The Cat Act 2011 requires the identification, registration and sterilisation of domestic cats, and gives local governments the power to administer and enforce the legislation.
The legislation will take full effect from 1 November 2013 and provide for better management of the unwanted impacts of cats on the community and the environment, as well as encourage responsible cat ownership.
From 1 November 2012, some provisions of the Act will commence to allow local governments to prepare to administer and enforce the legislation.
From 1 November 2013, the full Cat Act 2011 takes effect and will require all cats that have reached six months of age to be:
- Sterilised; and
- Registered with the relevant local government. Cats will be required to wear a collar and registration tag to ensure that owned cats can be easily identified and returned to their owner.
What do the new laws mean for you and your feline friend?
The legislation requires that a person who chooses to breed cats must apply to their local government for a permit.
When a cat is sold, the seller must ensure the cat is microchipped and sterilised prior to transfer. If the cat cannot be sterilised due to its young age, a voucher must be issued to the new owner.
Limits on cat numbers
The legislation does not limit the number of cats that can be owned. This will fall to local governments who may choose to introduce a local law.
If a local government introduces a local law limiting cat numbers, it will not apply to cats currently owned. However an owner will not be able to replace a cat if it is sold, given away or dies, until they are down to the required number.
Responsible cat ownership checklist
Even though the laws do not commence until November 2013, as a responsible pet owner you are still encouraged to:
- Keep your cat confined to your property, especially at night.
- Ensure your cat is easily identifiable with a collar and a name tag.
- Microchip your cat.
- Sterilise your cat.
- Vaccinate your cat.