cats is a consequence of what I consider to be a war on feral cats by federal Australian authorities over many years with the intention of reducing their impact on native wild species. It has changed the attitude of cat owners in Australia.
I would like to see more focus on ‘nuisance human behavior’ such as destroying wildlife habitat which has a far greater impact on wildlife.
Source: The Guardian online newspaper.