Mating odour to catch feral cats


Sir – Attached is a photo of feral cat number 19 [on my rural residential property] for the year.
I really don’t understand why the powers that be are not using their natural mating behaviour to control their numbers.
Like all animals they respond to the mating pheromones and gather for that reason.
A friend made big money 40 years ago by dragging a vixen in season behind his ute and then bating the trail with 1080.
He subsequently built a unit in Surfers from the proceeds.
We have all heard dingoes seeking a mate but no one looks at that as a means of controlling wild dog numbers.
Twice I have seen large numbers of feral camels – up to 400 or 500 – gathered for mating , yet no one seems  to be looking at their natural  mating behaviour as a means of controlling their numbers.
Re use of camels, can I suggest we look at CAMELICIOUS in the UAR and then ask why not here?
Trevor Shiell
Alice Springs


  1. 1080: Im sure as hell wouldn’t want my pet dogs to eat any bait. It was stolen. I still haven’t heard if it was ever recovered or culprits caught. We also have a major rabbit explosion about which nothing seems to be done.

  2. I agree, look at Camelicious. And not just milk, but meat and hides as well.
    The time is not yet right for this, but with global weather patterns changing yearly, the time will come when Australia will de-stock cattle and sheep in large swathes of the Outback and restock with camels and goats.
    Let’s hope we don’t shoot them all out as feral pests before we need them.
    And then plow in all the cotton fields and replant with hemp for a better fibre from less water and fewer chemicals.

  3. Cats roam and I wonder how many much-loved pet cats have ended up on this rural property.
    Cats should always be trapped and taken to the local shelter.
    Shelter staff and volunteers will then check for a microchip to see if there is a registered owner and advertise online to try to re-home. They are dealt with humanely at all times.

  4. Last year I lost 16 prize chooks to wild dogs, and then the feral cats got in and took the replacement chickens.
    Using the same cat trap and chook pellets I have caught 10 rabbits so far and fed them to the crocodile as dessert.
    The ears from most of those cats have gone to genetic research interstate to trace their origin and hopefully to eventually research into reducing their numbers.
    And with all the ferals we have here, I still don’t understand why the CRC for research into feral animal control appears to be based in Tasmania.
    It obviously should be here, but we are further away by far, than the deer, goats etc which are right under the public and political eye.

  5. Moving to Alice Springs with a couple of good dogs. Like to get involved in the removal of feral cats.

  6. Moving to Alice Springs with a couple of good dogs. Would like to get involved in the removal of feral cats.

  7. Having just looked at yesterdays Landline re feral pigs on KI I am still at a loss as to why the reproductive behaviour and response to the pheremones involved is still not recognised as a means of aggregating ferals of all kinds for their control.
    I well remember as a child watching a big boar in a local piggery demolish a very sturdy pen in order to satisfy his lust.
    The same with a big billy goat at a property we once owned.
    It took me a day to construct the steel pen and a half hour for him to demolish it.
    For some reason the science of reproductive behaviour is being ignored.
    Apart from using the CRISPR/gene drive technology there is little else available as the current culling practices have been little short of disaster and largely ineffective in the long run.
    There is a major role here for Desert Knowledge and CDU with enormous economic benefits for both, and for the country, but seemingly the science is being ignored.
    Similarly in other areas of scientific need. Nowhere to my knowledge is the deterrent to termite activity present in Cyprus (native) pine being investigated as commercial means of termite control in housing.
    This was recognised many years ago when native pine posts were used in the telegraph line but never utilised commercially or even investigated. We prefer to use dangerous chemicals.
    Another monumental piece of short-sightedness from scientists who are supposedly trained to observe.


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