An Australian council has voted to continue a cat registration initiative – and good on them for doing so.
Mitcham Council in South Australia introduced laws in February 2011 that state all cats must be registered and microchipped. The law also puts a limit on the number of cats per household at two and here’s the very important part – cats must be confined to their owner’s property.
I’ve never understood why cat ownership shouldn’t be subject to the same sorts of laws associated with owning a dog. These critters are killing machines; destroying a massive number of birds, reptiles and small animals each year. Straying cats can also be a major source of disharmony in a neighborhood when they tease neighboring dogs (that understandably bark, which causes further problems) and foul gardens – some of which are used for growing food.
Since the bylaws were put in place, almost 300 complaints about nuisance cats had been made to the council and numerous cat owners warned.
However, the local RSPCA says the number of stray and surrendered cats at the Lonsdale animal shelter from that area had dropped 30 per cent in the past 12 months. Suddenly getting a kitty isn’t so attractive I guess with the additional responsibility and cost involved.
Mitcham Council’s initiative has been monitored by other local councils that are now considering introducing laws of their own. These laws should be national. Furthermore, neutering should be mandatory.
I’ve said it in other posts and at the risk of upsetting cat lovers, I’ll say it again because it’s important – I acknowledge a cat on its owner’s property is a pet. Once it steps outside those boundaries, it is vermin.
I’m particularly peed off with cats and irresponsible cat owners at the moment as after clearing ferals off my property a few years back, it looks like one or more new cats have moved in. In the last week, I’ve come across the remains of 4 native birds in a small area where I put water out for them and other animals.
The blasted feral cats are using it as an ambush point. If I’m unable to capture them, I’ll have to remove the water; which will be a shame. My property is in a very dry area and it’s the only surface water for at least a mile in any direction. Aside from the water acting as smorgasbord, it’s helping to sustain the cats as well.
Feral Cat Impact On Australian Wildlife
An appeal to cat owners
Greening your cat
Pest control – extermination vs. neutering or relocation
More on cat carnage