Nature conservation

Threatened species

Predation by the Feral Cat Felis catus (Linnaeus, 1758) - profile

Scientific name: Predation by the Feral Cat Felis catus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Conservation status in NSW: Key Threatening Process
Commonwealth status: Key Threatening Process
Gazetted date: 24 Mar 2000
Profile last updated: 19 Aug 2017


Predation by the Feral Cat Felis catus (Linnaeus, 1758) was listed as a KEY THREATENING PROCESS on Schedule 3 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 [24 March 2000].

The Cat Felis catus (Linnaeus, 1758) is a common but elusive predator that occurs throughout Australia and on many offshore islands. Cats occur in virtually all terrestrial habitats in Australia, and the main determinants of local population size appear to be the availability of food and shelters. Cats may be categorised as domestic, stray or feral. Feral cats are free-living, have minimal or no reliance on humans for their ecological requirements, and survive and reproduce in self-perpetuating populations.  

Several Endangered and Vulnerable species in New South Wales are currently threatened from feral cats, including the Hastings River Mouse Pseudomys oralis, Sandy Inland Mouse Pseudomys hermannsburgensis, Pilliga Mouse Pseudomys pilligaensis, Bolam's Mouse Pseudomys bolami, Forrest's Mouse Leggadina forresti, Mountain Pygmy-possum Burramys parvus, Little Tern Sterna albifrons, Grey Grasswren Amytornis barbatus, Striated Grasswren Amytornis striatus and the lizard Aprasia aurita. Larger species such as Southern Brown Bandicoots Isoodon obesulus and Brush-tailed Rock Wallabies Petrogale penicillata may also be at risk locally or when other prey is scarce.

Many other native species are potentially at risk of becoming threatened as a result of feral cat predation. Small mammals such as rodents, dasyurids, burramyids and ground-nesting birds are at particular risk.

Predation by feral Cats is listed as a key threatening process under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and a national threat abatement plan has been prepared by the Department of Environment and Heritage.


Recovery strategies

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region