Attitude shift in Australia to confining domestic cats 24/7

Cat containment Australia
Cat containment Australia. There is an Aussie business manufacturing a device to keep cats in the yard. See base of page for video.
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Australians are beginning to believe that domestic cats should be confined to the home and yard 24/7. Laws are changing attitudes.

The signs are that there is an attitude shift amongst Australian citizens towards laws that confine domestic cats to their owner’s homes 24/7. The days of the free roaming indoor/outdoor domestic cat are numbered in Australia.

We’re told that the residents of Canberra, the capital of Australia, don’t like cats that much. Ninety percent of them want domestic cats confined. They want their movements restricted. This goes back to the perceived impact of domestic cats through hunting on native wildlife species. There are possibly other concerns too but Canberra’s residents are particularly sensitive about Australian wildlife because Canberra adjoins what is described as “important wildlife habitats”.

There is a current law which confines cats in seven out of the 51 of the Canberra’s suburbs. The law being debated will extend the area to all 51 regions. Also as I understand it any new build suburbs will be declared cat confinement areas.

Over the past ten years there have been many reports in the press about Australia’s fraught relationship with the domestic cat. It almost doesn’t matter which part of Australia is being discussed; the domestic cat is under attack as a predator and its time as an outdoor wanderer, in the time honored fashion, is coming to an end.

As mentioned, Canberra is the country’s capital located in a territory called Australian Capital Territory. Is is correct to suggest that they lead the way? Is so we could see similar legislation in other states, where are already changes taking place on cat ownership. The government of ACT prepared a very lengthy document on responsible cat ownership as they see it.

Remember those days when cats could come and go as they pleased? They still firmly exist in the UK but in two of the other major countries known for their domestic cats: Australia and the USA, times are a changing…in the words of Bob Dylan.

An obvious and notable difference between the USA and Australia is that in the USA about 30% of cat owners voluntarily keep their cats in full-time while in Australia they prefer to make it a legal requirement. This is quite a different attitude.

The major reason (but not the sole reason) why Australians want to keep domestic cats inside all the time is also different to the Americans. In America the primary reason is it keep the cat safe from outside dangers such as predators while in Australia the main reason is not to protect the cat but the wildlife upon which the domestic cat might prey.

An interesting difference and one which leads me to believe that Americans love their cats more than Australians.

2 thoughts on “Attitude shift in Australia to confining domestic cats 24/7”

  1. I once read a very interesting HSUS article which linked the increased number of US cats being kept indoors with the rise in declawing. This apparently began in the 1970’s and collars were airbrushed out of magazine photos of cats, so as to give the impression that the indoor-only lifestyle was more common than it actually was at the time. Current estimates suggest that 30% of all cats in the US are declawed for the privilege of being kept “safe from harm” with an indoor-only lifestyle. I therefore don’t share your belief that Americans love their cats more than Australians or any other nation for that matter.

    The Audoban Society (amongst others) have been very vocal at demonzing cats in the US and they’ve also helped spread the fear factor and probably over-stated the dangers. Whilst I don’t doubt that there are some areas where it simply is not safe (predators, heavy traffic etc) to allow cats free access to the outdoors, but the US is huge and I’m sure there are still many areas where cats are free to come and go in relative safety.

    Australia has some very unique wildlife, so I do sympathise with them wanting to protect it. However I don’t think a ban on free-roaming cats will solve all of their problems. The native wildlife will only survive if there is sufficient habitat and food resources to sustain it.

  2. Ofcourse, it will be worldwide soon.
    Cat caretakers will want to safeguard their domesticated cats just as they want to here.

    Please correct that most state county laws mandate that domesticated cats be kept indoors or be subjected to being taken to kill shelters by animal control. Any free-roaming cat, not a member of a registered feral colony, will be taken in, held for 3 days, then killed.

    Cats from registered colonies are safer than any domesticated cat sniffing around outside.
    For this, I am grateful.


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