Australian cat owners, we hope you enjoy spending time with your feline companions, because the country is considering a 24-hour cat curfew, which would require all domestic cats to stay inside, at all times.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia’s threatened species commissioner (yes, that’s a real thing) Gregory Andrews is considering the curfew to prevent domestic cats from hunting birds and other wildlife and to prevent them from breeding with the country’s more than 2 million feral cats.
The 24-hour curfew would most likely be implemented in “conservation areas of significance,” including near national parks and in locations where the government might implement its other controversial plan — to cull its feral cat population.
“The plan over the long term is to make this part of our culture, and then it becomes normalized,” Andrews told the newspaper. “It’s a journey that Australia has to go on.”
Government officials have said that they will attempt to educate the citizens on, um, how to keep their cats essentially under house arrest and that the plan will be implemented slowly, to prevent “financial burden on those who cannot afford the containment options, or lead to dumping of domestic cats.”
Although the RSPCA and Animals Australia both support keeping cats contained, veterinarians have suggested that some cats can become stressed or agitated if they’re kept confined around the clock.