Cats make great pets. There are many benefits to owning a cat as cat lovers know.
Responsible cat owners will also be aware of the responsibilities that come with having a cat as a pet.
It is an unfortunate fact that, left unattended, domestic cats can have a devastating effect on local wildlife.
It is estimated that free roaming domestic cats kill approximately 390 million animals per year, including reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals.
That is an average of 186 animals per cat per year.
Neil Jones, member of Orange City Council's Companion Animal Committee, says that "this unfortunate slaughter of wildlife in our city has to be stopped, and it is time that the community, council and cat owners implemented a range of control measures to put a stop to the damage being done by uncontained cats".
Most of us would like to see native wildlife around our town and in our backyards but the opportunity for this happening is compromised by the level of cat predation, especially as our city continues to expand and outer suburbs encroach on what was previously open paddocks and bushland, providing happy hunting grounds for cats allowed to roam free.
The obvious solution to this problem is for cat owners to contain their pets.
If you own a cat it is important that you restrict it to your property boundaries.
Also, it needs to be supervised when outside to avoid it killing wildlife. It is important not to let your cat wander, particularly at night.
A great solution is building a cat run.
In this way your cat can enjoy being outside without causing harm to wildlife.
Keeping a cat indoors is not only beneficial for the wildlife, it is also beneficial for the cat.
Containment protects cats from injury, avoids nuisance behaviour and prevents unwanted breeding.
Cats allowed outside can become injured in fights with other cats and are vulnerable to being hit by vehicles.
If contained indoors or in a cat run, cats have less chance of contacting cat borne diseases.
More than a million cats are contained in Australia, Reducing the amount of cat predation is clearly possible if cat owners take responsibility for their pets.