A REVIVED bid to keep domestic cats off the streets has been endorsed by local leaders.
A peak body representing the interests of the state's councils will lobby the state government to change the Companion Animals Act following last week's Local Government NSW annual conference.
The motion, which was approved at the conference, said the law needs to change to give local councils the same rights to impound wandering domestic cats as they have for dogs. The council's rangers can only impound domestic cats that have been declared a nuisance.
Local veterinary practice owner Lynne Bodell said it is a custom for cat owners living in regional areas to allow their cats "to roam and run a muck," which has become a never-ending issue for the city.
Although some cat owners are not concerned about giving their pet the freedom to roam, Dr Bodell said the feeling is not reciprocated by many community members who have an indifference to cats because of the invasive nature of the animal.
However she said many people "just can't be bothered" to use one of the many options that allow cats to roam safely in their own backyard.
"If you love your cat why would you let it roam? Once it steps over that fence into the big nasty world there are cars, dogs and other things putting them in danger," she said.
"We get so many phone calls asking if we have had a cat handed in, but just keep them inside or put an enclosure outside and they'll adapt."
In other news:
Wagga City Council had 32 reports of cats killed on the city's roads in the past 12-months, which it predicts to be significantly higher with many fatalities usually left unreported.
The Glenfield Road Animal Shelter had 579 cats abandoned last financial year with a large portion being litters of unwanted kittens.
A Wagga council spokesperson said these incidents caused an unnecessary cost to the community and could be significantly reduced if owners prevented their cats from roaming or had them desexed.
The concerns reported by the community during the past 12 months include cats attacking wildlife and other pets such as small dogs and guinea pigs confined to a backyard, causing damage to property and disturbing neighbourhoods during the night.
"Responsible pet ownership is the key to resolving many of the issues associated with cats, and although there is a large number of owners doing the right thing, legislation changes may assist councils more effectively manage these issues," the council spokesperson said.