https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-21/snake-catchers-warning-for-cat-owners/10729030 Snake catchers urge pet owners to keep cats indoors for their safety and sake of wildlife By Patrick Williams Updated about 2 hours agoMon 21 Jan 2019, 9:24am Photo: This carpet python killed a Noosa family's cat in their backyard. (Supplied: Snake Catcher Noosa) Related Story: Cats are killing more than 1 million birds in Australia every day Related Story: Cats on Phillip Island 'quite active' when migratory birds visit, tracking shows Related Story: Surging death toll due to urban sprawl appals wildlife carers Related Story: The 'beautiful, stunning' creature that devoured a family's pet cat Snake catchers have shared horror stories of pythons killing free-roaming family cats in the hope of convincing pet owners to stop their felines wandering from home. In south-east Queensland this past week at least two moggies have been taken by snakes. Professional reptile wranglers are imploring all owners to keep their cats indoors, or within the confines of a cat aviary. Cat containment is encouraged by the RSPCA to not only reduce cats hunting local fauna but also protect them from disease and injury. Luke Huntley from Snake Catcher Noosa was called out to a family home last week to remove a carpet python that had killed the family cat. "It was pretty quick, the cat tried to put up a fight but it was wrapped around and died quite quickly and ended up inside the snake," he said. Mr Huntley shared the story on his Facebook page, sparking a heated debate over responsible pet ownership. "[Growing up] I loved my pet cat, she was amazing, and she was an indoor cat only and I'd hate for something like that to happen to her," he said. "The thing is the majority of cats that are injured or killed are the ones that get hit on the road, or get into a cat fight, attacked by a feral cat or they're just in a yard doing some prowling and get attacked by a dog. "So it's just much, much safer for people to have them inside. Photo: Last week a Wishart family lost one of their two cats to a carpet python. (Supplied: Brisbane Snake Catchers) "I believe if you love your cat you won't let that happen. If you don't love your cat then you will let it out." It's not just for the safety of our furry friends; keeping cats indoors helps protect local native wildlife. A 2017 study found cats kill more than 1 million birds every day across Australia. "We have a duty of care to our country and wildlife, people come from all over the world to see Australia, and our wildlife is shown all over the world as so special and precious, and it's just so vital that we take responsibility for our pets, especially cats, to protect that," Mr Huntley said. Photo: Last year an 8kg scrub python was captured after eating a family's cat. (Supplied: Brydie Maro) "It's not to say cats are vicious killers, they're not. Their natural instinct is to hunt and prowl, and it's something they do as a sport. It doesn't make them evil, it's just in their nature. "It's about being a responsible pet owner to not only protect our wildlife but also to protect your cat from cars, dogs and in this situation, where a snake has got it." 'It's a privilege to own a cat' Last week Stewart Lalor from Brisbane Snake Catchers was called out to a property at Wishart where a large carpet python had consumed one of the family's two cats in their backyard. "That's why we tell people to keep cats inside," he said. "Obviously they cause a lot of damage to our wildlife, but if you love your pet you don't want to lose it." Mr Lalor said he gets similar calls a couple of times a year. "I know a lot of other catchers that are getting a couple every year, so you add them all up and that's quite a few cats going missing," he said. "And those are the ones we know about." Photo: Back in 2017 Mr Huntley was called to remove a snake that had killed a family's cat. (Supplied: Snake Catcher Noosa) He called on cat owners to keep their pets and native wildlife safe by ensuring their feline friends are confined on their property at all times. "I love cats, there's nothing wrong with them, but it's a privilege in my opinion to keep one," Mr Lalor said. "Just try and find a way to keep them safe. You can get cat aviaries, they can be built or bought. I've seen them down the side of houses, it creates a little gymnasium for them they can get in and out of through a window. I've seen some cool set-ups. "Once your cat's outside in my opinion it becomes just another feral cat, because the instincts are the same and they go around killing wildlife. "Let's keep our wildlife safe while keeping our pets safe at the same time."