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Can cats cohabitate with native wildlife?

No, is the honest answer. For too long we’ve put off facing up to the facts. Regardless of how much we might love our moggy and consider her or him to be this placid adorable companion, cats and wildlife don’t mix.  Whether it be feral cats or domestic cats, they are killers when roaming in the bush doing what comes naturally, which is hunting for other species such as lizards, frogs, birds, and juvenile sized bandicoots, possums, gliders and so on.  

The damage done is horrendous and must be curtailed by whatever means we can muster. 

Jaana Dielenberg, science communication manager, The University of Queensland and colleagues, in: Lock up your pet cat, it’s a killing machine (University of Sydney, 15 May 2020) ‘We know feral cats are an enormous problem for wildlife – across Australia, feral cats collectively kill more than three billion animals per year.”
Cats have played a leading role in most of Australia’s 34 mammal extinctions since 1788, and are a big reason populations of at least 123 other threatened native species are dropping.
But pet cats are wreaking havoc too. A new analysis by researchers at University of Sydney compiles the results of 66 different studies on pet cats to gauge the impact of Australia’s pet cat population on the country’s wildlife.
The results are staggering. On average, each roaming pet cat kills 186 reptiles, birds and mammals per year, most of them native to Australia. Collectively, that’s 4,440 to 8,100 animals per square kilometre per year for the area inhabited by pet cats.
If you own a cat and want to protect wildlife, you should keep it inside. In Australia, 1.1 million pet cats are contained 24 hours a day by responsible pet owners. The remaining 2.7 million pet cats – 71% of all pet cats – are able to roam and hunt.

That has to change and the sooner the better for wildlife at Munibung Hill and all other bushland areas around Lake Macquarie, NSW and Australia.

Cats that kill are not cute

Damage done by feral predators is horrific, says Federal Environment Minister, Sussan Ley, 5 August 2021
Australia’s first National Feral Cat and Fox Management Coordinator will lead the fight against feral pests, arming landholders, farmers, Natural Resource Management Groups and environmental NGOS with best practice solutions and coordinated action on the ground.
Gillian Basnett has been appointed in the role with the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (CISS).
“The damage done by feral predators is horrific, with feral cats alone killing an estimated 596 million reptiles, 92 million frogs, 316 million birds and 964 million mammals every year,” Minister Ley said.

MMM … Issue 23, October 2021