Domestic and stray cats kill millions of native animals in Tasmania each year.
That is according to the Cradle Coast Regional Cat Management Strategy, a document which the region's councils will consider in coming weeks.
"A single roaming domestic cat kills an average of 186 animals a year, of which 115 are native, and, because of their unnaturally high densities in urban areas, they exert a predation pressure that is 30-50 times higher per square kilometre than that of feral cats," the strategy said, in material based on a 2020 national study.
The strategy does not impose costs and actions on councils if they endorse it, but does include eight areas of focus which councils can adopt or not and apply to the extent they choose.
It builds on the state government's revamped cat management laws which took effect on March 1.
The government measures included that:
- cats cared for at cat management facilities must be microchipped and desexed before being reclaimed;
- people could trap cats on their private property, subject to conditions;
- only registered breeders would be allowed to breed cats from March 1, 2022, and
- people must not keep more than four cats aged more than four months without a "multiple cat permit".
The Cradle Coast strategy said uncontrolled cat breeding caused an excess of domestic cats and put enormous pressure on cat management facilities to find them suitable homes.
It said 6250 cats were handed in at cat management facilities and shelters statewide in 2019.
"Restrictions on the number of cats per property may also assist in resolving cases of cat hoarding," it said.
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"Hoarding is a recognised mental disorder and cat hoarding situations need to be managed carefully to ensure the welfare of the cats as well as the owner."
The strategy's eight focus areas involved:
- responsible cat ownership awareness and education;
- data collection;
- improving access to cat management facilities;
- desexing and microchipping;
- nuisance and stray cats;
- protecting significant conservation, agricultural and community assets;
- uncontrolled cat breeding and welfare concerns; and
- governance, resourcing and legislation.