Safe cats should be happy cats
There are some very big benefits to domestic cat health and survival when they are kept safely contained at home
Professor Michael Calver
COCKBURN, Fremantle and East Fremantle councils are part of a southern suburbs effort to educate cat owners about the perks of keeping cats at home.
Together with the cities of Canning, Melville and Kwinana, as the South West Group, they have launched the Happy At Home program to urge people to be more mindful of their cats’ activities and to limit their wanderings.
SWG regional natural resource management facilitator Peter Nash said a GPS tracking study undertaken by the University of South Australia had shown just how far cats were able to roam when unchecked.
“One interesting finding of this research, which tracked more than 900 cats nationally, was that of the 177 cats that were classified by their owners as being kept inside at night, 39 per cent of these were found to have actually roamed over more than a hectare during the night,” Mr Nash said.
Murdoch University Professor Michael Calver co-authored a recent review that found a free-roaming domestic cat can kill on average up to 186 mammals, birds and reptiles a year.
He said while feral cats were a big issue in remote areas, free-roaming pets and semi-owned strays were the problem in cities and towns.
“There are some very big benefits to domestic cat health and survival when they are kept safely contained at home,” Prof Calver said.
Native ARC manager Dean Huxley said a significant percentage of native fauna treated at their Bibra Lake wildlife hospital had been attacked by cats and only about 40 per cent made it back to living in nature.
To find out more, visit southwestgroup.com.au/ happyathome.