Cats make great pets and owning one can be very rewarding.
Being a responsible cat owner means protecting your cat, other people’s pets, and the environment.
Contrary to popular belief, cats don’t need to roam as long as their basic needs are met.
From 1 July 2020, Council's Dog and Cat Control Order 2019 will require owners to keep cats contained to their property between sunset and sunrise and prohibit cats from our sensitive environmental areas.
Now is a good time to prepare for these new requirements.
Ways to confine your cat
Cats can be confined to your property in one or more of the following ways:
- Cat run or specially designed enclosure
- Enclosing part of a property, e.g. a verandah
- Cat proof fencing
- In a shed (well ventilated/ insulated)
Council recognises that it is easier to train kittens for confinement, however all cats can be trained to come home at night, usually by adjusting their feed times.
When cats are outdoors they can attack wildlife, get hit by cars, be injured or injure other cats, and also spread disease.
They can also spray, howl, and annoy neighbours and their pets, especially during mating season.
Aside from being a legal requirement, there are many benefits to containing your cat:
- Your cat will be healthier and live longer. It is less likely to be involved in an accident or be exposed to potentially fatal diseases
- Your cat is less likely to get lost (saving a trip to the pound)
- Your cat won’t annoy neighbours
- Less hunting and predation of wildlife, which helps the Macedon Ranges environment flourish.
Building cat enclosures and making behavioural adjustments for your cat does take time. It is therefore important for cat owners to act now before the 1 July sunset to sunrise curfew begins.
The Paws for Thought consultation into the review of dog on-and-off leash areas and the potential introduction of a cat curfew in the shire was held in late 2018.
For more information about the consultation process, recommendations and Council decisions, see Paws for Thought consultation