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Cat Ownership Rules and Management

Cat Registration

All cats must be sterilised, microchipped and registered at six months of age. For more information on how to register your cat, visit our cat registrations page.

Whenever they are in a public place, all cats must wear their collar with their registration tag.

Dealing with a Nuisance Cat

Talk to Your Neighbours

  • If you know who owns the cat, talk to the owner. Often they will be apologetic and make and effort to rectify the problem
  • If you are not comfortable speaking directly with your neighbour, an anonymous Cat Card that provides information on the new cat laws can be dropped in their mailbox.

Use Natural Cat Deterrents and Repellents

The following may deter cats:

  • Citrus fragrance (scatter orange or lemon peels or spray with citrus)
  • Coffee grounds
  • Oil of lavender
  • Garlic
  • Cinnamon
  • Lemongrass
  • Citronella
  • Eucalyptus
  • Vinegar sprayed on areas where they roam
  • Pine cones and heavy bark mulch (cats don't like the feeling on their feet)
  • Dried nut of bean shells, broken egg shells, holly leaves, or rock mulch.

Plant Natural Cat Deterrent Plants

The following plants are also natural deterrents:

  • Curry plant - Helichrysum augustfolium, Geranium - Pelargonium
  • Rosemary - Rosmarinus officinalis
  • Scaredy cat plant - Plectranthus caninus , Lemon thyme - Thymus citriodorus
  • Lavender - Lavandula augustifolia, Pennyroyal - Mentha pulegrium.

Use Commercial Cat Repellent Products

You can purchase commercial cat repellent sprays and gels from plant nurseries, vets and pet stores. These methods will only work if the cat does not like the smell of the product. Do not use a disinfectant that contains ammonia, as this may attracts cats to the area.

Another suggestion is to fill a 2 litre plastic bottle with water. This magnifies movement on the other side and may deter cats.

For more information on cat deterrents/repellents, download and read the Cat Problems In Your Garden Fact Sheet.

On the Spot Fines

As per the Cat Act 2011, please see below for a list of cat offences and the penalty.

Swipe to see more

Nature of OffenceCost
Unregistered cat$200
Failure to ensure cat is wearing its registration tag in public$200
Removing, or interfering with, a cat's registration tag$200
Failure to ensure cat is microchipped$200
Removing, or interfering with, a cats microchip$200
Failure to ensure cat is sterilised$200
Identifying a cat as sterilised that is not$200
Transfer of a cat this is not microchipped (And is not exempt)$200
Transfer of a cat that is not sterilised (And is not exempt)$200
Failure to notify local government or microchip database company of a new owner$200
Failure to notify local government or microchip database company of change of details$200
Breeding cats, not being an approved cat breeder$200
Failure to carry, produce or return a certificate of authority$200
Refusal by alleged offender to give information on request$200

Cat FAQs

What does the Cat Act 2011 mean for me and my cat/s? 

As well as being sterilised, microchipped and registered with their local government, your cat will be required to wear a collar and registration tag to ensure they can be easily identified and returned to you if they become lost. View the Cat Act 2011.

The Department of Local Government is responsible for administering the Act.

What concessions are available for seniors?

Pensioners only need to pay half the prescribed registration fee if they have a Pension Concession Card or both a Commonwealth Seniors Card and a State Seniors Card.

What do I need to know if I am selling my cat?

When a cat is sold or given away, the seller must ensure the cat is microchipped and sterilised prior to transfer. If the cat cannot be sterilised due to its health or age, the seller must issue a prepaid sterilisation voucher to the new owner.

My cat is very old – do I still need to have it sterilised?

Yes, the legislation applies to all cats of all ages. However, your vet can issue an exemption certificate if sterilising your cat is likely to have a negative impact on your cat’s health and welfare.

Is there any subsidy available for sterilisation?

The City of Melville has a scheme that subsidises the cost of sterilising their cats to the value of $40 per cat. The subsidy can be claimed after the cat is sterilised by completing an application form and providing proof of sterilisation from the vet. This subsidy can only be claimed three times a property, and you must submit your claim in the same financial year that the cat was sterilised.

The City accepts no responsibility for any injury, loss or damage resulting from the scheme or any operation.

How does the Cat Act 2011 affect cat breeders?

The legislation requires that a person who chooses to breed cats must apply to their local government for a permit.

Download the Application Form to Apply for a Permit to breed cats. Once filled out mail, post or in deliver in person.

For more information view the Cat Breeder Fact Sheet.

How do I get my cat microchipped? 

A vet, vet nurse or a person with the relevant qualifications from a registered training provider is able to implant a microchip in your cat. 

For more information on microchipping, contact your regular vet.

What are the benefits of microchipping? 

Microchipping your cat make it easier for you to be reunited if they were to get lost. Any ranger or vet can scan the microchip to reveal your contact details. If your cat is impounded and they are not microchipped, you may be liable for a fine. 

What happens if I do not get my cat microchipped? 

When you register your cat, you will be required to provide proof that the cat has been microchipped by providing the microchip number. A person who fails to ensure their cat is microchipped may be liable for a penalty.

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