Residents of the New Zealand coastal village of Omaui may no longer be allowed to have cats as pets. The regional council proposed a ban on the domestic felines in order to protect its native animals like birds, which are often killed by cats.
Bad kitty, but it’s not their fault, per se. Cats, even when domesticated, generally still keep their predatory instincts.
If the proposal goes through, the existing house cats of Omaui won’t be killed but once they die naturally, residents will not be allowed to adopt new cats. Of course, some people are upset – not only are they cat lovers, but some residents also keep cats as rodent-control.
Kotuku Parks, a property subdivision on New Zealand’s Kapiti Island also practices a ban on pet cats, while Auckland is considering implementing a law where feral cats (ones that aren’t microchipped or can’t be identified as being owned) found in an “ecologically significant site” could be put down. In further effort to protect its native birds like the kiwi from predators, New Zealand is also working on eliminating all introduced species of rats, stoats and possums in the nation by 2050.
There is cause for concern about Omaui’s proposed law. Other than the fact that you can’t own a cat if you live there (like, don’t even expect us to be okay with a life without cats), there may also be the problem of what Feline Rights NZ secretary Pete Ross once called “zealot extremist environmentalists” who would take advantage of the situation to “engage in trapping.” Keep your cats indoors, people.