Australians and New Zealanders Need to Do a Study on Abandoned Domestic Cats

On the issue of feral cats, the Australian and New Zealand authorities are mainly focused on one thing it seems to me, namely, how to eradicate the feral cats wandering around the interior of their countries attacking native wildlife. It worries them a lot.

However, I have not read an article referring to a study which assesses the level of abandonment of domestic cats into the bush or countryside by Australian and New Zealand citizens. Obviously the feral cat came from somewhere originally. Obviously somebody somewhere released a domestic cat into the interior of Australia or New Zealand and the cat was not neutered. And then another person released a female cat into the interior of Australia and the cat was not spayed, and so on and so forth.

These cats bred and so Australia (mainly) and New Zealand have a feral cat problem. But it occurred to me that Australians are still abandoning unsterilized domestic cats into the environment which exacerbates the problem and helps to swell the feral cat numbers.

There is an article today on the Internet about a couple, the Neills, who live on a vast farm on the eastern side of the North Island of New Zealand. They discovered that their eggs were constantly being burgled. After setting up a surveillance program they discovered it was four feral cats.

The Neills not uncommonly see people abandoned kittens at the bottom of their driveway. Their driveway is 20 km off the main highway. Therefore when people are abandoning their kittens they drive a round trip of 40 kms to abandon them as far away as possible from civilization but, as it happens, in plain sight of the owner of this farm. This seems extraordinary to me. Perhaps they think, like many others, that the cats will survive. I suspect some do.

New Zealand citizens may be abandoning cats at a rate significant enough to exacerbate the feral cat problem. The same situation may be occurring in Australia. It might be time to do a study on this which would be about taking proactive steps to prevent the creation of feral cats rather than simply focusing on eliminating them which is the current state of play.

2 thoughts on “Australians and New Zealanders Need to Do a Study on Abandoned Domestic Cats”

  1. This is an insoluble problem. I love cats but I love wildlife, specifically birds, as well. All my cats have either been ferals or strays, and I love them all. Unfortunately , I no longer have wrens or any ground-dwelling birds on my property. Something that has just the slightest positive impact is to unroll heavy gauge, 6-foot wire in a circle around some area you want protected, essentially creating an oasis for birds. Cats cannot enter, and they are easily seen if they approach the encircled area. But the enormous feral cat problem remains.

    • Yes, Carol, I have to agree. I love cats and all animals including wild animals. I now do my bit for both wildlife and my cat by building a large garden enclosure. He no longer catches birds or any other animal.


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