MOUNT Isa's State member has described the anecdotal evidence of people's experiences with feral cat populations across the North West as astounding.
Last week the politician called on the State Government to introduce a Queensland-wide $15 bounty on feral cats to manage the problem.
He said the McKinlay shire paid out for 880 tails in the 2010/11 financial year but during the first two months of last financial year were brought more than 5000 tails.
"Even when they started their financial year with a reduced bounty of $5, in two months they had a 570 per cent increase in tails coming in."
Mr Katter spoke of his conversations with people around Mount Isa shocked to see so many feral cats, normally elusive creatures, ambling through town in pairs.
"We think they came out with the rat plague in 2009 and thrived on the good seasonal conditions," he said.
"I've had people telling me they've had their chooks destroyed by different feral cats, they've come outside and seen them feasting on their dead animals.
"Once it was rarity to ever see a cat on the road, now its nothing to see two on the road going to Julia Creek during the day."
Mount Isa resident Taffy Jones said the whole of Queensland had a "hell of a problem" with feral cats that just wasn't going away.
Mr Jones said he was concerned if a bounty wasn't put in place soon a number of native animals wouldn't exist as we know them in the wild.
"You'll have to describe a lizard through photographs because they won't be able to see them, they'll be gone, overrun by a feral killing machine," he said.
Mr Katter wouldn't link pet ownership to the feral cat plague affecting Mount Isa but Mr Jones said it was a fact that people dump their pets when they move away from the region.
"When people leave town they don't take their cats they dump them, they just dump them and they get wilder and wilder," he said.
"In the end they are like a shadow and then go off and breed."
Paws Hoofs and Claws manager Sue Carson said when people fail to desex their cats they breed "profusely".
Her biggest concern with introducing a bounty Queensland was whether or not people would differentiate between pets and feral animals.
"That is my concern because when a bounty if offered people are out there to make money and there are some unscrupulous people out there and domestic cats are easier to catch," she said.
"I realise there is an enormous problem and they are decimating the natural environment, but it upsets me that it has come about because people have not done the right thing in the first place."
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