Plea for re­spon­si­ble cat own­er­ship

CALLS TO KEEP FE­LINES INCSOIDMEMAUTNNITIGYHFTEEADFBTEARCKPEPTROBMIRPDTSSKNILELWEDDATE

Stirling Times - - Front Page - Laura Pond

A SCAR­BOR­OUGH res­i­dent is urg­ing cat own­ers to keep their pets indoors at night af­ter sev­eral of her birds were killed re­cently.

Me­lanie Reeves keeps ca­naries, finches and bud­gies in large cages in her backyard but has strug­gled to pro­tect them from a cat that she said en­tered her yard and ha­rassed the birds most nights.

“I think I’ve just reached the point of feel­ing re­ally fed up. I feel like I’ve done ev­ery­thing I can do my­self as a de­ter­rent,” she said.

She has tried a range of sug­ges­tions to keep the cat away and has con­tacted neigh­bours to try to find the owner.

“There doesn’t seem to be any­thing I can do,” she said.

“I don’t want to do a cat trap; I don’t want to be re­spon­si­ble for trap­ping some­one’s pet.

“I just don’t want to lose any more birds.”

Ms Reeves said the large cages were dif­fi­cult to move in­side so she was wo­ken most nights by the cat try­ing to reach her birds, even go­ing un­der the sheet placed over the cages.

“I’m up three times a night, three to four times a week,” she said.

“I just don’t get how cats can be out roam­ing and own­ers take no re­spon­si­bil­ity for what their pet is do­ing.

“There’s no way you’d let a dog out all night.”

The Cat Act re­quires cats to be mi­crochipped, wear a col­lar and reg­is­tra­tion tags and be ster­ilised and reg­is­tered with the coun­cil.

The City of Stir­ling also en­cour­ages cats to be con­fined to their owner’s prop­erty, par­tic­u­larly at night.

Com­mu­nity safety man­ager Laurie Crouch said the City re­sponded to more than 220 com­plaints re­gard­ing cats in the past three years and at­trib­uted 10 per cent of those to nui­sance cats.

Cat Haven spokes­woman Chan­dra Wood­ley also rec­om­mended own­ers keep their cats in­door from dusk to dawn.

“It is not nec­es­sar­ily law to do this but it is a re­spon­si­ble and car­ing life­style, as your cat will be safer from traf­fic ac­ci­dents, cat fights and gen­eral mis­chief if it’s indoors at night,” she said.

“We ask peo­ple to ster­ilise and mi­crochip your cats and keep them indoors at night.”

The Cat Haven cur­rently has 250 cats at the shel­ter and 350 in fos­ter care need­ing homes.

The City does not pro­vide cat traps but peo­ple can con­tact the haven for ad­vice and it may pro­vide hu­mane cat traps.

Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d482374

Me­lanie Reeves is urg­ing cat own­ers to keep their pets indoors at night af­ter sev­eral birds were killed.

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