We can all agree that cats are the best. They bring warmth into our lives, they cheer us when we’re blue, and they gently judge us for our foibles. They’re also one of nature’s most effective killing machines. If left unchecked, they can cut a swatch through their neighbourhoods’ population of birds, marsupials, and other wildlife. In fact, data suggests that cats kill over one million Australian birds each day.
Of course, cats don’t hold the blame for these figures. After all, they’re simply doing what they are biologically programmed to do: hunt wildlife. However, it does fall to we Pet Owners to ensure our kitties don’t add to the kill count.
Luckily, there are some simple measures you can take to protect local wildlife without harming your fluffy friend’s welfare. Find out more below!
If you can, keep them inside
It almost goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. The simplest way to protect local wildlife is to raise your kitty as an indoor pet. While some Owners may fear this will restrict their cat, most felines will adapt well to indoor living. Kitty litter will provide an easy target for their waste, and DIY cat toys will keep them active.
If you can’t, take precautions
If you’ve adopted an older cat who has spent their life outdoors, they may struggle with an indoor lifestyle. If they STILL can’t acclimatise to inside living despite your best efforts, buy them a collar designed to warn wildlife. Most pet stores will sell cat collars that meet this exact purpose.
For those who have a backyard, an in-ground electric fence is also an option.
Neuter and spay to keep the wildlife at bay
Of all the cat-related deaths in the animal kingdom, feral cats are by far the biggest culprit. While this may seem to have little to do with domestic cats, Pet Owners can do their part to help. By spaying and neutering their felines, Cat Owners can ensure their pets don’t get frisky with nearby feral cats. This, in turn, will reduce the number of feral cats born in the wild, which is a win for everyone!