While the Australian Pet Welfare Foundation (APWF) strongly encourages inside containment of cats at night, and where possible, contained to the owner’s property during the day in a comfortable environment which meets the cat’s physical and mental needs, the APWF is strongly opposed to mandated cat containment (night curfews and 24/7) because it leads to increased cat nuisance complaints, increased cat impoundments, increased cat and kitten euthanasia, increased costs and enforcement difficulties for local governments, increased mental health damage to staff and community residents caused by euthanasing healthy cats and kittens and no reduction in the overall number of wandering cats.
Mandated cat containment is already proven to be an ineffective failure at reducing wandering cats in both the short and long-term in Australia and internationally. Mandated cat containment is not an effective strategy to reduce wandering cats because most wandering cats are strays with no owner to contain them, and for the remaining cats with an owner, containment is often not achievable due to property limitations, lack of financial resources and concerns about contained cat welfare.
Mandated cat containment actively prevents resolution of the wandering cat issue because it is a huge barrier to cat semi-owners taking full ownership of the stray cat they are feeding. Assisting semi-owners to desex and microchip their cat and take full ownership by implementing Community Cat Programs (high-intensity free desexing programs targeted to areas of high impoundments or complaints) significantly reduces the number of unwanted kittens born and represents the key solution to significantly reduce the number of wandering cats and associated issues such as nuisance complaints, costs to local governments and potential wildlife predation.
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