Cat owners smuggling pets out in prams as council begin trapping banned animals

Cat owners are walking their pets on leads and even taking them out in prams after four tabbies were confiscated for roaming in a restricted area in their town.

Fremantle in Australia introduced restrictions on domestic cats after the pets terrorised the area – and officials are trying to pass a law that forces families to not let their furry friends out the house on their own at all.

Tight rules on areas where cats are banned saw rangers trap eight cats in cages before ringing their owners and saying they can have them back if they pay a fine of $250 (£140).

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But unfortunately, four of them were found to be stray whilst the owners of the other four refused to pay the fine so their pets were put up for adoption.

Councillor Adin Lang, who is behind the scheme, told the Daily Star that the policy – designed to protect the environment after species attacked by cats went extinct – had been surprisingly popular.

He explained: “People stop me in the street and say ‘well done on the cats’.

“We brought in areas with prohibited cats and we’re trying to extend that to all city property, but the state government has said that is too far.

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“It’s extremely frustrating because the community I represent is calling for it – animals are going extinct.

“Cats are restricted from a handful of natural bush areas, some parks with trees and birds and so on.

“We have put traps in those areas and if your cat is caught in that area you have a fine. It’s a standard cat trap with a bit of food in there, the cat crawls in and the door closes behind them.”

The 39-year-old environmentalist said his council’s policy isn’t about hating cats and is purely designed to keep both the cat and the environment safe.

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He added: “What we want is to ultimately move to cats being kept on their owners' property.

“The owner will be responsible for keeping the cat in their house, it can go to the toilet in the backyard or the house.

“A cat is a really important companion animal, we don't want to restrict cat ownership and we want to allow owners to take their cats out for a walk.

“It’s becoming more common for people to walk their cats on a lead or in a pram… we want to allow people to take their cats out in a responsible and controlled manner just like they would with their dog.”

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