My mother loved birds and was a recognised authority on local birds and
their habits in the first half of the 20th century. She was also very fond
of cats - an inconsistency my father never tired of pointing out to her.
It seems likely that there are cat-lovers among b-aus subscribers, and I
don't wish to cause any worries for Russell, so please reply to me privately
if you can help with this email plea for advice that I have received:
"(I was) wondering whether you could point me in the right direction, I
am having terrible trouble with cats in my yard. I have spent time and
effort planting the right plants to attract birds, providing water and until
the recent departure of my daughter's dog, had managed to attract birds, in
fact some 3 or 4 generations.
"Now, the cats have moved in and the birds are going.
"Where can I purchase cat traps etc, and what is the best way to deal
with them. I would be more than happy to knock them off, but my uninformed
neighbours would just get another cat. I believe if you catch one then give
it a bit of a rough time they don't come back.
"Any help would be most appreciated."
It seems likely that killing a neighbour's trespassing pet cat would be
illegal in all Australian States, though I don't know this. There is some
doubt in my mind, for I recall being at an interstate meeting of senior
national parks administrators some 30 plus years ago. The N T
representative told us of a blitz on feral cats in a N P - Uluru, I think -
and said they had killed 374 (number probably wrong - I don't remember the
exact figures now). A chap from another State interposed:
"Mr Chairman. Did I hear correctly? Did he say 374?"
(N T rep. confirms the figure.)
"Mr Chairman. That's magnificent. I've knocked off 53 in my own back
yard in (a capital city). But 374!. A wonderful effort."
Maybe 30 years ago one was entitled to consider any trespassing cat as
"feral". But not now, I surmise.
An effective cat repellent would be the way to go, but other than a dog, I
don't know of any.
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