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Keeping a cat in Knox

There are currently over 6,500 cats registered with Council and we deal with over 600 cat-related jobs each year.

As a cat owner, you have rights and responsibilities both to your pet and the community.

Responsible cat care

You must provide accommodation, supervision and care for your pet at all times.

There are minimum standards of day-to-day care you must provide for your furry friend.

Cat curfew

Cat owners must keep their cats on their premises at all times from 10 April 2022.

The 24-hour cat curfew is designed to:

  • protect cats and local wildlife
  • prevent cats from being a nuisance to neighbours

This means confining your cat to your:

  • house
  • shed
  • garage
  • yard
  • enclosure or similar.

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

Can my cat still go outside?

Cats can still go outside, as long as it remains on your property. Cat enclosures and cat-proof fencing are some ways to stop a cat from wandering outside your property.

Resources to prepare for cat curfew

The RSPCA and Zoos Victoria have developed a range of tools to help cat owners give their cats happy and enriched lives at home. 

Expert advice to help your cat thrive at home

Some additional resources

Building permits for cat enclosures

In most cases, you do not need a building permit to build and construct a cat enclosure. This includes:

  • Portable cat enclosures and portable cat runs
  • Lightweight cat enclosures constructed of steel mesh material
  • Freestanding cat enclosures located in the backyard less than 10m2 in floor area, and less than 2.4m in height

But you may need a building permit if you want to build a cat enclosure that is attached to your home. This includes permanent attached roofed structures, like a patio or verandah.

Before you build any attached permanent structure, we recommend you:

  • to draw up a plan
  • check with Council to see if a building permit is required

Nuisance cats

Cats are not allowed to trespass on other people's property.

Wandering cats can be picked up by Council and fines may be issued.

Find out more about dealing with nuisance cats.

Cat registration

You must register all cats over three months of age with Council. Unregistered animals will be taken to Council's pound.

Pet registration is a state government rule under the Domestic Animal Act 1994.

Register your cat

Find out more about registering your cat.

Compulsory cat desexing

Knox introduced compulsory desexing of cats in April 2011.

This only applies to newly registered cats, not those already currently registered.

Free microchipping

All pet owners must microchip their cat. Animal Aid provides free microchipping for up to two cats/kittens to Knox residents.

Early age desexing

Cats and kittens over three months must be desexed to be registered.

You can get a temporary delay on desexing if your kitten is under six months.

You must provide:

  • a written request, or
  • a vet report stating your concerns.

You can then register your kitten if you meet other requirements (for example, your kitten is microchipped).

Be aware that the registration fee for an entire/not desexed cat will apply.

Please note you must give proof of desexing before you can renew the registration next year.

Desexing older cats

Any cat over the age of six months must be desexed before Council will accept its registration.

Desexing after lapsed registration

If the cat's registration has lapsed then your cat must be desexed before Council can renew it.

Discount desexing scheme

Knox participates in the reduced fee desexing voucher scheme for concession card holders.

This initiative is offered by Australian Veterinary Association (Victorian Division) and the Municipal Association of Victoria.

Learn more about the discounted desexing scheme 

Exemptions for desexing

Cats must be desexed unless you and your cat are:

  • a member of an applicable organisation, or
  • registered as a Domestic Animal Business, namely a breeder.


Random door knocks

Council conducts random door knocks throughout Knox to check for unregistered animals.

Fines for dogs and cats found unregistered attract penalties of $330 each.

You need a permit to have more than two cats or two dogs on one property.

Learn more about animal permits.

Need help?

Contact us and we will get back to you.

Or call our Community Laws department on 9298 8000.

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