The Catio: protecting Australia’s native wildlife

Finnish Cat Enclosure. Helmi Settled in Nicely.
Finnish Cat Enclosure. Helmi Settled in Nicely. Photo: Merja.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

This video tells us that there is a positive route to protecting Australia’s native wildlife. It is in complete contrast to the brutally negative concept of slaughtering millions of feral cats on the Australian continent which is the current Armageddon concept promulgated by the authorities.

The solution is simple and I wonder whether local or state governments, or even the federal government could introduce some sort of legislation which made it obligatory for new home builders to add a catio should the purchasers own a cat and/or legislate in favour of the building of catios for example by reducing VAT, or providing cheap loans to allow cat owners on a budget to build one. In short, to find ways to encourage the construction of catios across Australia. The objective is to create a new concept and a new culture with respect to cat ownership in Australia which in turn will lead, in the long term, to far less feral cats and therefore less predation on native wildlife either by feral cats or wondering domestic cats.

Catio
Catio.

The catio is a compromise. All the best solutions are compromises. The catio dramatically enhances the domestic cat’s environment over that of a full-time indoor cat (without access to a catio) while simultaneously keeping domestic cats and wildlife safe. I think that catios help to improve a domestic cat’s behaviour because it allows them to express their natural behaviour which must make them feel more contented and when contented they feel less stressed and anxious and therefore they become better companion animals. They also become healthier. The humans feel less anxious too!

Catio

Great catio which improved the life of this cat and protected wildlife.

It can take a while for a cat to get used to being confined to the home. I accept that. There is an argument that all kittens should be raised inside the home and kept there so that they know no alternative. If a cat is born semi-feral and gets used the outside as my cat did it is impossible in practical terms to keep him inside, I have found. It can be done but the downside is too severe. Like a lot of things in the human-to-cat relationship it is much easier to make changes at an early stage in the cat’s life.

I would prefer the Australian government to think about these positive steps to reducing predation on wildlife by cats rather than thinking entirely negatively and destructively which portrays Australia as an uncaring, insensitive country. I understand their objective of protecting native wildlife which has been badly battered by climate change, massive forest fires, urbanisation, commercial development, habitat loss et cetera. These are all human created issues. It is time therefore for humans to create another human issue which is a positive, proactive and constructive environment which benefits people, domestic cats and wildlife. The catio is a kind of magic bullet in this process.

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