Stray and feral cats


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Feral and stray cats

Feral cats are described as any cat that's not being actively cared for that lives in the wild.  They're solitary and predominantly nocturnal and survive by hunting for their food. They're usually short haired, slightly built, with a large head and have very sharp features.  Once caught in a cage they'll be aggressive, hiss, growl and spray. 

Stray, unwanted or pest cats are domestic cats that have been abandoned or strayed from their owners. They generally rely on people for some of their food and shelter and are timid.

Who's responsible for the control of feral and pest cats?

Feral cats are classified as 'Site Led Animal Pests' in the Gisborne district.  Property owners are responsible for the cat's destruction.

We provide services for the control of stray and pest cats in residential urban areas. 

How to control feral, stray and pest cats

Live capture trapping is the best method to catch stray, pest cats.  This way if a domestic pet cat is caught it can be released unharmed.  

Residential properties in urban areas

We can lend a trap for stray cats causing problems on a residential property in some urban areas.  Staff can also help with the removal and destruction of the cat if you can't do it.  

The urban areas include Gisborne city and the settlement or township areas of Wainui, Makorori, Manutuke, Patutahi and Ormond.

Other urban and non-residential areas

Other urban areas can only borrow traps. Help with trapping and removal of cats would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Commercial and industrial properties, schools, hospitals and other businesses need to pay a pest contractor.

Information and form

We can give advice and provide a cat trap.

You need to fill in the User Agreement form and get your neighbour's signature too.

Complete the Cat Trap - User Agreement Form [PDF, 135 KB]

Once you have your neighbour's signatures, send the form to service@gdc.govt.nz and staff will arrange a time with you. 

We can assist with disposal of the cat if you cannot do this (for urban areas only)

We're not responsible for re-homing cats, you need to contact the SPCA.

Rural areas - shooting cats

Night shooting with a spotlight is an effective way to control feral cats in rural areas. Talk to your neighbours before you do any night shooting.  Pet cats in the area must be kept indoors on nights when shooting is to take place.  Extreme care is needed especially around lifestyle block areas. All provisions of the gun laws must be complied with.

Contact us for any advice or information.