South West Catchments Council is offering a $200 rebate for cat owners who build an enclosure, or ‘catio’, to keep their beloved pets safely at home. Enclosures provide a place for cats to enjoy fresh air, bask in the sun and play outdoors while offering cat owners peace of mind in knowing where they are at all times.
“We know that cats kept safe within property boundaries live up to four times longer than cats allowed to roam. Companion cats entrust their owners with providing a safe and enriched environment for them to live happy and healthy lives”, says South West Catchments Council Project Manager, Jaya Vaughan.
Cats contained within property boundaries have a reduced risk of sustaining injuries caused by fights with other cats, car strikes and contracting diseases such as feline immunodeficiency virus and toxoplasmosis. Being a responsible cat owner has the added benefits of protecting urban wildlife and helping to maintain positive relationships with neighbours.
SWCC is offering the rebate to cat owners to reduce the financial burden that comes with the initial installation of a cat enclosure.
“If you are savvy you can build a simple, do-it-yourself enclosure for around $400. Professionally installed enclosures start at around $1,500. The rebate will assist with these initial costs but the savings continue by preventing unexpected vet bills that inevitably come with caring for a cat which is allowed to roam”, said Ms Vaughan.
The rebate is open to existing cat owners looking to provide a safe outdoor play space for their cat, as well as prospective cat owners preparing to adopt/purchase a new cat.
South West Catchments Council has developed a range of ‘Responsible Pet Pawrent’ cat enclosure design options and enrichment ideas which are available on their website. Interested cat owners can register for the rebate or find out more information here.
This project is delivered by South West Catchments Council, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.