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Nearly 100% of Australia Now Has a Feral Cat Problem

Apparently, they can’t be herded.

Oh, cats.
Oh, cats. ioa8320/Public Domain

Whether they like it or not, Australians are becoming real cat people. In fact, according to a recently released report, nearly 100% of Australia is now infested with wild cats.

As is being reported in the Guardian, researchers have discovered that Australia has a feral cat density of about one cat per every one and a half square miles. This density exists across 99 percent of the country save for some outlying islands where they have been eliminated and in some cat-free areas that have been fenced off. A collection of nearly 100 wildlife surveys showed that there are between 2-6 million cats occupying the continent, which turns out to be a pretty safe number given that they originally estimated that they would find around 20 million.

Wild cats were first introduced to Australia when it was colonized by Europe, and they have spread out across the entire island, wreaking havoc on the native species. Australia and Antarctica were once the only continents without a native cat population, so their native wildlife evolved without the necessary defenses against felines, making them extremely vulnerable to predation by invasive cats.

Despite outcry from many animal rights supporters, Australian officials are looking into a number of methods of culling the cat population. Unfortunately the wily animals are pretty hard to trap, making more humane methods, such as sterilization, nearly impossible. Fittingly enough, one of the methods being discussed is to release dogs that could hunt down feral cats. So far though, the untamed cats still have the run of the place.