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Put a bib on your cat and save wildlife

Cats aren’t generally dressed up to go outside but Byron Shire Council is encouraging cat owners to put a new bib on their moggies as part of a trial project to save wildlife. 

The cat bibs, which are made of wetsuit material, attach to a collar and hang over the cat’s chest, acting as a barrier and interfering with the timing and coordination needed to hunt.

Malcolm Hamilton, Byron Shire Council’s Animal Enforcement Officer, said the cat bibs are an unusual concept but they could be a new way to protect native wildlife.

“Murdoch University in Western Australia has proven the device stopped 80 percent of cats from catching birds and significantly reduced their ability to prey on small animals,” Mr Hamilton said.

“Roaming domestic cats are a threat to wildlife and they kill birds, lizards, frogs and native mammals including bandicoots and gliders,” he said.

“Council is always looking for ways to protect our native wildlife and the conservation and protection of our local environment is important to our residents,” Mr Hamilton said.

Council is looking for 30 cat owners whose animals are micro-chipped and registered, to take part in the trial of the cat bibs.

“We’re asking people to put the bibs on their cats when they are outside and record any wildlife attacks the cat has made and compare this to what happened before they wore the bib,” Mr Hamilton said.

“Byron Council is one of two councils in NSW to trial this program and the feedback from Eurobadalla Shire on the south coast is extremely positive,” he said.

The bibs do not impede cats and they can still run, jump, climb trees and groom.

Cat owners whose animals are micro-chipped and registered can sign up for the trial by calling Malcolm Hamilton on 6626 7000. 

Media contact:

Media Communication Officer
Byron Shire Council
Ph: 02 6626 7320

Byron Shire is located at Australia's eastern-most point with a population of almost 29,000. It is a thriving community where residents and visitors live, work and play in a sustainable environment and where Council strives to deliver the highest standard of local government services and infrastructure.