NZ is a nation of cat lovers — apparently 47% of households have one, so measures aimed at restricting them are unlikely to be popular. But a curfew between 7 pm and 7 am during which cats have to be indoors plus compulsory microchipping has been proposed as a way to protect native birds in Wellington.
Geoff Simmons, from the Morgan Foundation, pitched the idea in a submission on the council’s biodiversity management strategy.
Mr Simmons wants to see cats caught outside during the set hours returned to the owner under a three strike system, and if caught after that, owners could face a fine to have their pet returned.
It’s a measure already in place in several suburbs in Australia to curb overnight attacks on native wildlife — although given the sort of wildlife that Australia has, including poisonous snakes, one would have thought that cats are more at risk from the wildlife.
But it depends on the cat, and we’re pleased to say that our 6-year-old Gingernut leaves birds alone. Even when a blackbird comes close, he ignores it. He does catch mice, though. 🙂