Feral cats are found throughout South Australia and are among the leading carnivorous predators of native Australian species including birds, small mammals, reptiles, fish and in some cases even insects. This activity has led to the extinction of some species of ground-dwelling birds and small mammals throughout Australia.
They are known carriers of toxoplasmosis and sacrosporidiosis, parasitic diseases that pose a threat to humans, native animals and livestock alike. Toxoplasmosis can lead to birth defects and miscarriage in both humans and animals.
Their ability to survive in the harshest of conditions has seen feral cat numbers explode. Able to survive by both scavenging and hunting, they are now found throughout mainland Australia, including island populations. Research suggests that feral cats have a high reproductive capacity, able to produce up to three litters a year with an average of four kittens per litter. A female feral cat’s ability to reproduce begins about 10 to 12 months old and will continue throughout her adult life.
Australian Government, Dept of the Environment and Energy