The Cat Act 2011
The aim of the Cat Act 2011 (the Act) is to provide for the management and control of cats; and to promote and encourage the responsible ownership of cats. Under the Act, the owner of a cat that has reached six months of age must:
- Register their cat with the council in which the cat is ordinarily kept
- Ensure that when their cat is in a public place it is wearing its registration tag
- Microchip their cat unless exempted by a veterinary certificate stating the implantation of a chip may affect the health and welfare of the cat (it is an offence to transfer the ownership of a cat that has reached six months of age and that is not microchipped)
- Sterilise their cat unless exempted by a veterinary certificate, or the cat is owned for the purpose of breeding by an approved breeder
Rangers are authorised to enforce all provisions of the Act and may infringe and/or prosecute cat owners who choose not to comply with the requirements of the Act.
Registrations expire on 31 October in the year they are due for renewal.
Owners may register their cats for one year, three years or for lifetime. The City recommends lifetime registration for all new cats as a means of ensuring their registration remains current, and to reduce costs for the owner over the lifetime of the cat.
To register a cat the owner must be at least 18 years of age.
If you move house, even if you remain in the same local government district, you should advise the council where your cat is registered of your change of address. If you leave the district but remain in Western Australia you should transfer your cat’s registration to the new council free of charge.
The fee for the initial registration or renewal of the registration of a cat, as prescribed by the Cat Regulations 2012 is:
- $20 for one year ($10 for new registrations if application is made after 31 May for registration until 31 October of the same year)
- $42.50 for three years (no reduced fee for applications made after 31 May)
- $100 for lifetime (no reduced fee for applications made after 31 May)
The fee for a pensioner who is the holder of a currently valid pensioner concession card is 50% of the fees shown above.
Please note there are no provisions under the Act for the refund of cat registration fees once paid.
Responsible Cat Ownership Checklist
As a responsible owner you should ensure your cat:
- Is registered (to be registered your cat must also be sterilised and microchipped) and that these details are kept up to date with your council and the microchip registry
- Is easily identifiable by wearing a collar with its registration tag attached (to help protect wildlife also attach a bell to the collar)
- Is confined to your property
- Is vaccinated
- Has access to a cosy sleeping area, food, water and a litter tray
Prescribed Number of Cats is Two
The maximum number of cats permitted to be kept on any premises without a permit is two. Should you wish to keep three or more cats on any premises you are required to obtain a permit from the City. To apply for a permit to keep more than two cats please complete and submit the Application for Permit to Keep More than Two Cats form. There is an administrative fee payable when submitting the form.
It is a condition that all cats that are to be kept at the premises subject of the application are registered, sterilised and microchipped prior to approval being granted. The application is subject to the applicant demonstrating their ability to contain the cats on the premises on which they are kept, and that the premises is in good order and a clean and sanitary condition. When assessing the application, Rangers will carry out a physical inspection to ensure compliance with these requirements.
Although the City can lawfully set a condition of a permit to keep more than two cats that the owner is to contain the cats on the premises on which they are kept, there is currently no law that requires or can require the owner of one or two cats to confine the cats to their property.
To help protect wildlife and to prevent your cat becoming a nuisance to your neighbours and/or the wider community, you are strongly encouraged to contain your cat to your premises at all times and particularly at night. Whilst there is currently no legislation that requires you to comply with this, if your cat is caught on private property, and at the request or with the consent of the owner or occupier of the property the Rangers can seize and impound your cat.
Please note that should the City impound your cat an impound fee will almost certainly apply. In the event an impounded cat is not registered you will be required to register your cat, including if necessary having it sterilised and microchipped, before it is released. You may also be issued an infringement if it is unregistered. Additional infringements may also be issued if your cat is not sterilised and/or microchipped.
Dealing with Nuisance Cats
Should you experience cats wandering onto your property, there are a number of things you should try to discourage them:
- Use commercially available deterrents that are available from pet shops and nurseries
- Ensure your own pets food or food scraps are not left outside to attract cats
- Try to find out who owns the cat and speak to them. This will make the owner of the cat aware of the nuisance and increase the likelihood that they will take steps to prevent the nuisance
If you are not comfortable speaking to the owner, please call the City on 9781 0444 during business hours and we will send a Ranger to discuss your concerns, and their responsibilities with the cat owner.
To assist residents trap cats that may have wandered onto their property, cat traps are available from the City upon completion of a Cat Trap – Application and Deposit Form. There is also a $100 bond payment required that will be refunded on return of the trap to the City. If the trap is not returned for any reason, or it is damaged, the bond may be retained by the City for the purpose of purchasing a replacement trap.
Below are some useful tips for trapping a nuisance cat, and for the safe use of the trap:
- Use sardines as bait by placing them in an open plastic bag or the cut-off end of an old stocking
- Cover the trap with hessian material leaving the open end of the trap uncovered
- Traps may only be used on private property with the consent of the owner or occupier, they are not to be placed on public land
- Do not leave the trap unattended for more than 12 hours (ensure there is water available)
- If you trap a cat, contact Rangers on 9781 0444 to come and collect it (do not open the trap)
- If you catch wildlife in the trap, contact Parks and Wildlife Services on 9752 5555 to seek their assistance
Rangers will only collect cats that are secured in a trap or other suitable container. Once collected the City will deal with the cat in accordance with the provisions of the Cat Act 2011
Trapped animals, whether feral or domesticated, are to be treated humanely at all times. Anyone who is suspected of cruelty to animals may be reported to the RSPCA and may be subject to prosecution under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 or other relevant legislation.