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Cat Curfew - Have Your Say
Issued: 
October 17, 2022

Council would like to hear feedback on a proposed 24-hour cat curfew for Wellington Shire.

During last year’s consultation of the new Domestic Animal Management Plan, community feedback called for Council to investigate the implementation of a 24/7 cat curfew. A 24/7 cat curfew would require cats to be confined to their owners’ properties or yards.

There are two options being considered:

  • Status Quo, meaning no additional cat containment restrictions
  • Introducing a 24-hour curfew, meaning cats must be always confined to their properties

Your feedback will help to decide if a 24-hour cat curfew is enforced throughout Wellington Shire. Please complete the short survey by clicking on the button below.

Learn more about the three types of cats

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I keep my cat on my property?

Keep your cat enclosed by doing-it-yourself and installing cat proof fencing or adding a cat enclosure to your house or shed. Or keep your best buddy inside.

Is it cruel to stop cats from wandering?

Not at all, cats don’t need to roam to live a healthy life. If their basic needs are met, cats will enjoy long and healthy lives.

What will happen if my cat is caught off my property?

It’s important that you register your cat with Council so it can be returned home.

Council will always try to return a lost cat to its home by checking if it’s registered and has microchip details. If the owner can’t be reached, it will be taken to Animal Aid – Council’s animal shelter in Sale.

Once there the wonderful team at Animal Aid will try to track down the owners or find the cat a new family as soon as they can.

If a cat is taken to the animal shelter, there will be a fee to organise its release. Fees depend on whether the cat was registered or desexed when it was found.

What will happen if we introduce a cat curfew?

If a cat curfew is introduced, owners will have six months to get used to it. During this time cats will be returned whenever possible, with the owner receiving a warning.

After a six month amnesty, the owner may receive a fine for any repeat offences.

 

What should I do if I don’t own a cat, but one is causing a nuisance on my property?

If you find a nuisance cat on your property you should always try to talk to the owner.

If you try this and can’t resolve the issue, you can use a box or carrier to secure the cat and drop it off to Animal Aid in Sale. You can also contact Council to collect the cat for you.

Local vet Terri Allen answers common cat curfew frequently asked questions

Background

Currently the Domestic Animals Act 1994 requires all dogs to be confined to their owner’s property unless under effective control, however it is up to individual councils to determine confinement rules for cats.

In Council’s Domestic Animal Management Plan 2021-2025 (DAM Plan), Council agreed to conduct a review of cat curfew rules, with a view to considering the introduction of a cat curfew. The review was supported by 70% of respondents to an on-line survey which was conducted as part of the community consultation process.

Over the past 12 months, 393 cats and kittens have ended up in the care of Council’s animal shelter and 280 reports of nuisance or wandering cats were received and actioned by Council.

While cats are very popular pets, roaming cats are a serious concern. Wandering cats can and do:

  • Kill native wildlife (even well-fed cats will hunt)
  • Get hit by vehicles
  • Become injured in fights
  • Annoy neighbours by spraying, fighting, yowling, and digging in gardens
  • Become lost or impounded

Top tips for keeping your cat happy and healthy

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