Hi my name is Elizabeth, and I am a Millennium Kids Youth Board member. Last Sunday I hosted Cats and Wildlife, a workshop where we learnt about the impact that keeping household cats outdoors has on their own health and the health of our local wildlife and environment.
Did you know outdoor cats live on average to three years old and indoor cats live on average for 16 years?
At my first Millennium Kids meeting a man from Native ARC talked to us and told us that 75 million native animals were killed by cats EACH DAY!! It’s a big problem and I needed to do something about it. I did some research and I found that cat runs are the best solution. I decided to run a workshop to educate the Millennium Kids team about cats and wildlife.
I invited local vet Dr Kayleigh to help us learn how to care for cats. She talked to us about why keeping your cat indoors is good for your cat. She also told us how to best create an outdoor environment indoors for your cat because cats are predators – they like to hunt. We heard about all sorts of ways to keep your cat entertained indoors. We learnt about special toys that mimic hunting and
Here is a list of reasons why keeping cats inside is good for your cat.
- Cats are exposed to diseases outside such as feline HIV
- Cats are at risk of injury from traffic, people and other animals
- Cats are territorial and often fight with each other
- Cats may get lost and be unable to find their way back home
- If unregistered, cats may be taken to a ranger
We designed “catios” which are outdoor cat runs where cats can experience an outdoor environment without full exposure to it. We learnt that it was important to include spots for cats to be exposed to sunlight, to make sure that the catio was safe from snakes and from sharp edges. We also learnt about innovative fencing that stops cats from getting in or out of the garden.
We also put our thoughts together as part of the upcoming review of the Cat Act.
Kids thought that the Cat Act should be updated to say that there should be no roaming cats and that cats should be kept contained for their own safety and for the safety of native wildlife.
We think that cat owners should have the same responsibilities and restrictions as dog owners. We think that with these changes their needs to come promotion and education in regards to the responsibilities of cat owners. We think that there needs to be consistencies in how these changes are implemented and enforced across local governments. We think that cat owner should be fined if cats roam outside their registered abode.
We hope to run a workshop where we make catios out of recycled products! We don’t want keeping cats indoors to cost cat owners a fortune so we want to help and to tackle waste issues at the same time. Stay tuned!