Controlling cats as bird predators

To: Syd Curtis <>, birding aus <>
Subject: Controlling cats as bird predators
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 12:01:52 +1000
Thanks for putting this up for discussion, Syd.

As far as I know there are laws to prevent you harming any animal
that strays onto your property - but dealing with neighbours'
nuisance cats is a local council issue rather than a state one, I
think. Most states by now have enacted laws to do with dogs, but I'm not sure how widespread the cat control laws are. I think in
Victoria you have to contact your local council if your neighbour's
cat is causing a problem - and then it would depend on individual
council officers whether anything gets done or not.

According to the Domestic (Feral & Nuisance) Animals Act 1994, an
animal can be classified a nuisance if it:

- injures or endangers the health of any person, or
- creates a noise, by barking or otherwise, which persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably
interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of other people in
any other premises.

So a trespassing cat doesn't appear to come under this "nuisance" law.

The City of Yarra provides the following info:
Traps are provided to assist residents trap and remove stray or feral cats that enter and remain on their property and create a nuisance.
To arrange cat trapping services please call Community Amenity to
make a booking on 9205 5063.  It is necessary to leave your name,
address and contact number and we will contact the Lost Dogs Home to
arrange the service.  Please note that owned cats i.e.cats that are
wearing a collar/tag, or are known to belong to a neighbour or are
well cared for, must not be trapped. Residents should contact
Community Amenity to discuss the correct process to follow.

Another Melbourne local authority, Brimbank, is a bit clearer:

If your cat wanders onto another person’s property it can be seized. If your cat is not identified, it will be impounded. Once released, Council may issue an order to stop your cat trespassing and if you do not comply, you may be fined.
They provide a business hours number for reporting problem cats.

The city of Kingston gives us even clearer information:

Are wandering cats causing you nuisance by
Creating noise when fighting with other cats or calling for mates
Spraying on your front door or on your doormat
Attacking native birds and animals on your property
Leaving faeces in your garden or children’s sandbox
Attacking your own cat?

These are all complaints that owners or occupiers of properties have
the right to report to Council.  Council is authorised under the
Domestic (Feral and Nuisance) Animals Act 1994 to respond to these
types of complaints. Under Section 23 of the Act an owner or an
occupier of private property may catch a cat, by any humane means, if the cat is on their property without permission.

After catching the cat the person must hand the cat to an Authorised
Officer of Council so it may be impounded. The impounded cat will be given food, water and shelter at the Council Pound. Once the cat is
impounded the owner of the cat is issued with a Notice of Objection,
which is a formal letter from Council.  The Notice states to the cat
owner where the cat cannot go.

Once the Notice of Objection has been served, if the cat returns to
your property a penalty $100 can be issued.  If the cat comes back
again after this a penalty of $300 can be issued.

So I guess it depends on how your local council interprets your state animal act - it's good to see some being a lot more proactive about
dealing with wandering cats.

Russell Woodford

On 16/07/2006, at 9:56 AM, Syd Curtis wrote:

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
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
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
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.

Help, anyone?



To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU