Cats

We strongly encourage responsible cat ownership. Cat owners should ensure their cat/s do not stray onto other people's properties as this may be considered a nuisance and complaints may be lodged with Council. 

Cats should be registered via DACO website (Dogs and Cats Online) using the mandatory microchip number. This is free - Council does not charge a cat registration fee.

  • Your cat's microchip number should be provided by your vet, microchip implanter, shelter or breeder. If you don't have a record of the microchip number, contact who you bought or adopted the cat from. 

Mandatory microchipping and desexing

All cats must be microchipped by 12 weeks (3 months) of age. This applies to all cats unless exempted by a vet. It should be appropriately identified with a collar and tag.

All cats born after 1 July 2018 must be desexed by a vet before they are 6 months of age, or within 28 days after an owner takes possession of a kitten.  

Many adult cats taken to shelters are obviously owned but without identification they can’t be reunited with their owners. Undesexed cats can quickly contribute to the unowned and feral cat populations. Ask your vet about early-age desexing to prevent unexpected litters.

Cat owners who have recorded their cat's microchip number via DACO website will receive a notice each July to remind them to log in and check their details are up-to-date.

To update cat details go to DACO website and:

  • Select Register
  • Select Renew registration
  • Enter the renewal code and surname
  • Check the personal details are correct
  • Check the cat details are correct
  • Add any new cats and/or dogs

Nuisance cats

Some people consider these behaviours to be nuisances:

  • digging, urinating and defecating in their yard or garden, jumping on their car, sleeping and shedding their fur on porch furniture, or upsetting an owned cat or dog.

Deterring nuisance cats

There’s a few ways you can prevent cats from entering your property or areas they’re not welcome:

  • Cats will avoid cayenne pepper, mustard, vinegar, eucalyptus or citronella oil. You can sprinkle any of these items where you don’t want cats. There are also over the counter repellent sprays available from pet shops.
  • Smear petroleum jelly - eg Vaseline, on the top of fences and posts. This will prevent cats from getting a grip.
  • Cats don’t like having wet, muddy feet. You can prevent cats from entering or digging at night by watering just before dark.
  • Cover children’s sandpits when not in use, particularly at night.

Cleaning up

Cat urine has an unpleasant odour. You can remove this by scrubbing the area with a solution of bicarbonate of soda dissolved in water, followed with a rinse of white vinegar. This is environmentally safe and an effective disinfectant, deodorant and cleaning agent. Don’t use ammonia-based cleaners as they have an old urine-type smell that will only encourage cats to urinate in the area more.

Stray cats

Often cats that seem to be strays have a home. They tend to roam and can appear to be lost. A cat that is hanging around looking for food or trying to get into your house may have a home not far away. A cat that travels through your garden or turns up daily for food or has kittens in your yard often has a family of their own. Cats will come back to a reliable source of food and feeding a 'stray' reinforces the roaming behaviours.

Do not feed a cat that is not yours. Feeding a cat that is not yours is not caring for it. Feeding unowned cats allows them to breed, continuing the cycle of nuisance and feral cats spreading disease and killing wildlife.

Common signs that a cat is passing through and has a home to return to are:

  • the cat confidently roams around in the middle of the day
  • the cat appears clean and healthy
  • the cat does not search for food
  • the cat is wearing a collar
  • the cat is friendly.

If you have a cat hanging around your property and you are unsure if it is a stray you can:

  • Ask the neighbours if their cat is missing or if they recognise the cat.
  • Put up posters around your neighbourhood asking if anyone knows the cat and where he/she might live.
  • Check lost and found groups in your area or the lost pets noticeboard

If you don't have any luck in locating an owner you can 'ask' if the cat has an owner by placing a paper collar on the cat.  This will open up the chance for a conversation with your neighbours about cats in your area. Only try to use the paper collar on a friendly, approachable pet. Don't attempt to put a collar on a cat that's unwilling to approach you or looks stressed.

If the cat is bothering you and you have located the owner or know where the cat lives, please discuss the issue with them in a friendly and practical way. Often, the owner will not realise their cat is being a nuisance. If you treat the issue as a shared problem and work on a solution together, you are likely to achieve a good result. If the cat is only a problem at certain times, you can ask the owner to keep the cat in during these times.  

If you cannot find the owner, think about taking it to a local vet where it can be scanned to see if it has a microchip, and given a health check. It may be a lost pet and this will give it a chance of being reunited with its owners.

If it is unowned or cannot be reunited with its owner, you have the option of taking full ownership of the cat or it can be adopted. If you decide to keep a stray cat, you need to be prepared to have it desexed, microchipped and consider containing it to your property. 

Litters and pregnant cats

If you find kittens on their own, please keep a good distance to avoid disturbing them and possibly scaring mum into not returning. It’s not unusual for mum to leave her kittens when she goes off to find food. Kittens have a much better chance if they stay with their mum, so it’s very important to give enough time to see if mum returns before assuming they’re orphaned. If the kittens appear to be in danger because they’re wet, cold or sick, please call the AWL (Animal Welfare League). If the kittens are very young - with eyes that are still closed and little mobility - you should monitor them for around two hours before phoning AWL as their mum is very likely to come back.

Older kittens can usually go a little longer without food, so for those who have their eyes open and can walk, you should monitor for mum’s return for around four hours before calling AWL for advice. It is best to leave the kittens where they are unless AWL advises otherwise.

If you’ve found a pregnant cat who you think is in labour:

  • Give her space - avoid disturbing her.
  • Try to locate her owner - post on local social media groups or speak to neighbours to see if anybody knows her. If you can’t find the owner, please call AWL for advice on what to do when the kittens arrive.
  • Provide food and water nearby – be quiet and keep your distance.
  • If it is a hot or cold day, provide some shelter for her but keep your distance from her.
  • Keep an eye on her to check she’s doing ok, but avoid disturbing her as it could cause her to reject the newborns.

Unowned cats

Unowned cats are dependent on human society for food and shelter but nobody claims ownership or responsibility for them. They often live in colonies.

  • Not all cats are lost. Semi-owned or 'community' cats are living happily amongst us in every urban community. With access to food and water, these cats have a high chance of survival.
  • Many cats are 'semi owned'. In other words, people care for them and feed them even though they don't consider that they own the cat. Some cats are 'unowned', interacting with humans every now and again but otherwise self-sufficient.
  • Consider taking them to your local vet to be scanned for a microchip so you can contact the owner.
  • Check the Lost Cat Noticeboard to see if the owner has reported it missing. 

Don't feed

Well-intentioned people may contribute to increases in the homeless cat problem by feeding an unidentified cat. This can attract other unowned cats to the area. Undesexed cats reproduce, creating more unowned cats which exacerbates the problem.

Instead of providing food to an unowned cat, take the cat to your local vet or shelter to be scanned for a microchip. If the cat is unowned or cannot be reunited with its owner, you may wish to take ownership, have it desexed and microchipped (if not already) and consider containing it on your property.

Feral cats

Feral cats are non-domestic cats born in the wild and are not dependent on humans for food and shelter. They often live in their immediate family group or solitary and have no or minimal contact with humans. They are not socialised to people. While they are socialised to their feline family members and bonded to each other, they do not have that same relationship with people.

Responsible cat ownership is central to reducing the impact domestic cats have on wildlife and ensuring pets do not contribute to the feral cat population. Any cat may transition from being a domestic pet to a stray cat to a feral cat.

To keep cats away from gardens, flower beds or specific areas of property, scatter fragrant items that don't appeal to a cat's sense of smell like fresh orange or lemon peels, organic citrus-scented sprays, vinegar, or oil of lavender, lemongrass, citronella, or eucalyptus.

The Council encourages cat owners to:

  • Desex their pets; removing the chance of breeding with unowned and semi-owned cats, and having unwanted litters which contribute to the population of unowned and feral cats.
  • Microchip and identify their pet with a collar and tag; increasing the likelihood that a lost cat will be returned to its owner.
  • Keep them confined to your property, a cat enclosure or indoors; keeping them safe, minimising the threat domestic pets pose to native wildlife through their hunting behaviour, and reducing the risk they’ll become lost and enter the feral cat population.

Animal cages

Trapping should only be considered as a last resort. Residents can access our cat cage loan program in order to trap nuisance cats on their property. Cages suitable for catching cats are free of charge for a 14 day period.

Council currently cannot receive cats caught as we are not able to surrender them to the Animal Welfare League or RSPCA. They are currently at capacity and closed for cat intake until further notice. You may wish to contact a vet to see if they are able to assist you.

Conditions of loaning a cage to catch cats 

You are required to notify all adjacent neighbours that you have borrowed a cage from Council to catch cats that are causing a nuisance on your property within 48 hours of the trap being set. You will receive flyers to leave in your neighbours' letterbox when you collect the cage. You will be required to complete an Animal cage loan agreement.

A trapped cat that is microchipped or wearing a collar must be returned to its owner or released immediately at the location it was trapped. This is a requirement of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995.

If you capture a cat with ownership details attached to its collar, you must return it to its owner. If the cat has no visible identification, think about taking it to a local vet where it can be scanned to see if it has a microchip, and given a health check. You must not contain a cat for more than 12 hours. Owned cats must be released immediately if caught.

Cages can be collected from the Pooraka Pound, 61 Research Road, Pooraka during business hours at a pre-arranged time.

The cage is to be returned to the Pooraka Pound at a pre-arranged time in a clean and undamaged condition. A fee of $40 for cleaning or repair will be charged to the borrower if the cage is not returned in the same condition as it was loaned. Stolen cages will also incur a fee of $90.

Requirements for the humane handling of a trapped cat exist under the Animal Welfare Act 1985. Advice on the humane cage trapping of cats must be followed and can be found below:

Humane cage trapping of cats(PDF, 160KB)  

To borrow a cage, please complete the form below.