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Cat owners face fines for breach under 24-hour cat curfew
June 30, 2023

Wellington Shire Council is set to implement enforcement activities as of 1 July 2023 under new 24-hour cat curfew conditions.

The 24-hour cat curfew came into force on 19 January this year, with a six-month amnesty to allow owners enough time to put suitable cat containment measures into place at home.

Under the new restrictions, all domestic cats (including cats living on large rural properties) are required to be kept at home at all times unless they are leaving the property in which case they must be on a leash or otherwise effectively secured. Much like the rules for dogs and other pets, cats won’t be allowed to roam freely from their owner’s property.

Wellington Shire Council Mayor Ian Bye said that it is no different to how you manage any other pet you may own.

“Like dogs, you must always keep your cat confined within your property. The cat curfew is not about keeping your cat locked up indoors, but keeping them confined to ensure they are safe and protected. More importantly, we don’t want them causing a nuisance for neighbours and their pets, or finding themselves in danger.

“We implemented an amnesty period and embarked on a lengthy educational campaign for a reason, so I hope cat owners are now prepared for enforcement” Cr Bye said.

Cat owners may be fined $192 for a breach of the curfew for the first offence, and up to $577 for second or subsequent offences. The new law will see cat owners facing the same process already applied for wandering dogs.

It is important that pet owners register their cat with Council so it can be returned home. Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, all cats must be microchipped and registered with council by the aged of three months.

Council will always try to return a lost cat to its home by checking if it is registered and has microchip details, however if the owner cannot be reached, the cat will be taken to Animal Aid – Council’s Animal Shelter in Sale, with additional costs issued for its release.  

To find out more information on Wellington’s cat curfew enforcement activities visit  

Animal registration forms can be found at

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