Stray and Feral Cats
Council's Animal Management Officers remove between 400 to 900 stray cats per year from within our municipality of which around 75% of these cats are feral or not owned.
One un-desexed stray female cat can produce as many as 60 offspring in 12 months! In spring, as the daylight hours increase, the breeding season begins, resulting in an increase in cats fighting over territory, food and mating. This can result in injuries and disease transmission not only to other un-owned cats but also to residents pet cats. It also results in hundreds of unwanted litters of kittens being born under houses, around factories, in outbuildings, in drains and bushes.
Research has found that a major contributing factor to the cat overpopulation problem is people feeding un-owned cats but not taking full ownership or responsibility for them.
Feeding un-owned cats helps keep them strong enough to reproduce. They keep breeding more and more kittens into a life of injury, hunger, disease and neglect. This contributes to the tragic cat overpopulation problem in Australia.
People feed un-owned cats because they genuinely care about them, and feel sorry for them. However many people don't realise that they are causing a bigger problem by feeding, but not owning (desexing microchipping and registering these cats).
To help the situation, you can either keep the cat and raise it as your pet. Alternatively, phone Council to arrange the hire of a humane cat trap. A deposit of $120 is required when you collect the trap and this if fully refunded when you return the trap back on or before the time specified in a clean and working condition. The deposit covers the cost of replacing the trap if it lost or damaged.
Council hires cat traps to residents and can only be trapped from the applicant’s own property or any someone else's property, once consent has been given from the resident.
Only one cat per day can be removed from a property. If you have a cat collected, do not set the trap again for another collection on the same day. The Council Officer will collect the cat and will be transferred into another cage and then the trap will be left empty for you to set again that evening for collection the following day.
Cats are crepuscular, which means they are more active at dawn and dusk and so there is a greater chance of success if food is put out at normal hunting times.
What to do when the cat has been trapped
Please note that cats will not be collected on Good Friday and Christmas day so please don’t set the trap for collection on these days.
The cat traps cannot be used for trapping possums. Possums are a protected species under the Wildlife Legislation and can only be caught by licensed operators. Council Officers have no authority to remove wildlife.
For more information on nuisance possums contact the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources on 136 186 or visit website http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/home.