While there are currently no cat confinement laws in the City of Rockingham, your cat can benefit from being kept indoors.
- Cat confinement reduces the risks of:
- injury or death from vehicles
- getting trapped
- diseases and parasites and infectious diseases
- killing wildlife
- getting lost or stolen
- poisoning (intentionally or accidentally)
- injury or death from other cats, dogs or other predators (snakes etc)
- conflict with your neighbours
Training your cat to stay indoors
Contrary to popular belief, cats do not need to roam. Provided their basic needs are met, cats can enjoy longer and healthier lives when confined at night or even for 24 hours a day.
You can train your cat to accept confinement by:
- skipping its morning feed and calling it in at night to be fed – don’t feed your cat until it comes inside, it will learn to be home by dusk
- keep your cat inside until morning
- ensure your cat has a cosy and well-ventilated sleeping area with food, water and a clean litter tray. It will adapt to night time confinement within a few days.
If you are confining your cat for a longer period of time, it is necessary to enrich their environment. This will prevent them from becoming bored and developing behavioural problems. Cats can still explore the outdoors through an escape-proof cat enclosure.
Cats can enjoy a wonderful life confined to their owners property, especially if trained to stay indoors from a kitten.
Key considerations to keeping your cat healthy and happy at home:
- Provide plenty of cat climbing spaces, such as ladders, hiding places made from boxes, scratching posts and levels to keep you cat entertained and challenged.
- Cats enjoy the sunshine, so be sure to provide a sunny spot for them to bask in, along with shade when it gets too hot.
- Keep litter trays clean and away from food and water.
- Always get your kitten desexed to make sure they are safe from unwanted pregnancies.
- Exercise your cat with daily play and interaction.
- Consider building a cat enclosure or outdoor aviary so your cat can get the sensory benefits of being outside (such as the smells and sunshine) in a way that’s safe for them and for wildlife.
The Cat Act 2011 requires all cats over the age of six months to be registered with the local government. Cat owners need to provide proof that their cat has been sterilised and microchipped. The registration period runs from 1 November through to 31 October each year (regardless of the date when the cat is actually registered)
A pensioner concession of 50% applies to holders of a current Pensioner Concession Card or either a Centrelink or Department of Veterans' Affairs 'Commonwealth Seniors Health' Card. These need to be provided to claim the concession.
If you are registering your cat for the first time, you can download and complete the cat registration form together with the sterilisation and microchip declaration form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or bring it into the City Administration with your payment.
If you have received a cat registration renewal from the City, you can pay your renewal online.
How many cats can I keep?
The City of Rockingham Cats Local Law 2018 restricts the amount of cats that can be kept on a property. The limitation does not apply to animal management facilities or properties that have been established as a veterinary hospital or clinic.
Currently, under the City’s local law all residential properties can keep up to two cats. You can apply to keep more than two cats by submitting the application form below.
Please note that all cats listed on your application must be over the age of six months, registered, sterilised and microchipped before you submit the form. Kittens under the age of six months should not be included in the application.
Further information about limitations and applying for an exemption can be obtained from Ranger Services on 9528 0333.
It is a requirement by law that all cats over the age of six months be registered with the local government. To register, cat owners need to provide proof that their cat has been both sterilised and microchipped.
Cats are able to get pregnant from the age of four months and could give birth to 180 kittens in their lifetime. To avoid this, you should sterilise your cat sooner rather than later. Sterilised cats are healthier, live longer and are less of a nuisance to the community. (Sterilised male cats wander less and their urine does not have a high hormonal odour, so does not attract other cats).
Uncontrolled cats mating or fighting at night is a major source of noise complaints to local governments and can be very annoying for other residents.
There are a number of ways you can better care for the health and welfare of your pet cat and ensure that you are adhering to the law:
- Desex your cat.
- Microchip your cat and making it wear a collar. Many lost or injured cats are not reunited with their owners simply because they have no identification.
- Never dump unwanted cats or kittens.
- Prevent your cat from roaming.
- Provide ample opportunities for your cat to engage in play.
If you are unable to care for your cat, there are a number of rescue and rehoming organisations which could help, including the RSPCA or Cat Haven.
There are currently no laws that prohibit domestic cats from roaming.
There are various methods to deter nuisance cats from your property such as laying chicken wire over your garden beds and purchasing commercially available cat repellant or ultra sonic devices. In many cases, the best solution to wandering or nuisance cats is a polite conversation with the owner to express your concerns.
If you continue to have problems with nuisance cats, contact our Rangers on 9528 0333.
Feral cats present a danger to the environment through their hunting practices, ability to spread disease and potential to cause injury to domesticated pet cats. They also cause a nuisance by fighting at night and damaging property by territory marking.
We encourage cat owners to be responsible by ensuring they fully comply with the Cat Act 2011. Under the Cat Act, your cat must be registered, microchipped, sterilised and be wearing registration tags.
Our Ranger Services can assist residents by hiring out cat traps to be set on private property but are not actively involved in trapping feral cats. There is a high demand for traps and you may be placed on a waiting list. Rangers will collect cats that are trapped using City-issued cat traps and either impound the cat or deal with it according to the provisions of the Cat Act 2011. All impounded cats are subject to Animal Management Facility fees prior to release. Cats that are registered and/or microchipped will be held for seven days, and those that Rangers cannot identify an owner will be held for three days.
We encourage residents who believe a feral or stray cat is on their property to contact surrounding neighbours to confirm this.
Rangers will issue traps to residents and provide instruction on its use. It is important for the user of a trap to follow these instructions as you will be responsible for a trapped cat’s welfare until it can be collected by a Ranger.
Please also note there are currently no laws restricting cats from wandering or being in public places.