How do Cats become Feral?
How do cats become feral? These pests come from somewhere as they are not native to Australia. Find out all you need to know about how these cats go from domestic pets to notorious pests?
How do Cats Become Feral?
These wild felines are a common sight in most remote areas of Australia. Unlike stray cats that survive roaming around towns and streets scavenging for food to eat, feral cats survive by preying on many kinds of mammals, birds, lizards and frogs. Feral cats have been proven to be the cause of extinction for these and many other native animal types.
Feral cats are born from other ferals or are the offspring of stray cats. They populate across most of the Australian continent, continuing to breed in the country's landscapes successfully. They do not interact with humans at all and see them as an immediate threat. When one approaches near them or tries to touch them, they immediately hiss or run away.
Feral Cats: The Big Issue
As more and more feral cats inhabit Australia's wild areas, the extinction of at least 124 other endangered Australian species is at stake.
Substantially, feral cats contributed to the expiration of more than 20 Australian mammal groups: The rusty numbats The crescent nailtail wallabies The desert bandicoots The broad-faced potoroo Feral cats also jeopardise the lives of 19 migratory birds in the Australian wild.
Aside from predation, feral cats also impact human and animal life as they can quickly spread diseases. These diseases affect the production of more livestock and the scarring of their meat's tissues, regressively impacting Australian farmers' productivity and incomes.
Actions to Reduce Feral Cats
The Australian Government plans to cull millions of cats in humane, effective and justifiable ways - meaning all control actions must be as painless as possible. It is one of the country's highest priorities for wildlife and humankind protection.
Some of the strategies implemented are emergency feral cat baiting, employing feral cat detector dogs, and feral cat hunting. Australians implemented other 'unique' strategies in the past as well; consumption is one of them.
Cat Casserole Anyone?
In September of 2007, an Alice Springs contest featured a cat casserole. The meat is said to taste like a cross between a rabbit and chicken.
The woman behind the controversial cat stew recipe chose to cook cat casserole to promote the reduction of feral cats in the country. Picture Kaye Kessing / ABC Australia.
She believes Australians could do their bit to help the environment by tucking into more feral pests, including pigeons and camels. Foster care and domestication is also a strategy widely considered to date. However, even with long-term attempts at human-to-cat interaction, feral cats usually remain aloof and are most active to hunt after dusk.
Although humans can sometimes socialise with older feral cats, it is a very long and challenging process, and feral cats rarely become friendly and may remain fearful. The Government hopes that by undertaking the feral cats' issue effectively, it will significantly reduce animal deaths and suffering.