Roleystone, Western Australia
An online American company has made available a product that may be effective in stopping or limiting the hunting of native fauna by cats. The company refers to a study undertaken with the CatBib at Murdoch University, and the summary results appear below.
“In an attempt to provide sound advice to owners seeking to curb the predatory behaviour of their pet cats, we evaluated whether or not the commercial collar-worn product the CatBib reduces the number of vertebrates caught by pet cats. We also tested whether the colour of the CatBib influenced its effectiveness, or if supplementing the CatBib with a bell could reduce predation further. Fifty-six cats identified by their owners as known hunters completed the study, which took place in Perth, Western Australia over a six week period in November/December 2005 (southern hemisphere late spring/early summer).
Each cat spent a period of three weeks wearing a CatBib and three weeks without it and the number of prey brought home during each period was recorded. Participating cats caught a total of 13 bird species, five mammal species, and 11 herp (reptile and frog) species. The mammal the Southern Brown Bandicoot was the only prey species of conservation concern. CatBibs stopped 81% of cats from catching birds and 45% of cats from catching mamamals. Protection of herps was limited. CatBibs of both colours were equally effective at reducing predation. There was no statistically significant evidence that adding bells conferred additional protection. Most cats (86%) adjusted almost immediately to wearing a CatBib, 10% took a day or so and only 4% took longer.”