Source: The Mercury 30 June, 1994, p.9
Cats were not the killers of native wildlife that many believed them to be, a survey commissioned by the Pet Care Information and Advisory Service has found. Pet Care national director Tony Cooke said the survey by Reark Research Pty. Ltd. examined the population characteristics and hunting behaviour of Australian domestic cats. He said the survey found cats caught 4.67 prey per year, of which 1.57 were native and 3.10 introduced species. Half of all creatures caught were vermin. More than 4000 households were surveyed and all capit- al cities revealed a declin- ing cat population, except Hobart which showed a 2 per cent rise. Among factors likely to affect cat-hunting behaviour, the confinement of cats to the house at night seemed to be effective but bell collars were not. Mr. Cooke said he was sur- prised at the number of desex- ed cats - 92 per cent nation- ally and 72 per cent in Hobart. Also of surprise was the age of cats, with 13.7 per cent being over 12 years of age. "It is obvious a lot of people are being very responsible looking after their cats, so hopefully we can get them to do a few more things such as keeping their cats inside at night", Mr. Cooke said.
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