Irresponsible cat ownership has a large impact on the community. However, there is no legal requirement for a cat to be secured inside a private property. This allows cats to wander or roam onto neighbouring properties. For this reason, Council do not trap or seize stray cats.
According to the Companion Animals Act 1998 Section 31 (1), a cat is classified a nuisance if it makes a noise that persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises, or repeatedly damages anything outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept.
If you have issues with nuisance, stray or feral cats, you have the following options:
- Purchase an animal deterrent from a hardware, pet or garden supply store.
- Hire a trap to catch the cat. If you choose this option and you are aware who the owner is, you are legally obligated to return the cat to the owner. If the owner cannot be located, the cat must be transported to an animal holding facility pound. Council does not provide transportation services for seized cats.
- Advise any neighbours that own cats that you are having problems and suggest that they keep the cat(s) indoors. Please note that there is no legal requirement for cats to be kept indoors at any time of day or night.
- Do not feed the cat. This will entice the cat to continue visiting your home.
- Notify Council of a nuisance cat as defined in Section 31(1) of the Companion Animal Act (see above). For Council to issue a Nuisance Cat Order, the act or event must be witnessed by the Complainant who must be able to provide evidence that the cat is a nuisance (photos, statutory declarations, etc). You must be able to provide the address of where the cat resides.
The Hills Shire Council encourages responsible pet ownership. An owner of a cat is legally required to microchip and register its cat and put a collar with a tag on it. They are also encouraged to put a bell on its collar, desex it and keep it inside at night.