Council encourages cat owners to take extra steps to care for their cats.
Mandatory cat desexing
Since 2010, it has been compulsory for cat owners in Yarra to have their cat desexed.
Desexing not only reduces the population of stray, unwanted animals, but it also helps cats live longer and healthier lives.
Cat owners in Yarra need to have their cat desexed before it can be registered for the first time at three months of age.
Exceptions apply when a vet has advised against desexing for health reasons or where a cat is being kept for recognised breeding purposes.
Owners will need to provide Council with a letter from their vet or a copy of their breeding certificate.
Keeping your cat safe at night
Although Council does not have a cat curfew, we encourage cat owners to keep their cats confined at night..
The majority of accidents involving cats happen at night, including your cat getting into fights, being hit by a car, getting lost or even catching fatal diseases.
Keeping cats in at night also helps reduce the growth of the stray cat population.
The hours between dusk and dawn are also when cats are more likely to kill local native wildlife.
You can care for your cats at night by:
- Simply keeping them inside your house or flat at night.
- Buying a cat enclosure from your local pet shop.
- Building your own A-frame with chicken wire
- Attaching floppy chicken wire to your fences to make them harder to climb.
Teaching your cat to come in at night
When first training your cat to come in at night, skip their morning feed and then call them in for their evening feed. Don’t feed your cat until they are inside. Your cat will learn quickly that it won’t be fed unless it is inside. Then feed your cat the next morning inside before letting them out.
Legal requirements for cat owners
If your cat continually wonders onto another person’s property without their permission it can be seized. It is important to register and microchip your cat so Council can quickly identify your pet and return it as soon as possible. Unidentified cats will be taken to the Lost Dog's Home. If your cat continues to be a problem, Council can issue an order to stop your cat from roaming, and issue fines.
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Local Laws and Animal Management - Compliance Branch