Snakes target Cairns cats
SNAKES, not curiosity, are killing cats in Cairns. In the past five weeks, scrub pythons have devoured nine cats in Cairns back yards. Cairns snake catcher David Walton said there was usually only one cat death a month from snakes. ‘‘ They’ll bite and grab the cat and quickly intertwine the animal and squeeze and suffocate . . . until they sense there is no more heart beat,’’ he said. ‘‘ Then they let go and swallow it. It would be quite traumatising for the owners as well to see the family pet being eaten like that. It’s not the poor python’s fault, he’s just doing what he thinks is right to survive.’’ He said the extreme wet season could be to blame for the increase in snake attacks on cats. Mr Walton said the scrub pythons taking the cats were usually longer than 3m. He said residents had to take precautions to protect their pets. ‘‘ We have to learn to live with them, they’ve been here well before us,’’ he said.