Are ‘catios’ the answer?

New Zealand is a nation of cat lovers, but their impact on native birdlife cannot be ignored.

University of Canterbury master’s student Sarah Chamberlain says “We have one of the highest rates of cat ownership in the world.” One solution to stopping our beloved felines from pushing native bird species to extinction are catios. However, Sarah’s study found that respondents were not often inclined to pursue cat containment for various reasons.

University of Canterbury Master of Science – Psychology student Sarah Chamberlain with her cats Salem and Cocoa in the purpose built ‘catio’ she constructed.

“Broadly speaking, in future I’d like to see a rethink on what it looks like to be a responsible cat owner. An important part of this is bringing people on the journey and changing attitudes. I don’t think it is just about putting rules and regulations in place at a council level, you have to change people’s beliefs and attitudes, educate them about the issue, and give them the tools and resources to make it easy to engage.”

Would you consider installing a catio on your property to protect New Zealand wildlife?

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