Dog and Cat Management Plan
Council's new Dog and Cat Management Plan came into effect on 25 July 2018. This Plan provides guidance for the management of dogs and cats across the region for the next 5 years and has been prepared in accordance with the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 and subsequently approved by the Dog and Cat Management Board.
Dog and Cat Reforms
New laws for cat and dog owners and breeders were introduced in South Australia on 1 July 2018. These changes are designed to improve dog and cat management and welfare and are the result of years of planning and public consultation.
Compulsory Microchipping and Desexing
From 1 July 2018, it is compulsory for all dogs and cats to be microchipped and all dogs and cats born after 1 July 2018 to be desexed.
Microchipping is a safe and permanent way to identify your dog and cat. The procedure is quick, with no ongoing discomfort and can only be carried out by a trained, authorised implanter.
Visit www.dogandcatboard.com.au or www.chipblitz.com for more details.
Further information about these changes is available by reading the Dog and Cat Reforms 2018 or by visiting http://dogandcatboard.com.au/news/new-dog-and-cat-laws-handy-overview
Compulsory Breeder Registration
From 1 July 2018, anyone that breeds a dog or cat for sale or trade must register as a breeder with the Dog and Cat Management Board. The pre-registry form can be accessed on the Dog and Cat Board's website.
Cats Make Great Pets
Cats make great pets and companions for families, children and elderly people. However, owning a cat is a big responsibility. Even though they are independent animals they still need to be cared for in a similar way to dogs.
As a cat owner, it is your responsibility to care for your cat by providing adequate shelter, food and water and ensuring your cat does not pose a nuisance to neighbours or a threat to wildlife and the environment.
The RSPCA encourages cats to be kept indoors or in pet-proofed outdoor areas. There are many benefits to this including the safety of your cat.
Please visit the RSPCA website for further information about this.
Do I need to register my cat?
Currently, cats are not required to be registered in South Australia, as outlined in the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995. However, as it is now compulsory for all cats to be microchipped, your cat's details should be registered in the statewide database Dogs and Cats Online (DACO). It is important that you remember to update your details in DACO if you move house or change contact details.
Limits of cats per household
Council has a by-law which limits the number of cats per premise to four (4). However, in certain circumstances, Council may give written permission to persons to keep more than four cats on their premises. To apply to keep more than four cats on your property please complete the following form:
Identification of cats
It is a requirement for all cats to be identified by either a collar which is marked with the current address or phone number of the owner, or implanted with a microchip which contains information that could be used to locate the owner. If your cat is identified and found roaming outside its property, it will be protected by the law. If you choose not to identify your cat and allow it to roam, you run the risk of your cat being collected and disposed of as an unowned cat.
Curfew for cats
Despite there being no legal curfew for cats, Council encourages owners to confine their cats to their property from sunset to sunrise.
The benefits of keeping your cat confined from sunset to sunrise include:
- reducing the risk of your cat being involved in an accident
- reducing the likelihood of your cat being involved in a fight with another animal, which may result in expensive veterinary treatment or your cat contracting a disease such as Feline AIDS (FIV – Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)
- reducing injury to native wildlife
It is known that cats kept inside at night live at least three years longer, on average, than cats who are allowed to roam at night.
Desexing your cat
Cats have the ability to reproduce from as young as four to five months old. There are many advantages of having your cat desexed at an early age, including:
- reducing the likelihood of it roaming from your property
- reducing the unwanted spraying of urine to mark territories
- preventing unwanted pregnancies, which may add to the growing problem of homeless or unwanted cats
If you encounter a problem cat in your neighbourhood, you should speak to the cat’s owner about the impact their cat is having on your property and environment. Due to COVID-19 restrictions with the AWL, Council is unable to hire out cat traps at this time.
Council is committed to ensuring nuisance cats are kept to a minimum and will actively promote the use of cat traps by residents experiencing problems with cats.
Tips for responsible cat owners
- Identify your cat so it won’t get lost or be destroyed
- confine your cat from sunset to sunrise
- desex your cat before it reaches sexual maturity (generally from four to five months)
- vaccinate your cat
- check your cat regularly for fleas
- interact with your cat on a daily basis
- provide environmental enrichment. This may include scratching poles, toys, bedding and plenty of human interaction
- ensure your cat has an appropriate place to go to the toilet
For further information and fact sheets relating to Cats please refer to Good Cat SA