The City of Greater Geraldton has defended its treatment of stray cats after a concerned pet lover today accused it of housing the animals in cruel conditions.

With temperatures peaking at 41.6 degrees at 12.30pm, the woman, who did not wish to be named, expressed concern about the welfare of cats kept at a City pound.

She said the cats were sheltered under a tin roof and had water, but ought to have been kept in a air-conditioned facility.

“I know mechanics who were sent home because it was too hot to work,” she said.

“This is just cruel. The cats are panting and look in distress.

“Cats are different to dogs – they feel the heat more.

“It’s all very well for the State Government to pass new cat laws, but they don’t think about funding appropiate places to impound them.”

But City manager of community law and safety Konrad Seidl denied that any of the cats were distressed.

He said the City had implemented measures to deal with the heat issues, which would be monitored for their effectiveness.

“The City will always consider the welfare of any animal that is impounded as a priority concern,” he said.

Mr Seidl said it should be noted that the Cat Act was a new piece of State legislation that the City was required to manage and implement with only “minimal resourcing” offered to Local Government.

“Following the implementation of this Act the City has been working hard in responding to its responsibilities under the act and expanding its capacity to meet local demands in housing impounded cats,” he said.

“The work involved in this could not be estimated prior to the onset of the Act.”

RSPCA spokesman Tim Mayne said his organisation recommended that in high temperatures caged cats or dogs be provided with maximum shade possible, as well as air-conditioning, fresh water and plenty of food.

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City denies cruelty in its treatment of stray cats