This Christmas, you could secure your place on Santa’s ‘nice’ list by being a Responsible Pet Pawrent and keeping your furry friends safe and happy at home. South West Catchments Council has launched a new program to help you keep your loved ones contained at home where you can be sure they’re protected from harm and available for cuddles!
SWCC’s newly updated website has lots of information for both cat and dog owners on how to keep your pets safe while also protecting our local critically endangered western ringtail possums.
The website hosts a variety of Greater Bunbury Region cat owners showing you how they keep their cats contained on the property while giving their feline friends a wonderful quality of life. Some examples on the website include:
- Creating a safe play space for your cat to enjoy the sunshine and observe the world in an enclosed patio or side of the house
- Living inside the house
- Having access to the outdoors on a harness and lead.
Guidance materials developed with the help of local vet behaviourist Dr Kate Lindsey will give you the tools you need to transition your current cat’s routine or prepare for a new cat to join your family. The guide provides information about what each personality type requires to live a happy, enriched life, including hiding places, perches, toys, toileting options, training and social interaction. If you have spare time over the holidays to DIY your own cat enclosure, you’ll find useful video guides and a list of material suppliers. If you’d prefer to have a professional do it for you, there is a list of local installers who can design an enclosure to fit your home.
There is also information for dog owners about how to keep dogs happy while protecting possums in our backyards. Check out the DIY videos on the website to find an option that suits you.
SWCC’s Threatened Species Project Manager, Jaya Vaughan, has consulted extensively with the Greater Bunbury community to understand the drivers and barriers to responsible pet ownership. For cat owners:
“It is seen as ‘the right thing to do’ for the safety of companion cats who are at risk of fights with other cats, vehicle strike as well as for the benefit of local wildlife. It is hoped that these new resources will give cat owners peace of mind in knowing that their cats can be kept safe whilst also ensuring that they are able to live a happy and enriched life within the property boundaries. In turn, cat owners will be to supporting a harmonious relationship with our local wildlife”.
The website will continue to be developed over the remaining two years of the Responsible Pet Pawrent project, with how-to-videos, more local pet owners showcase videos and events. For more information, contact [email protected].