There are claims that global warming will result in more unwanted cats. It looks like humankind has screwed up again and it is ironic that one negative impact of manmade global warming is an increase in feral cats in a country where they are, in general, hated. The feral cat is certainly hated by the authorities in Australia.
This is almost a case of Karma. Nature is punishing humankind for his abuse of the planet. It is claimed that global warming results in milder winters in Australia which in turn lengthens the cat’s breeding season.
This appears to be evidenced by the Cats Protection Society of New South Wales (NSW). Kristina Vesk, the chief executive of Cats Protection NSW, says that she rarely saw kittens in winter. Now the warmer weather has extended the breeding season – cats are breeding all the year round increasing the numbers of unwanted kittens and with respect to feral cats increasing the threat to native species as they prey on them. This is something that the authorities take very seriously. They strongly dislike feral cats preying on native species because they are frequently under threat due to human activity which amongst other things destroys the habit of wildlife on that continent.
“Breeding cycles are triggered by hours of daylight, sunshine and warmth..”
Cats are increasingly on heat. The kitten season has grown in length. There are enough warm winter days for cats to start breeding. Usually cats don’t breed in winter to conserve energy and help kittens survive.
Interestingly, indoor cats which are protected against seasonal changes in the amount of light and warmth available can also be induced to breed all year round.
In 2013, more kittens were surrendered to Cats Protection NSW that ever before. This year (2016) at any one time there are 1,100 cats in the care of Cats Protection NSW of which 730 are kittens.
Erica Pankhurst, an animal behaviourist at the Animal Welfare League said:
“…there’s just kittens coming out of everyone’s ears….”
You might have read about Australia’s various plans over the years to eliminate their feral cats. They have become increasingly desperate and outrageous. The plans cover all manner of ways to kill feral cats from shooting to mass poisonings or the use of a virus. All have fallen on deaf ears or outrage it seems but it does indicate the concern the authorities have over feral cat numbers.
The feral cat in Australia has become part of the wildlife. No one, to my knowledge, has put forward the case of mass TNR programs in Australia. It would work if supported by government funding and it would please cat lovers while not displeasing other sections of society. Yes, it would take time – patience and commitment would be required but it is the answer.