This quenda was attacked by a cat but made a full recovery at Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

Kalamunda cat law under review

A recent survey about quendas in the Perth Hills received responses from residents concerned about the impact of cats on the species.
October 26, 2023
Andrew Williams

THE City of Kalamunda is looking to amend its new cat laws after a recommendation from a parliamentary body.

The Keeping and Control of Cats Local Law 2023 amendment is looking to remove clause 3.9(1)(b), “Each cat shall be contained on the premises unless under the effective control of a person”, after the Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (JSCDL), highlighted the clause contradicts the states Cat Act 2011.

The purpose of the JSCDL is to scrutinise all regulations, by-laws, rules, local laws, major metropolitan region schemes and other subsidiary legislation government agencies make on behalf of state  Parliament.

The City of Kalamunda was required to give public notification and conduct consultation for feedback on the amendment, which ended on October 20.

But according to the minutes from the City of Kalamunda August ordinary council meeting the city was aware this could lead to serious negative response from the community, due to previously strong support for the law.

There have been recent attempts by several local governments, including the City of Kwinana and Shire of Esperance to introduce similar laws, but those proposed local laws were also disallowed by the JSCDL.

A recent survey conducted by a Curtin University student about quendas in the Perth Hills received more than 600 responses with many respondents concerned that quenda population numbers have fallen due to the presence of cats in the area.

Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre hospital manager Tasha Rea said from July 1, 2022 to the end of June 2023, 124 animals were admitted after cat attacks and since the start of July this year there have already been 43.

“That’s only the ones we know were directly attacked by a cat, so the actual admissions are likely higher than that,” she said.

Ms Rea said one of the species most affected by cat attacks seen at Kanyana are quendas.

“We have so many baby quendas come in with some really severe and horrible injuries, all from cats, when it’s just so easily avoided.

She said one way cat owners can keep both their cat and native wildlife safe is to keep their pets inside the house or an enclosed patio area, dubbed a ‘catio’.

“There’s a lot of ways you can keep your cats and wildlife safe. It’s not just all about our wildlife but also for your own pet cats, by keeping them inside you reduce the risks of cat fights, they don’t get hit by cars, so there’s a lot of positives. And obviously for our wildlife it’s just once less predator out there,” Ms Rea said.

The Shire of Mundaring are holding a free workshop on cats and how they interact with the environment on Saturday, October 28, hosted by cat behaviour expert Dr Heather Crawford in the shire’s civic area.

The event is called Happy Cats and Wildlife, and registration is essential for this event is via Eventbrite.

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