Plea for responsible cat ownership
CALLS TO KEEP FELINES INCSOIDMEMAUTNNITIGYHFTEEADFBTEARCKPEPTROBMIRPDTSSKNILELWEDDATE
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.
Melanie Reeves is urging cat owners to keep their pets indoors at night after several birds were killed.