Owning a cat

1.Overview

As a cat owner you have a responsibility to care for the welfare of your pet and to ensure that the keeping of your cat does not adversely interfere with your neighbours.

Please consider the impact your animal may be having on your neighbours should it be causing a nuisance by damaging property or creating offensive noise. The responsibility for your animals actions rests with you.

2.Microchipping and registration

If you got your cat before 1 July 1999, it must have a microchip or collar and ID tag. Your cat does not have to be registered on the NSW Pet Registry unless there has been a breach of the Act, for example a nuisance order has been placed or it is taken to an animal pound.

If you got your cat after 1 July 1999, your cat must be chipped by 12 weeks of age and lifetime registered on the NSW Pet Registry by 6 months of age.

3.Collar and tag

Cats born before 1 July 1999 must wear a collar and tag. Cats born after this date must be microchipped. Owners are encouraged to microchip and tag their cat to identify them.

4.Roaming cats

Unlike dogs, cats are allowed to roam in public places and onto private property. Cat owners are encouraged to keep their cat in at night to minimise antisocial behaviour and the hunting of other animals.

If a cat causes proven noise nuisance or property damage through its roaming, then Council may impose restrictions to stop the nuisance from occuring.

Cat owners must ensure that their cat stays out of restricted areas including food preparation and wildlife protection areas. 

5.Animal attacks

Owners of cats are encouraged to train them to stay inside at night to reduce the chance of them fighting or hunting other animals.

6.Nuisance animals

You need to consider the impact that your cat may have on your neighbours should it be causing a nuisance by harassing or roaming. The responsibility for your animal's actions rests with you. The Companion Animals Act, which governs Companion Animals, provides significant penalties for irresponsible pet owners.

A cat that roams, sits in your garden or on your car does not constitute a nuisance under the Act. Council requires evidence that shows that actual damage is occurring to prove an offence i.e. scratches on the car, damage to the flowerbed etc.

A cat may also be declared a nuisance cat if it persistently makes noise, which unreasonably interferes with the wellbeing of your neighbours, or if it repeatedly damages other people's property. Photographs and documentation of dates, times and the actual nuisance may be required to assist Council in taking appropriate action.