A feral cat problem has been attributed to a drop in the number of reclaimed animals in Brimbank for a third consecutive year.

Data supplied to the state government’s Know Your Council website shows that just 30 per cent of all cats and dogs collected by the council during the 2016-17 financial year were reclaimed by their owners.

The number is significantly less than the state average of 51.24 per cent.

Brimbank city development director Stuart Menzies said feral cats were largely to blame.

“Like most other municipalities, Brimbank does have a stray/feral cat problem and these are the majority of cats we collect,” Mr Menzies said.

“Many of the stray and feral cats are found in bad health or are diseased.”

Last year the council collected 960 dogs and 1832 cats, which included cats found wandering and those collected as part of the council’s cat trapping programs.

Mr Menzies said the council was committed to reducing its animal euthanasia rate and increasing re-housing.

“As part of council’s commitment to reducing animal euthanasia rates – and in line with our recently updated Domestic Animal Management Plan – we will be looking into the possibility of entering into agreements with animal welfare groups to improve re-housing rates in Brimbank,” he said.

“As part of council’s commitment to reducing animal euthanasia rates – and in line with our recently updated Domestic Animal Management Plan – we will be looking into the possibility of entering into agreements with animal welfare groups to improve re-housing rates in Brimbank,” he said.

Changes to the Domestic Animals Act mean there is now no limit on the time animals can be kept in shelters, which is also expected to reduce euthanasia rates.