Broadcaster Rachel Smalley has been caught in a cat-fight over her two felines' allegedly ferocious hunting habits in a Waitakere Ranges town.

The spat in Piha over the Newstalk ZB host's Bengal cats - a breed developed to look like mini jungle cats - has spilled over on a Facebook page for the Auckland west coast town.

The cats - one is named Claws - were accused of killing birds. A resident reported having chased the cats out of her house and had to move a bird-feeder inside.

"These cats will kill hundreds of birds, lizards and insects in their lifetime and this saddens me greatly," the resident said.


Chickens had been stalked, other people's cats had been attacked and the Bengal cats were said to have roamed through several properties, according to the resident.

Smalley responded on the Piha page, saying she bought the cats to deal with rats in her roof.

"I would quite happily have got a couple of rancid old moggies from the SPCA, but my husband and son are allergic so that's why we went for hypo-allergenic Bengals."

"One of the reasons we have had such a rat issue at the top of the hill is because of the open composting and the prevalence of chickens," Smalley said, adding that she did not object to chickens or composting.

The cats mainly brought home rats, plus "the odd weta, two blackbirds and a couple of barbecue utensils".

"If you've lost a spatula off your Weber, let me know."

"... situations like this can sometimes bring out the worst in Piha. Can we try and avoid that happening.

"I have introduced two cats to the area, not Islamic State terrorists armed with AK47s who could detonate a car bomb at any moment."

She apologised for her cats "being a pain" and promised to do what she could to stop their causing problems, while still keeping her place free of rats. She had tried various collars, but the cats slipped them off within hours.

Ella Ussher suggested trying harnesses as they might be harder for the cats to get off.

"Otherwise have you considered keeping them indoors or building a run for them that goes outside?" Ussher wrote on the page.

"It may seem extreme but the number of people who are getting affected by the cats [is] increasing as they stray further and I personally don't want your cats in our backyard, never mind chasing birds/chooks etc."