Australian feral cats to be dispatched by robot spitting toxic gel

25. 07. 2023 | Kristýna Bezděková

Robots spewing poison against millions of feral cats. What at first glance seems like the plot of a Hollywood action blockbuster is actually a real plan by the Australian government. Domestic cats, which have no natural enemy, have overpopulated on the continent and are wiping out Australia’s native species, local media report.

The government’s goal is to eradicate six million feral cats within five years. It will deploy 15 robots against them with state-of-the-art equipment including cameras, lasers and solar power, which will recognise their feline opponents by their silhouette and the way they move.

Once it has targeted the small beast, Felixer, a robot named Felixer in reference to the cat’s Latin name (felis catus), sprays a toxic gel called 1080 poison on its fur, which the cat ingests while cleaning its fur. Eight milligrams of the gel is enough to kill it. The poison has no effect on native Australian species.

Feral domestic cats are responsible for the deaths of nine million animals every day, including three million mammals, 1.7 million reptiles and one million birds, according to Australia’s WAToday.
Domestic cats are the most destructive animal species on the isolated continent, costing the Australian economy A$300 million (roughly $4.3 billion) annually. This is spent by the Australian authorities to repair the damage, as well as on population control measures such as baits and traps.

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Author of this article

Kristýna Bezděková

Kristýna is a student of marketing and communication in an undergraduate program. She writes and translates content into the Czech language


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