Cat summary for Sydney, Part 1.

Holding a model of the skull of an adult saltwater croc.

I’ve spent over 2 weeks in Sydney, and I’ve seen exactly zero cats.  This includes Sydney Harbour around Circular Quay, a couple of miles of both Bondi and Manly beachfront, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Darling Harbour, central Sydney, and a side trip to the Blue Mountains.  I’ve chatted with police, security guards, and somebody with the word “ranger” stitched on his shirt.  I’ve also talked with people on the Solstice who live in Sydney.  What do they all say?  There are very few cats in the city, but many cats in the rural areas.  I’ve talked to no one who can say why there are few city cats.  I’m convinced there are cats being released or escaping in Sydney, so where are they?  I suspect they are being controlled or managed, but by whom and how I don’t know.  I’ve been looking for a vet clinic, but they are scarce in the high-rent business neighborhoods.  Everyone - everyone! - has commented on the impact of cat predation on native species, particularly birds and native mammals, but they also mention the impact of foxes, rabbits, and cane toads.  Obviously, through formal and informal education venues, people are aware of issues regarding “invasive species” (they use this term).

I did chat with a lifeguard in Yorkeys Knob who claimed that pythons controlled the cats (and kookaburras ate the small snakes), in addition to him and others shooting cats for target practice (and control).  I’ve not come across anyone who had heard of TNRM, but there is a movement in Australia to adopt it.  Sydney politicians are aware of cats, so I know cats are in the city!

I recognize that I haven’t attempted to seek people out specifically who manage cats, but I will continue to ask around.  In the meantime,I hope you enjoy these photos of Australia’s wildlife.

Masked lapwing or plover



Couldn’t help it... another damaged dockless bike in Sydney.


  1. I've been in Davis for three weeks, and I also have seen no cats. (Excepting the one house-bound cat I'm "sitting" for as one condition of my cheap sabbatical rental.) I run through the UCD campus most mornings before 7 am and have been surprised not to see feral cats. There are many more small songbirds than at USU, and a prodigious amount of squirrels. Also a much more lenient policy toward bringing dogs on campus, although I doubt that has anything to do with the absence of cats. In my neighborhood I've seen no cats but there is a large white feral rabbit.

  2. I remember when I was a student there, I had a hypothesis that I was seeing more black cats on campus because owls were eating the lighter colored cats. Obviously, I didn't know owl sensory capabilities!


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