11 Apr 2024

Debate heating up on management of domestic and feral cats

From Nine To Noon, 9:05 am on 11 April 2024
A multicoloured cat leans back and takes a swipe and the camera with their paw.

Photo: Unsplash

Cat owners in Hutt City are now required to register, microchip and desex their felines to help reduce the feral cat population under a recently passed bylaw.

It's a move that Parliament's Environment Select Committee endorsed last year when it recommended the establishment of a nationwide cat management framework.

Later this year, the public will be invited to give feedback on whether feral cats should be added to the Predator Free 2050 strategy. Currently, that strategy only focuses on the removal of rats, stoats, ferrets, weasels and possums.

The Predator Free New Zealand Trust says if the country is to be pest-free in 26 years, feral cats must be included, and better management of domestic cats has to be the starting point.

But will cat owners and other councils get on board?

Predator Free New Zealand Trust Chief executive Jessi Morgan and Hutt City Councillor Andy Mitchell join Kathryn Ryan.