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Cat curfew

Cats

Cats are highly valued companion pets in thousands of Australian households - almost 30% of homes have a cat. There are currently over 6500 cats registered with Council. In addition Council deals with over 600 cat related jobs each year. Information below is aimed at both the cat owner and neighbours of cat owners and has links to brochures discussing the rights and responsibilities of both.

Cat Curfew

On Wednesday 1 January 2020 Knox City Council will be introducing a 12-month pilot cat curfew, requiring cats to be confined to their owner’s premises between sunset and sunrise everyday.

This will mean that your cat will need to stay in your house, shed, garage, yard, enclosure or similar to ensure it does not leave your property between sunset and sunrise.

Council endorsed the cat curfew in the 2017-2021 Domestic Animal Management Plan.

Confine your cat

Cats that are kept inside at night generally live much longer than cats that are allowed outside.

Around 80% of accidents involving cats occur at night. Confining your cat at night will minimise the risk of injury and prevent it from fighting and wandering onto neighbouring properties.

Importantly, it also ensures your cat cannot kill or injure native wildlife. Contrary to popular belief, cats will hunt wildlife whether they are hungry or not.

Also ensure your cat always wears a bell (or two bells to ring against each other). This will warn wildlife that a cat is approaching.

Wandering cats are vulnerable to disease and attacks from other cats or dogs. Feline Aids, which is ultimately fatal for a cat, is transmitted from cat to cat through fighting.

Motor vehicles are also a major hazard for roaming cats.

Roaming cats also cause disputes and anxiety between neighbours, by causing dogs to bark, by fighting with other cats or defecating in neighbouring gardens.

What can I do about nuisance cats?

Not everyone loves cats, especially if the neighbourhood is occupied by many cats. Whether they are owned, semi-owned or stray and feral, cats become a nuisance in several ways. They can

  • trespass on a neighbour's property and cause damage to garden beds by defecating or create health concerns in children's sandpits;
  • cause undue noise due to fighting with owned or stray cats;
  • call and cry when seeking a mate;
  • spray offensively on front doors, mats and other areas; or
  • attack and kill wildlife.

Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, it is an offence for a cat to remain on private property without permission and landowners or occupiers may trap cats (both owned and unowned) found trespassing on their property.

For Council to take enforcement action against a cat that is continually trespassing, the cat will need to be trapped and given to Council on more than one occasion. Once it has been established that the same cat is reoffending, Council can issue a Notice of Objection to the cat owner objecting to the presence of that cat being on your property. Customers need to be aware that if a Notice of Objection is issued, that their address will be identified.

If the cat continues to trespass Council, then may issue a fine/s to the cat owner each time it is impounded.

Request a cat trap

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