Keeping Cats Safe at Home Project

Wilson the cat

We are one of 11 Councils taking part in the RSPCA NSW Keeping Cats Safe at Home project.

The Keeping Cats Safe at Home project aims to promote responsible cat ownership. It will do this by educating and encouraging cat owners to keep their cats safely contained at home to enhance their welfare and reduce the impacts that cats have on wildlife.  .

This is a four year project that started in 2021.  So far, we’ve been part of:

  • An online survey run by the RSPCA.
  • A Final Report to the NSW RSPCA, by McLeod Research which explains the survey findings from all participating Councils and makes recommendations.
  • Keeping Cats Safe at Home project public launch on 2 June 2022.
  • Next we will be working with the RSPCA on a tailored program to address specific needs and challenges faced in the Byron Shire.

The project will provide incentives for cat owners such as:

  • free or subsidised de-sexing
  • cat enclosures  
  • advice on how to keep your cat entertained.

Why is the project needed?

Roaming cats are at significant risk of contracting infectious diseases and being hurt or dying in an accident. They are also at risk of being lost or impounded by the council. 

Read more about the risks to roaming cats

What are the aims and benefits of the project?

The RSPCA NSW will coordinate events and build partnerships with local veterinarians, residents and animal welfare organisations.

They will be researching barriers and drivers to responsible cat ownership including containment to develop an effective behaviour change program.

Different approaches in different areas will be tested to determine what is most effective, which could then be applied to other locations in NSW and more broadly.

A behaviour change strategy may include:

  • developing individual targeted marketing campaigns, combining social media, traditional print media, school curriculum-linked incursion programs and community engagement events.
  • subsidising desexing and microchipping services.
  • developing school curriculum-linked resources.

 

This project has been assisted by the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust.

RSPCA NSW is a community-based, not-for-profit, animal welfare charity that protects, cares for, treats and rehomes animals across New South Wales.

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