Commercial Feral Cat Control
Feral cats are domestic cats that have been released into the wild, have escaped to the wild or are born in the wild. Cats were deliberately released into the New Zealand wilderness in the 1800s in an attempt to control rabbits. The cats had some success but rapidly became pests themselves and as with ferrets, stoats and weasels found the NZ bird life, lizards and frogs easy prey. Cats are also implicated in a small way in the spread of tuberculosis, they do carry the disease organism, however it is likely that they are ‘dead end’ hosts and rarely pass the disease on to other animals.
Control of feral cats must be handled with great care. Shooting is permitted in rural areas, but pet cats in the area must be kept indoors on nights when shooting is to take place. Live capture trapping is the method of choice for Target Pest. Live traps are checked every day and trapped animals can be checked for signs of domestication and returned to owners unharmed if they appear to be pets, and destruction of feral cats can be carried out humanely by the SPCA.