Stray and Wild Cats
Why stray and wild cats are an issue
Council's Rangers remove between 500 to 900 stray cats per year from within our municipality. Around 75% of these cats are wild or not owned.
One un-desexed, stray, female cat can be responsible for 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 resident's 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 wild 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
During Stage 4 lockdown, Council's Customer Service Centres have been closed to the public. This has meant Council has been unable to hire out traps directly to residents. So far this has been in the off-season for breeding. The daylight hours are now increasing and this triggers a new breeding season. As with many services during these unprecedented times, Council has had to make adjustments to the way we provide many of these services.
As from Monday 31 August 2020, the Australian Animal Protection Society located at 1/132 Bangholme Road in Dandenong South will be temporarily loaning Council's cat traps from this facility. Residents who want to borrow a trap must telephone 9798 8415 to make an appointment. Due to Covid restrictions, appointments must be made prior to picking up a trap. Walk-ins will not be accepted.
Cat traps can only be loaned for a maximum of 14 days. No further extensions will be permitted at this stage to ensure fair access for everyone. A cat trap hire form will need to be completed when you pick up the trap and must provide proof of identification.
While there is no hire cost, normally a refundable deposit must be paid. This covers the cost of replacing the trap if it is lost or damage. During the lockdown, this deposit has been waived.
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 if it is hot or if it will be in the cage for an extended period.
Telephone Council on 8571 1000 between 8.15am-4.30pm, Monday to Friday or between 9am-4.30pm, Saturdays and Sundays. Council officers will be collecting these cats. Please do not contact the Australian Animal Protection Society for collection, they will refer you to Council.
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 Ranger 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 Ranger.
You can then return the trap to the Australian Animal Protection Society by appointment, or set it up again later for the following day.
Traps must be returned in clean and working order to the Australian Animal Protection Society by no later than 14 days after they are borrowed.
More information on stray and wild 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.