Sydney’s Randwick Council Moves to Confine Cats and Penalise Owners who Let Them Loose
|A Sydney council’s planned “cat ban” has fur flying as feline fans and critics debate the controversial idea.
Randwick Council in Sydney’s south-east last week passed a motion that could see cats locked inside and owners fined if their pets “run free and defecate in public places”.
The motion was introduced by Labor councillor Kathy Neilson — who was elected mayor the following night — and reportedly caused quite the stir in the chamber before getting majority support.
The council will establish a committee to consider measures including:
Keeping cats inside and confined, especially at night;
>Higher registration fees; and,
>Penalties to owners for allowing their cats to run free or defecate in public places or neighbouring >properties as already apply to dog owners.
Should cats be kept indoors? It’s a divisive issue.(Supplied)
The motion was pitched as being “in the interest of protecting native habitat and fauna” but was lambasted by Liberal councillor Harry Stavrinos as “ridiculous”.
Randwick Council isn’t the first to consider the idea, with a number of local councils, and the ACT Government, implementing similar restrictions.
Still, the plan has gone viral, with ABC audiences across the country weighing in on whether it’s a purrfect idea they want adopted near them, or a cat-astrophe.
Many said they loved the idea:
We have strict rules put in place for dogs so why should cats be any different? I’m sick and tired of cats in my local neighboured coming inside and pooing and weeing all over our front and backyard. I wish my local council in Brissy would follow this — Kelly
It’s about time. I cannot understand how anyone can claim to be a responsible pet owner and in the next breath open the door every morning to let their allegedly beloved pet out into the big bad world to fend for itself each day —
Cats indoors should be mandatory. Our two British shorthairs have been indoor cats for over nine years. The vet reckons, for their age, they are very healthy — Andre
If you love your pets you want to keep them safe. And an indoor cat is safe from traffic, aggressive dogs, aggressive stray cats and humans. I have been doing it for years — Jo
Other said it was overreach
From professional experience I can tell you that keeping cats indoors is, for the majority of cats, a cause of a lot of psychological and physiological stress (think prison). Obesity, diabetes, inappropriate urination, peri-uric and stress-induced feline lower urinary tract diseases significantly increase in confined cats — Simon
Too far. Responsible cat owners know how to give their cat outdoor time, which is important for overall health and wellbeing, whilst keeping limits on them, i.e. not letting them out at night or when you’re not home. My cat would be miserable without any outside time — Cathryn
I don’t think it’s rightful to totally lock cats inside homes. But upon birds’ breeding season, I suppose a curfew of cats can be applied, then they should be able to roam — David
My cats and the local magpies sit on my back deck and enjoy the sun — together — Matt
Are cats really all evil?(Gfycat)
Think of the wildlife!
Cats kill countless birds and reptiles each year. They are harbingers of disease/parasites that can cause birth defects in humans — David
It’s about time people take responsibility for their cats. Their destruction of wildlife is irrefutable. I don’t hate cats. I hate what they do — Pauline
Anyone who thinks their cat doesn’t kill wildlife — I had a cat briefly, which wore a bell, and I saw it kill an adult sparrow. If I can get a several hundred dollar fine for my dog simply taking a stroll 50m down the street, a similar fine should be for outdoor cats — Natalie
Cats are amazing animals, but they are natural born killers having a devastating impact on our wildlife. We used to have bandicoots in our yard but no longer — we found several dead baby bandicoots in our driveway, obviously killed by pet cats for sport — Lori
I love cats and my two are indoors 24/7. They are happy and healthy and love their own company. I live in an area with a lot of wildlife so I don’t permit the cats outdoors — Karen
I love cats and also our wonderful native animals. As such, I understand cats’ natural instinct to hunt and our role in keeping our wildlife safe. So I firmly believe there are no such things as “bad cats” but bad owners who do not have their animals desexed and allow them to stray around the neighbourhood — Loraine
Cats are known to hunt and kill birds at night.(Supplied: Mark Marathon)
Some cat owners shared their own methods
I have my place fully fenced so my cat does not get in or out of my property. He does love sitting in the sunshine so I am glad he can go outside for that — Sally
It can be done! We have two seven-year-old cats who have never strayed thanks to our home-built cat enclosure, which our cats access via laundry window. A vet recently told us our girls are in mint condition — Cassandra
We have two cats, but we also installed netting so they can use our yard via a pet door but not get away — Chrissy