Stray and Feral Cats
Why stray and feral cats are an issue
Council's Animal Management Officers remove between 400 to 900 stray cats per year from within our municipality. 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 unowned 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.
Why feeding them makes things worse
Research has found that a major contributing factor to the cat overpopulation problem is people feeding unowned cats but not taking full ownership or responsibility for them.
Feeding unowned 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 unowned 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.
If you are not willing to keep the cat and raise it as your pet then please don't feed it. Instead, phone Council to arrange the hire of a humane cat trap.
Council hires cat traps to residents. These allow stray and ferals cats to be caught humanely. Please note that you can only trap a cat on your own property, or someone else's property with their consent.
Cats 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.
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.
Only one cat per day can be removed from a property. Cats will not be collected on Good Friday and Christmas day so please don’t set the trap for collection on these days.
Hiring a cat trap
A cat trap can be hired from the Springvale Customer Service Centre at 397-405 Springvale Road Springvale.
Cat traps can only be hired for 7 days. A cat trap hire form will need to be completed when you pick up the trap.
While there is no hire cost, but a refundable deposit must be paid. This covers the cost of replacing the trap if it is lost or damage. This deposit is fully refunded when you return the trap on the agreed time and day in a clean and working condition.
Collection of the cat
To arrange collection of the cat, please follow these steps:
Cover the trap with a sheet or towel to keep the cat calm and quiet. Please provide water it is hot or it will be in the cage for an extended period.
Call Council on 8571 1000 between 8.15am-4.30pm, Monday to Friday or between 9am-4.30pm, Saturdays and Sundays
If a cat is caught after 4.30pm please provide water, cover the trap and call for collection after 8.15am the next morning
A Council officer will collect the cat and transfer it to another cage
If you are not going to be home when the cat is to be collected, leave the trap in a quiet shaded area, but accessible to the officer
You can then return the trap to Council or set it up again
More information on stray and feral cats
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.