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Cat confinement in Manningham

RESIDENTS of Manningham with registered cats would have received a notice in the recent animal registration mail-out about the Trial 24-hour Cat Confinement Order, which commences on April 1, with an amnesty period running until December 2024.
The pilot (overall) will be evaluated in December 2025.
Despite being a major component of the Domestic Animal Management Plan (DAMP) 2021–2025, and the trial officially adopted at the December 2024 Ordinary Council Meeting — compared to the roll-out of other schemes, such as the Food Organic Green Organic (FOGO) bin system — information about when the trial would begin, how long it would run for, and what actions cat owners need to take to ensure they (and their cats) comply has been minimal, or at the very least not as obvious as the extensive advertising and information campaign that accompanied FOGO.
The information in the animal registration mail-out also says Council will “provide support and information to help with the transition, including educational information, videos and practical advice on preparing your pet and your property.”
Some of this information is already on the Council’s dedicated cat confinement page, manningham.vic.gov.au/pets-and-animals/cat-confinement, and it is worth reviewing if you have any questions about the trial.
What is of note is the details of the amnesty period, with the webpage stating:

“If we find your cat outside of your property during the amnesty period we will try to reunite the cat with you.
We will only take the cat to our Pound facility if its owner cannot be found.
If your cat is registered and microchipped, this will assist Council Officers in getting your cat home to you safely.”

Manningham-based pet advocacy group Friends of Manningham Dogs and Cats (FOMDAC), which supported the cat confinement concept while the current DAMP was out for public consultation in late 2020 and early 2021, has run a series of workshops and events over the last three years to help cat owners prepare.
The latest is a presentation by local Animal Aid volunteer Jennah Rose, who will discuss keeping your cats happy, healthy, and indoors and how to do it cost-effectively.
Jennah spoke to the Bulletin about what the presentation would entail.

“Having only recently been domesticated on the timeline of things and more recently asked to live indoors, cats are still hunters at heart.
When you see kittens play, they are effectively learning hunting and fighting skills.
When a cat catches a live creature and commences to play with it, it is instinct.
They teach their offspring by giving them live bait for them to learn to kill.
Such behaviour needs to be mimicked if a cat is confined, which is why there are all manner of sometimes costly toys and gadgets on the market.
It is a lucrative business, but you do not need to spend a fortune confining your feline to your property.
Among other things, the presentation will cover multiple reasons for property confinement, how to create ‘happy cat’ environments, feeding and play enrichment, suitable toileting arrangements, rest and sleep, causes of behavioural change, time outdoors, and effective property confinement.
It is a big adjustment for our furry friends to be asked to change their routines, but the first topic in the talk — reasons to keep cats confined — will hopefully convince you of the benefits.
It is not just about Australia’s precious wildlife.
It’s about quite disturbing diseases, parasites, and infections that your friend can pick up that cause incurable suffering. Building a stress-free, enriched life for your cat around your home is the most cost-effective approach.
The difference in vet bills between indoor and outdoor cats is considerable, as is their lifespan, the former being the longer.”

The presentation is free, but booking is essential to keep track of numbers.
Tickets can be booked at eventbrite.com.au/e/happy-healthy-indoor-cats-tickets-805458988517
The event will be held at the FOMDAC rooms, 55 Aranga Crescent, Donvale, on Thursday, April 18, 2024, 7pm-9pm