I have read the general licences but didn’t notice if they are listed.

Now I guess that shooting someone’s pet cat is a big no, but what about feral cats? There seem to be increasing numbers of them – are we allowed to shoot them?

Shooting legal advice


General licences are all about managing pest birds. Only a few mammal pest species (badgers for example) have specific protection under the law.

There is nothing to stop you shooting a feral cat provided you are absolutely certain it is feral.

The difficulty is in distinguishing between a genuinely feral cat and someone’s domestic moggy that’s wandering a long way from home.

If you shoot a domestic cat you would be committing criminal damage and as well as being charged you could also be sued by the owner for damages.

Cats have less protection in law than dogs and if, for instance, you run one over you are not obliged to report the matter to police as you are with a dog.

  • ken keyes

    In Canada a feral cat is vermin and can be shot with a .22, if it’s in an area where shooting is legal.
    Any cat is considered feral if it’s not on private property or not with it’s owner. I have heard of many people shooting feral cats that they have seen roaming loose in the outskirts of towns or rural areas.

  • paul ward RSH

    about the feral cats, the Advice you have given should be looked in to. i have conmpleted a course in pest control under thr RSH, and it does state that all Cats should be cought in cage traps, they then need to be taken to the Vets, who will then decided if the Cat/Feral cat/s can be tamed back to a household pet, if this cant be done then the Vet will put the Cat/feral cat to sleep. it is against the law to shoot any cats, even pest controlers can not do this! Birds also have protection laws for them too and should be looked int carefully.

    cats and thier owners can not be held responsable for the cats actions as they are aloud free roaming.