The origin of the Cat (Felis catus) in Australia is unknown. They have been here since European settlement, whether or not they were introduced with the Dutch Explorers or British Settlers, it is unknown. There is some evidence that suggests that the cat was introduced to Australia from shipwrecked European explorers and traders much earlier than the English settlement of 1788.
It is believed that they were brought to Australia as companions to the settlers, or as stowaways, and escaped into the Australian wilderness in search for food, as there wasnít enough food in order for them to survive. Most never returned, therefore, having a substantial effect on the ecosystems of Australia. By the 1850ís there were many groups of feral cats that were established in the wild. Since then feral cats have plagued the Australian landscape.
From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, cats were released into the wild to control the plague numbers that rabbits had reached. It didnít have any substantial effect on the rabbit populations, but it did have a huge increase of feral cat populations and a huge decrease of native animal population.
In Queensland the feral cat was declared a pest under the New Land Protection (pest and stock route management) Act 2003.