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The Law and Trapping of Cats
Am I bound by law to confine my cat?
No, you are not bound by law to confine your cat at this stage. However, Council strongly recommends for the benefit of your cat, your neighbours and local wildlife that you keep your cat indoors at night.
Do I have to identify my cat with a collar or microchip?
No. However, cats without identification can be trapped either by the public or by Council and the cat can then be humanly disposed of. If your cat is unidentified and spends time outside, it is recommended you identify your cat with a collar and/or microchip. Collars are available from most pet shops and supermarkets; a metal disk with a contact phone number will also help should your cat become lost. Cats with an implanted microchip sometimes have an “M” tattooed in one ear. Your vet or the Animal Welfare League Tel. 08 8348 1300 can advise you.
Can I be fined if I don’t identify my cat or if my cat wanders from my property?
Cat owners have a responsibility to ensure their cat does not become a nuisance to their neighbours. Council may take action against a cat owner in relation to their cat becoming a nuisance under the Local Government Act. If your neighbour’s cat is becoming a regular nuisance, please contact Council to find out how Council may be of assistance to you. An unidentified cat may be trapped or caught and destroyed by an authorised organisation.
How can I deter cats from coming into my yard?
Many people claim cats can be repelled by scattering cayenne pepper, paprika, naphthalene flakes, or camphor around the garden although the results of doing so have not been proven. Citronella, eucalyptus oil or Dettol mixed with biodegradable cat litter and scattered around the garden is useful or try dribbling some of these solutions onto a tea bag or two or even some cotton balls and leaving them scattered around your garden. Commercial repellents such as Get Off My Garden and Skunk Shot are helpful. Your local pet shop, garden shop or hardware store may stock these commercial repellents.
Can I trap or catch stray cats?
Yes. You can trap or catch an unidentified cat but you cannot enter another person’s property to trap a cat without permission. Council Officers can advise you.
Can I hire a cat trap from Council?
Yes. Council has traps available to residents for a maximum hiring period of two weeks, with a deposit and daily hire fee (please refer to the fee schedule) The deposit will be refunded in full if the trap is returned undamaged.
Will Council collect a trapped cat?
No. You must take the cat to a vet, the Animal Welfare League, or the RSPCA within 12 hours. The responsible organisation will dispose of the cat or have it destroyed, once the cat has been checked for a microchip.
Can I ask Council Officers to trap a cat?
No. Council does not have facilities to hold or to destroy cats. However, in special circumstances i.e. Elderly or disabled residents, Council Officers will set up traps and assist with collection. Commercial pest control services will trap and remove problem or feral cats at your expense.
What must I do if I catch or trap a cat that has a collar or is tattooed with “M” in its ear?
You must release the cat immediately. The penalty for removing or interfering with the identification on is a maximum penalty of $5,000.
Use & Booking of Cat Cages
You may book a cat cage by telephoning Customer Services on 08 8522 9211. There is usually a waiting list for the cages, and your Customer Service Officer will advise the expected waiting time
Some Do’s and Don’ts
Do: Check that you have not accidentally trapped an identified cat (eg. a cat wearing a collar or micro-chip).
Don’t: Enter another property unlawfully in order to trap a cat.
Do: Within 12 hours of trapping an unidentified cat either release it, or take it to a vet or the Animal Welfare League, Cormack Road, Wingfield, open 10:00 am to 3:00 pm seven days a week.