Being a cat lover and environmentalist might be viewed as a little incompatible, but there are ways of making it work.

Beyond the usual recommendations such as; keeping cats in at night, feeding them well, having lots of toys to play with, microchipping, desexing and putting a couple of bells on their collar, we tried something a bit more impactful that has really worked.

Having witnessed our fluffy darlings take out a sparrow, a thrush, and some skinks, we decided for the sake of protecting the wildlife and native species in our backyard, that we would have to monitor and supervise our two boy’s movements.

This entailed staying with them whilst they were outside or walking them around on collar and leash. This was all good and well during Covid, but time became a factor when we were working. Enter the cat sanctuary… a 75m2 area enclosed with bird mesh on the top and chicken wire around the sides, and a shelter and plenty of bushes and small trees to play in.

It’s obviously not the same as roaming and exploring free, but it’s the next best thing and they seem content. It’s not for everyone, but for the sake of the fauna, especially the Tauhou, Tui, and skinks, we need to be a responsible cat owners.