Community Approach to Cats

Macleay Hastings Feral Cat Workshops

The issue
Cats have contributed to the extinction of at least 28 mammal species since they first arrived
in Australia. They continue to wreak havoc to our native mammals, reptiles, frogs and birds.
Feral cats are likely to feed on a wide variety of Australian native wildlife including 120 bird
species, 156 reptiles, 58 marsupials, 24 rodents, 21 frogs, and five bats. At least 120 of these
species occur on the NSW North Coast, and include known threatened species.

The solution
Hastings and Macleay Landcare Networks decided to get all stakeholders and the community
together to run Feral Cat Workshops. The intention of the workshops was to determine if cats
are impacting our region, improve the community’s knowledge of feral cats and control
methods, improve communities understanding of what it means to be a responsible cat
owner and have an active discussion about possible solutions to the impacts cats pose.

The impact
Holding the workshops allowed people to become more informed about the impacts of cats
and how they can do their bit to help manage the problem. Our workshops gave all
stakeholders and the community the chance to discuss cats and give their ideas and views.
The solution is not an easy one. However, to make a real difference it was determined that
there needs to be a community approach. Landholders, pet owners, government
organisations, vets and the wider community all do their bit to manage the effects of cats.
For example, Landholders can be actively controlling feral cats by trapping, pet owners could
build a purpose built cat enclosure and the wider community can deliver strays to the pound.

Key facts
• For management purposes cats are divided into three categories- feral, stray & domestic
• From 1 year old feral cats can breed in any season and have up to 2 litters
• When trapping a larger trap is more successful
• If you catch a cat and not sure if it is feral or domestic it should be taken to the council pound to check for microchips

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