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Flat CatsFlat Cats

The Only Good Cat Is A Flat Cat

Cats are specialised hunters that feed only on meat. Their bodies are highly adapted for detecting, hunting and killing their prey. Cats do not chase their prey over long distances — if the hunt is unsuccessful, they will soon stop and save their energy.

An introduced species, the cat has no predators in Australia. The household, domestic cat is usually left free to roam the suburbs seeking out and killing birds, lizards, small native mammals and anything else suitable it can find. Not that most need to. It's just something they do to keep amused.

While the suburban cat is damaging enough, it's nothing compared to the capabilities of the feral cats found throughout the Australian bush. These specialised killing machines wreak severe damage on the Australian native fauna. More damage than other introduced species like foxes, cane toads and wild dogs.

Sure we often hear about the damage the rabbit does. Only because it effects the land and farm incomes. But the cat does more damage to our native wildlife than anything else. As Dr John Wamsley from Earth Sanctuaries Ltd puts it, “Owning a cat in Australia is the single most damaging environmental thing an Australian can do.”

Of course, the vast majority of Australians living in the suburbs see nothing wrong with letting the cat remain a totally uncontrolled killer in our midst. They won't agree to cat owners being forced to license and control their pets the way dog owners have to. Most cat owners don't keep their cats inside at night. Nor do they get them desexed. And so the cat population continues to grow and the massacre of our unique native Australian wildlife continues.

Dr John Wamsley
Dr John Wamsley,
Earth Sanctuaries Ltd

As Dr John Wamsley says, “Australia has the worst record in the world for wildlife management. We're extincting species more quickly than the rest of the world put together.”

It's strange that Dr John Wamsley gets more recognition for being outspoken against cats and wearing a cat skin as a hat than for the magnificent work he has done in saving Australian wildlife species. But I guess it helps to get the message across and make people think.

Some neighbours near Raydon got the message when they culled the population of twenty or so cats around their farm house. Within a year they noticed that the bird population in their area had significantly increased. What probably went unnoticed was a similar increase in other small native wildlife species.

What can you do? Well as John has said, “Do your bit for the environment. Go home and hat your cat tonight.”

Last modified: Wednesday, 16 January 2008


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