Stirling: bird owner not feline good about outdoor cats killing her feathered friends


Melanie Reeves has recently had three of her birds die because of a cat continually harassing them at night in her backyard. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Melanie Reeves has recently had three of her birds die because of a cat continually harassing them at night in her backyard. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

A SCARBOROUGH resident is urging cat owners to keep their felines indoors at night after several of her birds died.

Melanie Reeves keeps canaries, finches and budgies in large cages in her backyard but has struggled to protect them from a cat that she said entered her yard and harassed the birds most nights.

“I think I’ve just reached the point of feeling really fed up,” she said.

“I feel like I’ve done everything I can do myself as a deterrent.”

She has tried a range of suggestions to keep the cat away and has contacted neighbours to try to find the owner.

“There doesn’t seem to be anything I can do,” she said.

“I don’t want to do a cat trap; I don’t want to be responsible for trapping someone’s pet.

“I just don’t want to lose any more birds.”

Ms Reeves said the large cages were difficult to move inside so she was woken most nights by the cat trying to reach her birds, even going under the sheet placed over the cages.

“I’m up three times a night, three to four times a week,” she said.

“I just don’t get how cats can be out roaming and owners take no responsibility for what their pet is doing.

“There’s no way you’d let a dog out all night.”

The Cat Act requires cats to be micro-chipped, wearing a collar and registration tags, sterilised and registered with the council, and the City of Stirling encourages cats to be confined to their owner’s property, particularly at night.

Community safety manager Laurie Crouch said the City responded to more than 220 complaints regarding cats in the past three years and attributed 10 per cent of those to nuisance cats.

He said the majority of owners kept their cats contained but when issues arose they were dealt with on a case by case basis.

Cat Haven spokeswoman Chandra Woodley also recommended owners keep their cats indoor from dusk to dawn.

“It is not necessary law to do this but it is a responsible and caring lifestyle, as your cat will be safer from traffic accidents, cat fights and general mischief if it’s indoors at night,” she said.

“We ask people to please sterilise and microchip your cats, and keep them indoors at night.”

The Cat Haven currently has 250 cats at the shelter and 350 in foster care needing homes.

The City does not provide cat traps but people can contact the haven for advice and it may provide humane cat traps.

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