LOCAL business owners are concerned with the explosion in feral cat numbers in and around the Jindabyne town centre.
Landscape gardener Helen Adey said she estimates around 60 cats are roaming around the shopping area.
"I've had reports from several businesses in Jindabyne that are concerned about the feral cats," Ms Adey said.
Lynne McIntyre of Monchichi at Nuggets Crossing said she has seen cats going through the rubbish bins in Nuggets Crossing courtyard.
"They get in the bins and pull the rubbish out onto the ground," Mrs McIntyre said.
"We are open late in winter, and I always see cats at Nuggets. It is nothing to see up to six cats at a time getting into the rubbish bins and pulling the food out, which ends up all over the place,"Mrs McIntyre said.
"It is not a good look for tourists, and the cats are suffering. They have to scrounge and hunt native animals to survive which will compound as they breed."
Rustique shop owner Cecilia Wellsmore said she is also concerned about cats and the smell of tomcats in Nuggets courtyard.
Ms Adey has lived in the area for the past 26 years and said she has noticed a considerable decline in the number of native birds. She said she regularly sees piles of bird feathers as well as many cats coming in and out of the drains while she is gardening at various properties in Jindabyne.
"I don't see lizards here at all anymore," Ms Adey said.
Ms Adey said she has put together a petition and placed them in Jindabyne businesses hoping to raise awareness of the cat issue with locals to take to the next council meeting with the hope that a solution can be found to the growing problem.
"One restaurant I know of, can't leave their doors open because the cats just come straight in," she said.
"I have been told there are up to 20 cats in Nuggets Crossing at night, also behind the BP garage, the council building and Marios restaurant. These areas are food outlets and if the problem isn't addressed this could become a health issue.
"Also of particular concern is Banjo Patterson Cresent, Cobbin Cresent, The Nook, Pooh Bay and the area between the Clay pits and the Sailing Club. Jindabyne Central School is also another hot spot for feral cats."
"To me it is a bit like Paterson's Curse, if we don't act now there is no way of ever controlling this problem in the future. Cats will breed up to twice a year and have litters of around six kittens. We border onto the National Park, one of the most beautiful places in Australia and I believe this issue needs to be addressed."