The cat is a carnivorous mammal and is very well adapted to hunting small mammals and birds. Being largely nocturnal hunters, cats may travel for several kilometres at night in search of prey. Cats can also find their prey just by following the scent trail left by small animals as they move along the ground. They are also very able climbers. All of these features together with four sets of retractable claws, and teeth adapted for gripping, tearing and shearing, make the cat a formidable hunter.  Feral cats prefer live prey but do occasionally scavenge human food scraps. They are opportunistic predators, meaning that their diet generally reflects the fauna present in the area where they live and hunt. Their diet usually consists of small mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, fish, invertebrates and native birds.  Further information about damage to wildlife by feral/uncontrolled cats.

NSW Department of Local Government Guidelines on ‘Free-Living’ cats – note doesn’t consider species impacted by cats.

Scientific American article on roaming.

 

Stray cats to be removed from Port Botany

22 AUG 12 @ 07:38AM BY LEESA SMITH, Southern Courier

UPDATE: 24/8/12 – Supporters of feral cats – see link

Residents have three weeks to remove the feral cats from Molineux Point before Sydney Ports take action into their own hands. The World League for the Protection of Animals (WLPA) sought permission to establish a colony of de-sexed cats in the area but Sydney Ports would not condone it because of the big impact the cats have on the environment. Instead the local activists were given two months to capture the cats with an extension until September 10 as an act of compassion. A Sydney Ports spokesman said no further extension would be possible and any cats remaining would be trapped and removed to be dealt with in a humane manner by a professional feral animal control organisation. “How they are euthanised is up to the contractors but it is an RSPCA approved manner.” he said. WLPA’s Helena Thompson said volunteers were needed to help trap the cats. “It is enormously hard work,” she said. “We need people to socialise them because there is no sanctuary for them, and then potentially adopt these cats.” She said if the cats were not saved they would be gassed. “It’s a horrific way to kill any animal and can take up to half an hour for the poor animal to die – writhing in agony and clamping its teeth onto the bar of the cage,” she said. The Sydney Ports spokesman said the Molineux Point lookout was deliberately planted with Australian native bushes and plants in an effort to encourage native fauna to the area. “But wildlife barely exists in that area and this is, in Sydney Ports’ view, directly attributable to the feral cat population,” he said. ” A recent count noted at least 40 feral cats on the point – it is a hostile environment and many of these unfortunate animals have cat flu and skin conditions.”

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