Feral cats live, hunt and reproduce in the wild. They have the body shape, acute senses and fine coordination perfectly suited for stalking and capturing prey. These traits have allowed feral cats to adapt to some of Australia’s harshest conditions and invade almost all parts of the continent.
Feral cats need large amounts of fresh meat to survive and reproduce. In Australia they mainly eat small native and exotic mammals, birds, lizards and insects. About 80 endangered and threatened species are at risk from feral cat predation in Australia. feral cats also carry diseases which can affect humans and other animals.
Cats probably arrived in Australia as pets of European settlers and were later deliberately introduced in an attempt to control rabbits and rodents. Cats now occupy 99% of Australia, including many offshore islands.
- In the dark about feral cat numbers - How many feral cats are there in Australia? That is the big unknown according to a research study
- Proceedings of the National Feral Cat Management Workshop - Domestic cats (Felis catus) were brought to Australia by the first European settlers from the late 18th century and feral populations quickly established. Feral cats are now common throughout most environments in Australia, including offshore islands. Predation by feral cats is thought to have contributed to the extinction of small to medium-sized ground-dwelling mammals and […]
- Feral cat - Matrix showing the relative humaneness of feral cat control methods. The ‘humaneness’ of a pest animal control method refers to the overall welfare impact that the method has on an individual animal. A relatively more humane method will have less impact than a relatively less humane method. (Sharp and Saunders, 2008) has been developed under […]
- Feral cat - Feral cats live, hunt and reproduce in the wild. They are the same species as domestic cats but differ in how and where they live. Feral cats have the body shape, acute senses and fine coordination perfectly suited for stalking and capturing prey.
- Review of Cat Ecology and Management Strategies in Australia - Felis catus, the domestic cat, occurs throughout the Australian mainland as well as on more than 40 islands off the Australian coast. Cats exploit diverse habitats, including deserts, forests, woodlands, grasslands, towns and cities, and occur from sea level to altitudes above 2000 m. The classification of cats as domestic, stray or feral (Moodie 1995) […]
- Monitoring techniques for vertebrate pests – Cats - The purpose of this manual is to provide details of the techniques available for monitoring the feral cat in australia. By providing a step-by-step description of each technique, it will be possible to standardise many monitoring programs and make valid comparisons of abundance and damage across the nation. This is becoming increasingly important for the […]
- Overview of the impacts of feral cats on Australian native fauna - This report provides an overview of the impacts of feral cats on native fauna in the Pacific region, with particular emphasis placed on Australia and it’s island territories. Possible management strategies are suggested for different regions within Australia and its’ territories.
Standard Operating Procedures – feral cat control
- GEN003: Trapping using soft net traps - Soft net traps consist of a flexible metal frame and netting and/or bag which collapses over the animal when triggered. Soft net traps rely on entanglement to secure and hold the targeted animal, potentially reducing the risk of injury. Soft net traps are used to trap feral and nuisance domestic cats and dogs, foxes, birds […]
- GEN001: Methods of euthanasia - The word euthanasia means an easy death and should be regarded as an act of humane killing with the minimum of pain, fear and distress. Euthanasia of a range of animal species is often necessary during pest animal control programs and occasionally in research involving the capture or restraint of pest animals. Therefore, all researchers […]
- CAT001: Ground shooting of feral cats - Shooting is one of the main methods currently used for feral cat control however it is labour intensive and not considered an effective broad-scale control method. It may be of use in reducing the local number of feral cats or targeting problem animals. Shooting is usually done at night from a vehicle with the aid […]
- CAT002: Trapping of feral cats using cage traps - Although cage trapping is considered an ineffective tool for large areas, it may be useful in urban/residential areas where domestic cats are present, or where populations have already been reduced and individual cats need to be targeted. In urban/residential areas cage traps are preferred over leg hold traps as fewer injuries are sustained, non-target animals […]
- CAT003: Trapping of feral cats using padded-jaw traps - Live trapping followed by euthanasia is one of the main methods of feral cat control currently used. In urban/residential areas, cage traps are preferred over leg hold traps as fewer injuries are sustained, non-target animals can be released unharmed and trapped feral cats can be transported away from the area for euthanasia. Refer to Trapping […]
- By-laws for management of cats on Kangaroo Island, South Australia - A case study demonstrating effective management of domestic and feral cats on Kangaroo Island
- Feral cat spray tunnel trials on Kangaroo Island - A case study on experimental trials to help develop effective feral cat control on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island
- Feral cats in Australia: Part 1 – History and Population - YouTube video: Chris Dickman is a Professor in Terrestrial Ecology at the School of Biological Sciences, Sydney University. He has studied interactions between native and introduced species in the arid regions of Australia for many years. In this video, Chris discusses the history of cats in Australia, how they became a problem and spread into […]
- Feral cats in Australia - YouTube video playlist: Feral cats live, hunt and reproduce in the wild. They have the body shape, acute senses and fine coordination perfectly suited for stalking and capturing prey. These traits have allowed feral cats to adapt to some of Australia’s harshest conditions and invade almost all parts of the continent. Cats probably arrived in […]