Did you know?

Cats can do a lot of damage to our native species. For example cats were mainly responsible for tui, North Island saddleback, pied tit and red-crowned parakeet dying out on Cuvier Island, off the Coromandel coast.

Most pets don't kill as many birds as that, but when we add up all the native animals that die because of pets, it's really quite a lot.

1. Take this quiz to find out how conservation friendly your cat is

How to score

Read each statement and give your cat one point for every true answer. Add up your score and check how it rates in the list below.

The cat in this quiz might be your pet or one that comes into your backyard.

Quiz: The more points your cat scores the more conservation friendly it is

  • Your cat can’t have kittens. A vet desexed it.
  • Your cat is fed good food at regular times.
  • Your cat doesn’t go on holiday with you. It goes to a cattery.
  • Your cat stays inside at night.
  • Your cat wears a collar with bells that jingle.
  • Your cat can’t find a place to hide that is close to where the birds feed or drink.
  • Your cat can’t climb all the trees near your backyard.
  • Your cat has special toys to play with.
  • Your cat hardly ever hunts.

Tally up your total score and check it below.

2. Check out your cat's score

1 – 4 point(s):
Your cat isn’t conservation friendly yet. It will catch birds, lizards and weta quite often.

5 – 8 points
Your cat could be a little friendlier. It will still catch some birds and lizards.

9 points
You have a conservation friendly cat! That’s better for the native wildlife near you.

3. Help your cat get a higher score

Give your backyard wildlife a better chance. Tick the things you have done or the things you do from the list below and then find out a way to do the others.

  • Take cats to the vet to be desexed so they won’t have kittens.
    Why? Kittens without homes become wild cats. They kill native wildlife and have more wild kittens.
  • Feed cats balanced meals at regular times.
    Why?  Because hungry cats go hunting.
  • Put cats in a cattery when you go on holiday.
    Why? So they don’t wander off and become wild to survive.
  • Feed cats inside, an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset.
    Why? That’s when birds are most active in the garden.
  • Keep cats inside at night.
    Why? That’s when wildlife is on the prowl.
  • Fit a collar with bells to your cat
    Why? Because less birds are caught by cats with bells.
  • Place bird feeders, bird baths and nesting boxes at least 3 m away from a place where a cat can hide.
    Why? Because cats hide in places like bushes, then jump out to catch their prey.
  • Put animal guards around trees that have nesting birds.
    Why? So that your cat can’t climb them to get at the nests.

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Find out more


To find out how you can get involved in conservation activities near you, contact your local DOC office