Australia Declares War On Cats


Kayla A.

Cat in a garage sitting on the floor of it.

Cats are usually depicted as cute, fluffy, small animals, and overall look innocent no matter what the case is. However, feral cats are the number one enemy for Australia due to the fact they are predators to many of the native species residing in this place.

Since 2015, the government has been working to kill two million feral cats that threaten Australia’s wildlife. Australia instituted “24-hour containment requirements for domestic cats in 2015” Gregory Andrews, Australia’s first threatened species commissioner, states. It requires domestic cats to be leashed if outside or be kept inside an enclosure. Recently, the government also turned to sausages with poison in them to kill the cats. Other methods Australia uses are direct shooting and detector dogs. $3.6 million is being used to eradicate these feral cats using these methods.

What exactly did the feral cats do to receive this wipeout? Feral cats were introduced into Australia during the 18th century by colonists. Today, this continent has 20 million to 30 million cats, and scientists claim that they are the reason why mammal species are being wiped out. According to Andrews, “Each cat kills between three and twenty native animals a day. So if you assume four animals a day, that’s carnage of 80 million native animals a day.” Some species that are being wiped out include the hairy-nosed wombat, the northern quoll, and the boobook, and 22 other species that have gone extinct due to these feral cats.

   This project to massacre these feral cats has received criticism from cat lovers all over the world. More than 160,000 signatures have been signed in over half a dozen petitions asking Australia to stop. The French actress Brigitte Bardot stated, “The 6 million you plan to spend destroying animals would be much better spent in setting up a large-scale sterilization campaign.” Singer Morrisey called the plan “idiocy” saying it was like killing 2 million “small Cecil the lions.”  

   Australia isn’t the only one achieving the goal to obliterate these felines. In New Zealand, a crusade has broken out to eradicate cats as they are a menace to the native bird populations, forcing some to near extinction. Led by Gareth Morgan, an environmental activist, labeled feral cats as “natural born killers” and created a website showing his plan to enable a feline-free nation.

   The war continues still today, as many cats are steadily being killed in order to protect Australia’s native species. Cat lovers pursue in arguing to save these cats and claim they are “innocent” and is their natural cycle of life. As these two groups go on, we can only wait and see what the outcome may be.