Cats are present throughout Victoria, as domestic pets, free-living strays, or as truly feral animals. Estimates in all these categories suggest that there are well over one million cats in the State.
Cats are obligate carnivores, that is, they must feed on animal protein. Each cat requires a minimum of 100-150g of protein each day, more if a female is nursing a litter. This means that an equivalent of at least seven small mammals, such as native Bush Rats, must be eaten each week by each cat.
Even cats that are well fed, apparently contented pets, will instinctively hunt and kill living creatures. An average of 32 wild animals may be killed by each pet cat every year. Each feral cat can kill many more. The potential impact on wildlife is enormous.
|Publisher||Department of Primary Industries, VIC|