No place like home for pet cats

To celebrate World Wildlife Day on 3 March, South West NRM is donating copies of a new book called ‘No Place Like Home’ by Meredith Spencer to schools and libraries across the region, to educate children on the importance of protecting threatened native wildlife.

South West NRM Project Manager, Lorraine Duffy, visited Dunsborough Primary School on Monday 27 February to present a copy of the book to teacher, Helena Nicholson, who read to a group of enthralled pre-primary students.

The book, featuring beautiful illustrations by Christine Painter, follows the adventures of a group of threatened native animals, including the western ringtail possum (Ngwayir/Gnuraren), red-tailed phascogale (Kenngoor), owlet nightjar (Yarty), brush tailed bettong (Woylie) and yellow footed antechinus (Mardo).

The group encounters a domestic pet cat, whose hunting is thwarted by a cat tracking camera. The book highlights how dangerous cats are to wildlife and explains how they’re happier and safer at home in a cat enclosure or ‘catio’.

As part of its Responsible Pet Pawrent Program, South West NRM recently ran a rebate program offering Bunbury region residents up to $200 off the cost of a DIY or professionally installed catio, which resulted in 54 cats being kept safe and fully contained at home. Each pet cat can kill up to 110 native animals per year so, assuming a conservative lifespan of 12 years, the program will have saved over 65,000 animals in total!

To find out more about how to keep an indoor cat and how to source/build a cat enclosure, click here or join the new Responsible Pet Owners SW WA Facebook group.

This project is delivered by South West NRM, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.