The purpose of this report is to identify current best practice approaches to domestic cat management, to help address poor welfare and high euthanasia rates of domestic cats and mitigate their impacts on humans and wildlife. This document builds on knowledge gained from previous cat management strategies,including examining the effectiveness of existing legislation, reviewing current research, and considering relevant aspects of feral cat management. Although considerable efforts have been made to reduce the unwanted domestic cat population, the complexity of the problem makes effective cat management very difficult. Effective cat management requires a high level of government and community support, and communication and coordination between all stakeholders; aspects which are often difficult to achieve and maintain over time. A number of reports and papers have been produced that discuss the problems associated with cat management (Toukhsati 2007; Denny and Dickman 2010; Zito et al. 2015a) and in recent years several state jurisdictions have either introduced or reviewed their cat management legislation. Despite this, evaluation of previous initiatives and coordination of a consistent national approach is lacking. Over recent years the Australian community’s acceptance of cat management measures such as desexing, cat containment, registration and microchipping has increased, as has public concern over the adverse impact of cats on wildlife as well as the euthanasia of healthy cats. With this shift in the level of public understanding of the significance of cat related issues and the urgent need for solutions, it is hoped that this report will help identify more effective, consistent and humane strategies for the management of domestic cats in the future.
RSPCA Australia (2018) Identifying Best Practice Domestic Cat Management in Australia. Available online: https://kb.rspca.org.au/bfd_download/identifying-best-practice-domestic-cat-management-in-australia-may-2018/