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   Felis catus (mammal)
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    Details of this species in Israel
    Status: Alien
    Invasiveness: Invasive
    Occurrence: Established
    Source: Brickner 2003
    Arrival Date:
    Introduction:
    Species Notes for this Location:
    According to Shimshoni (1987) in 1987 the number of domestic cats in Israel was estimated more than 50,000 and a huge number of stray cats occurred all over the country. Today (2003), as in most developed countries, the number of households owning pet cats is increasing. Many people own one cat or more, and many feed stray cats in their yards, in the stairways of communal buildings and outside business places. The estimated number of domestic cats in Israel today is over 100,000 (General Procedure for the Handling of Street Cats proposed by the department for Veterinary Services in the Field 2002, in Brickner 2003). Dr. Zvi Galin, the chief veterinarian of the Tel Aviv municipality, assesses the number of owned cats in Tel Aviv alone as 60,000, according to a survey conducted by pet food marketing companies (Prof. Yom-Tov Pers. Comm. 2001, in Brickner 2003).
    Management Notes for this Location:
    In the past some municipalities killed stray cats within their jurisdiction, however, animal rights’ activists and organizations acted upon the animal welfare law, 1977 (section 491and 651) in order to protect cats. Today only the municipality veterinarian is permitted to trap and handle stray cats. The health ministry published a general procedure according to which, the municipalities are permitted to trap and destroy cats only on the basis of a citizen’s complaint regarding specific, troublesome cats. In such a case it is up to the municipality veterinarian to solve the problem accordingly to the General Procedure for the Handling of Street Cats published by the department for Veterinary Services in the Field, that specifies the procedure and methods for the capture, custody and elimination of stray cats.
    The policy of the NRNPA (Nature Reserves and National Parks Authority) is that feral cats in wild habitats are considered a pest to the natural environment and to native wildlife. NRNPA regulations allow supervisors to shoot those cats. The usage of poisons is prohibited.
    Municipality’s by-laws encourage the neutering of domestic pet cats and some animal rights encourage and help finance programs of stray cats neutering. However, Dr. Tommy Sade, the chief veterinarian of Jerusalem municipality, says that “the neutering of some 2000 out of tens of thousands of cats that roam the streets of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv does not affect the total number of cats. As Prof. Mendelssohn said, the neutering of cats is negligible in proportion to the cats’ success in reproduction. Hence, successful control of cats’ numbers depends on appropriate handling of refuse in their environment” (from a letter to Ehud Ulmert, Mayor of Jerusalem, 18/8/1998). According to Dr. Tommy Sade, in countries in which human refuse is handled and discarded off properly, the number of stray cats is significantly lower than in Israel (Brickner 2003).
    Location Notes:
    Last Modified: 24/07/2006 3:28:41 p.m.


ISSG Landcare Research NBII IUCN University of Auckland