Protecting your cat
If you do not want to keep your cat indoors/ your cat does not tolerate indoor life, there are a few things that you can do to protect them from other cats, dogs and cars.
- Keep them in from dusk to dawn: if you develop a routine by feeding twice a day, you can lock the cat flap when your cat comes in for the night. Dusk to dawn is the highest risk time for car accidents and cat fights so this should dramatically reduce the chance of accidents
- Stop them getting out of your property by securing your perimeter. Walls/ fences should be 1.8m or more and the tops can be secured with either an inward facing fence or visit catfence.co.nz for cat containment systems such as the O
- Build a catio (an outdoor run/ aviary that has access to a door/ window) – so that your cat can sit in the sun while you are out
To protect native wildlife, DOC recommends keeping your cat indoors at night (including dawn and dusk). This is when the hunting and prowling instinct of a cat is strongest and when birds are sitting on their nests. You can also help protect the native wildlife in your garden:
- Locate bird feeders in sites that do not provide cover for cats to wait in ambush for birds.
- To prevent cats from climbing to bird nests, put animal guards around any trees in your garden that may have nesting birds.
- Provide moving toys for your cat to play with. This will help prevent boredom, which can be a reason for a well-fed cat hunting.
- If your cat does catch a bird or animal, remember that it is acting on a strong natural instinct, not misbehaving
For more information: http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/files/file/responsiblecatownership.pdf