Should cats be banned from the city street after dark?

Many people in the city have quashed the idea of a cat curfew.

Many people in the city have quashed the idea of a cat curfew. - Credit: citizenside.com / Kevin Murphy

Cats are known for sleeping all day and prowling the city streets at night.

And owners can only imagine the mischief their feline friends get up to while they're sound asleep.

But now some environmentalists want to give cats a curfew - to the joy of mice and birds everywhere.

And no - It isn't April 1. 

Already in two Australian states moggies have been banned from roaming at night to protect  wildlife.

Jane Minns, 77 who lives in Riverside, said the proposed curfew is "a ridiculous idea."

Jane Minns, 77 who lives in Riverside, said the proposed curfew is "a ridiculous idea." - Credit: Aimee Dexter

However Norwich folk disagree. 

Jane Minns, 77, said: "It's a ridiculous idea.

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"Cats will be cats - they should be allowed out.

"How would you even police it - are they going to catch the cats or have a cat patrol.

"It's utter nonsense."

Jim Sorboen, 46, added: "It's utterly pointless and trivial.

Jim Sorboen, 46, said the idea was "utterly pointless and trivial."

Jim Sorboen, 46, said the idea was "utterly pointless and trivial." - Credit: Aimee Dexter

"I'm not aware of any nocturnal species cats go for apart from mice - which I'm sure they'd only hunt during the day anyway.

"Let cats come and go as they please - it's in their nature so why inhibit it."

Even environmental boffin Kevin Murphy, of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, believes the madcap plan is impossible. 

The 52-year-old said: "I think it would benefit the wildlife but you can't enforce it.

Kevin Murphy, founder of Norfolk Wildlife Rescue.

Kevin Murphy, founder of Norfolk Wildlife Rescue. - Credit: Archant

"A cat is domestic animal - how can you actually stop it - even if you put a collar and bell on them they could get it caught on something.

"Plus they're not solely to blame for the decline in wildlife so where would it end.

"Do you stop people letting their dogs off the lead because they stress out squirrels or stop people from driving because of the amount of roadkill they cause.

"A cat is a domestic animal and I think it's a very difficult issue to monitor."

Gillian Dean, from Lakenham, said that it "isn't feasible for every household to keep their cats in".

Gillian Dean, from Lakenham, said that it "isn't feasible for every household to keep their cats in". - Credit: Aimee Dexter

Gillian Dean, from Lakenham, said: "We keep our two cats in overnight but mainly for their own safety.

"We've put bells on them to try and stop the amount of wildlife they bring in.

"I'm just not sure it would be feasible for every household to keep their cats in every night."

What makes cats great hunters?

Cat owners know how deadly their pets are with a surprise mouse or bird often dumped on kitchen room floor.

But what makes felines' hunting skills so good?

Eyes: Cats can see six times better than humans because of how they reflect light.

They also have the extremely developed vision that allows them to see better than their prey.

Whiskers: These act as sensors for cats feeling every vibration to help sniff out animals.

Claws: Their pin-point claws are able to stay constantly sharp because they are retractable and helps them cling on to their prey.

Body: A cat's body is like water - its flexible and can fit into hard to reach spaces.

Their long tails also help them with their balance and their agility when running and chasing their prey.