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Cat curfew to start in April

Knox will proceed with a 24-hour cat curfew from 10 April 2022, requiring cats to be kept on their owners’ premises at all times.

The curfew is designed to protect pet cats from injury and illness as well as protecting local wildlife and reducing problem behaviours for neighbours like spraying, fighting and property damage. It was originally slated to commence from 1 October 2021.

Knox City Council Mayor, Cr Lisa Cooper said the new start date would allow cat owners more time to prepare their property and their pets.

“We recognise that households are facing a lot of additional challenges at the moment due to COVID-19 and ongoing restrictions. Giving cat owners another six months to prepare will allow more time to secure fencing and ensure there is suitable stimulation available to keep cats safe and happy at home,” said Cr Cooper.

“Animal behaviour experts agree cats can live healthy, fulfilling lives both indoors and outdoors without leaving the property and the extra six months will assist those with older cats to work on the behavioural changes needed.

“This curfew is not about catching out people for one-off incidents or honest mistakes. When the six month grace period has ended in October 2022, we’ll continue to educate and work with cat owners to keep our feline friends safe, focusing enforcement on repeat or problem behaviours.”

It is already an offense under state law for a cat to repeatedly trespass on another’s property. More information on the cat curfew, including resources for keeping cats safe and happy at home, can be found at knox.vic.gov.au/cats

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