Cats are nocturnal creatures and are pets in about half the homes in New Zealand. Cats are predators. It is their natural behaviour to hunt.
Some cats are abandoned and become strays. They roam towns and cities scavenging for food and can become pests and they sometimes hunt native species—such as skinks, fantails and other forest birds. If stray cats move away from human populations they are likely to become feral, which means “wild”.
Wild cats (Felis catus) look scruffy and may be very wary of people. They are most likely to kill young birds once they leave the protection of their parents’ burrow or nest, but are still small enough to be caught.
For example, only when a young kiwi reaches six months of age are they strong enough to fend off stoats and cats.