Environment, Piha Opinion

Let’s talk about cats . . . .

7 Comments 13 November 2015

Could your current cat be your last one ?

Cats in WaitakereLet’s start  a conversation about domestic cats in the Waitakere Ranges.

I’ve always had cats and I love them.   They’re easy pets.  Go away on holidays and it’s not a biggie to get them fed.  They are forgiving friends, great companions and have a great furry feel thing about them.

BUT:  They’re hunters by nature and are a threat to our native wildlife.   We can minimise this by

  • Keeping them well fed and food available to them 24 x 7
  • Putting a bell around their neck
  • Keeping them indoors at night.

OR we could think about not having a ‘next cat’ . . .

What do you think about   ‘Your current cat being your last one’ ? 

Your Comments

7 Comments so far

  1. Graeme Webber. says:

    Re Cats: Over a number of years the cat population has diminshed the bird population in Piha drastically. As a boy walking to the falls, the bush would be alive with tuis, fantails, keruru (haven’t sighted one in yonks), and white/eyes. And closer to the beach, there would be quail and pheasant in abundance. Sometime back I wanted to support Gareth Morgan in his mission to have people take a realsitic approach to keeping cats. The woman next door to us, had 5 cats at the time (in town) and all our lovely birds virtually disappeared. Of interest: we have friends on the Gold Coast who were required to contain their cat withing their property boundaries. When the cat strayed they were 1st fined $150 and the 2nd time, fined $250 by the GC Council. At this point they fitted the cat with an electric sensor and had an electric system placed around their boundary.The cat no longer strays. This is the ony way anyone should be allowed to keep a cat. Yes, they can have one, and one only, and that must be kept with an approved system within the owner’s property.

  2. Martin says:

    Hi Graeme, We bach down end of garden rd. These plenty of Quail families running around down here, also Tui, Keruru and black birds plus many others. I do agree that CATs are a problem on birds, We have a lovely black dog that wanders the street and does the odd bark, I think this helps as in all the years I have only seen one cat down here . Our biggest threat here are RATS, there’s 100’s of the in the trees mainly when the trees have ripe seeds. I am starting to bait these rats From this weekend. Pop down some time. Cheers Martin at 99.

    • Graeme Webber. says:

      Thanks Martin. Agree rats are also a huge problem – as well as stoats and feral cats (in the ranges). We still get rats in the ceiling in spite of every effort to repel them.
      Dogs barking are most likely a deterrent for cats. Most cat owners don’t realize the extent a cat roams. I’ll drop by when I’m back in Piha (at present touring Aussie).

  3. Krissy says:

    The only way my current cat would be my last one is if I die first. In the Karekare valley there are tuis, fantails, Kereru, quails & pheasants in abundance. My cat is well fed, wears a bell & is usually inside at night. I find half a dead rat by the front door about once a month (sometimes it is a worm or a wee mouse). Cats don’t tag precious bush areas, drop rubbish on bush tracks or pollute waterways. They don’t savage seal pups, poop on the beach or attack walkers. Responsible cat ownership is not a problem. People are the biggest threat to the environment & all of the species that can flourish within it.

  4. Jacqui says:

    As with dogs, the problem is irresponsible owners. I keep my cat inside, double belled just in case, and still I am told often I should get rid of her. I note that it is always by folk with family, never another singleton without family who can fully appreciate the benefits of owning a pet. Better educating cat owners and dog owners might be more effective than suggesting a pet species is banned, thus polarizing the argument. I have been told someone can’t keep their cat in as it yells and fusses. My last cat was obtained as an adult and did the same. Went to bed with earplugs for a week or two, her routine changed, and that was that… She was better daytime company after that too. And no vet visits after nocturnal cat fights…

  5. Savage says:

    I love cats and always have but I live in the bush so I just enjoy having the native birds and lizards around instead. Almost every dog owner and every cat owner likes to think their pet is an exception to the rule. That it doesn’t hunt, doesn’t injure or kill birds, that is helping to keep rodent numbers down etc. We are all so used to them being around that we forget they are an exotic and introduced species. I think we need to really think hard about having one if we live anywhere in the Waitakeres. Cats definitely need to be collared and if possible microchipped and kept in at night. They need be well-fed (but not so overfed they get unhealthy….) and it is not just about killing birds. It is about driving birds away, frightening them, interrupting their feeding and breeding habits. Cats also hunt skinks and weta as well. I like sitting on my front steps in the sun and having the two copper skinks who live under the front-door sill come out and join me for a bask. There is no way they would do that if there was a cat around. Sure skinks aren’t as loving as a cat but having wild animals like kereru and tui and skinks all feeling safe and comfortable with having humans about is a nice way to live.

  6. Chilli says:

    Cats should not live in a regional park. When I first moved to Karekare I had a cat but being s cat it killed rats, birds and anything it fancied. It even chased Dorothy Butlers dog on occasion. So I gave it to my mother who lived in the city. Don’t get me wrong I loved that cat and years later we buried it at our Bach in Opoutere ( next to the bird reserve). I know there are lovely people with some lovely cats at Karekare but I still have to chase them off when I see them stalking kingfishers etc…

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