Controlling cats as bird predators

To: "'Elizabeth Shaw'" <>, "'Syd Curtis'" <>, "'Birding-Aus'" <>
Subject: Controlling cats as bird predators
From: "Tony Russell" <>
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 13:50:30 +0930
Many years ago I was known to go shooting stray cats in my mother in
law's back yard with my .22 rifle, then chucking the cats back over the
fence. I was advised that this was probably illegal in a built up area
so stopped doing that, even though m.i.l still had lots of cats about
the place and got quite grumpy about me not reducing their numbers.
Years later at my home address I tried my 410 shotgun fired over the
head of a particularly pesky black stray. Dear cat nearly jumped out of
it's skin, leapt over the 6ft fence, never to be seen again. So that
At my present address there are two neighbour's cats. They are both
quite large, one black and the other white. Neither of these trespass
during the day since we have two very small chihuahuas which threaten to
eat the cats ( not that they'd win any sort of confrontation of course).
At night the big white one occasionally wanders through our front yard
causing our two little ones to bark noisily but harmlessly at the
window. Gives us a bit of a start if we're asleep. Hopefully the birdies
are asleep in the trees by then.


-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Elizabeth Shaw
Sent: Sunday, July 16, 2006 11:55 AM
To: Syd Curtis; Birding-Aus
Subject: Controlling cats as bird predators

Hi Syd and all,
I had the same problem here and consulted the local council about it.
It might be worth contacting your local council as first point of call
because many councils these days do have regulations about wandering
cats.  The council's ranger said that you had to try to notify the
offending cat's owners, if possible, in writing.  If the problem
persisted the council could then loan me a cat trap and they would deal
with it.  This meant if the cat wasn't registered, as they are supposed
to be, and had no way of contacting owners(micro chip, etc.) the cat
would be destroyed by the council.

I tried this technique with my neighbors and with my first approach to
them the stunned neighbor was astonished to discover that cats weren't
'native' Australian fauna.  He didn't do anything, except stop feeding
the cat when a baby human joined their family, so it went feral and a
neighbor a bit further away started feeding it, so it spent less time in
my garden.

We did catch one cat with a trap, but not the one I was after.  The
ranger thought it was someone's pet, but as there was no way to find out
who's she took it away and, I presume, it was destroyed.

Eventually most of the neighbor's cats died and weren't replaced or
moved away.  I now have a cat of my own which is kept indoors with
limited access to outdoors via a cage/run.  She lets me know if another
cat is around, but there doesn't seem to be as many.

I'm not sure this is much help, Syd, but perhaps you should check with
your local council first to see what their recommended strategies are.

Elizabeth Shaw
Phillip Island

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