Feral cats have been branded as the ultimate predator in New Zealand. It is estimated that cats kill up to 100 million birds in New Zealand every year, many of them natives. They also carry parasites and toxoplasmosis that can affect humans, and may also carry bovine tuberculosis.
Feral cats live in a wide range of habitats from farmlands to forest, and are generally solitary. They are mainly active at night and are predators of small mammals, birds, rodents, lizards, fish, insects and eggs – many of these our native wildlife. Killing is independent of hunger, and they will store a catch until required. They have excellent vision and hearing but are naturally cautious.
A live cage trap is excellent for capture of feral cats as domestic cats can be released if required. As feral cats are naturally cautious it is best to leave the door up on the trap for two or three days so they become aware of it, before setting it. Meat or fish is the best bait, but it may need to be tied in as they are very cunning. Do not attempt to touch or pick up feral cats as they can spread harmful diseases.