Gareth Morgan is keeping a close eye on Wellington’s cats.
The high profile philanthropist first courted controversy over his anti-cat stance last year, and has now stepped it up a notch by monitoring and trapping local moggies.
He has set up six infrared cameras around around the city, watching and building up a database of the capital’s kitties.
“The idea of these cameras is to track the amount of cats that are wandering onto other people’s property,” said researcher Geoff Simmons.
It’s been a year since Mr Morgan launched his Cats to Go campaign, aiming to help rebuild our native birdlife.
Now he wants local councils to stop cats from wandering onto private property and make owners take more responsibility.
“If they have a microchip they get given back to their owner. If they don’t have any identification, then zipped,” said Mr Simmons.
Mr Morgan is also trapping cats in his backyard. He photographs each animal before it is released, in an attempt to figure out how many are stray and how many are domestic.
“To identify a cat you need to trap it and so I’m certainly doing that and I know other people who are doing that as well,” Mr Morgan said.
“You know we’re pretty backward on this stuff. I mean, if you go to Australia your cats aren’t allowed to do this.”
But SPCA chief executive Ric Odom said while he understands people are upset by animals going onto private property, trapping can be dangerous.
“I think we need to be a bit careful when we get individuals starting to trap. What happens for instance if one of the animals gets injured?” he said.
Mr Odom said microchipping is the best option, but cats are tough to herd.