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Cute and cuddly killers

Thursday, 7th April, 2011

CUTE AND LETHAL: Kittens like these have been getting snapped up to deal with the city’s mouse plague. CUTE AND LETHAL: Kittens like these have been getting snapped up to deal with the city’s mouse plague.

By Katelyn Rudd
Year 10 work experience student

Locals have turned to an age-old solution to the city's mice plague - the cat.

The RSPCA said yesterday that over the past month it had received lots of enquiries and sold many cats and kittens.

Veterinarian Lucienne Downs said that this week more than 10 kittens were given a home.

Dr Downs said the kittens had been snapped up not just because they were cute and cuddly but also because of their natural killing instinct. 

"The kittens were mostly bought by families with young children to try and solve the mice problem," she said.

Dr Downs also said that sometimes even if a cat is present the mice were less likely to show up.

But the RSPCA warned pet owners to be careful of poisons, as did vet Guillaume Tabuteau of the Broken Hill Vet Clinic.

Recently both have had to treat many household pets that have ingested rat poison. Some died.

Dr Downs said that pets were being treated every day for poisoning and that last week four were given blood transfusions, which normally only happened a couple of times a year.

The RSPCA said before bringing a new pet home it was best to scout around for dangers. 

"Be aware of where the rat poisons are, in not only your house and yard but in neighbouring yards also."

The RSPCA advised people to use traps to catch rodents instead of baits, as they were more humane and less likely to harm pets.

Dr Downs said it was good to see so many kittens getting a home, but warned they could be a lot of work and also needed a lot of love.

"Make sure you're willing to still show your pet some tender, loving care once your mice prayers have been answered."

Both vets have a range of kittens looking for a home but they are selling quicker than usual, so contact the RSPCA on 80877753, or the Broken Hill Vet Clinic on 80874242. 

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