Cats in the Community

Cats in the Community

Cats are highly valued companion pets in thousands of Australian households;  almost 30% of homes have a cat. We often don't notice cats as much as dogs due to their size and nature, however, they can still make quite an impact - both positive and negative - on our community and environment. There are a number of responsibilities you have as a cat owner. 

Council provides animal control services, handles complaints about animals, picks up stray cats and registers pets.The most humane and effective way to catch nuisance, feral or abandoned cats is with a cat trap. 

Follow these tips for responsible cat ownership and not only will you and your cat reap the benefits, but you will minimise potential disruption to the environment and the community.

Prevent your cat from wandering

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.  Cats allowed to roam freely have a greater likelihood of becoming lost and if not recovered, could join a pack of stray 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.

Confine your cat at night

To minimise disruption to your neighbours, always keep your cat confined to your premises and inside at night. 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.

Responsible cat ownership means ensuring your cat is:

  • vaccinated and has annual check ups at the vet
  • registered with Council
  • de-sexed unless you intend to allow it to breed
  • confined at night time, indoors or in a cattery, to prevent it from wandering
  • provided with a healthy varied diet

For more information please contact Council's Customer Service on (03) 5722 0888 or email

Last Updated: 25-08-2011

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