Responsible Cat Ownership
Cats are an important part of our community. As pets, cats are wonderful companion animals and have a range of health benefits for their owners. But, if not managed well, cats can also be a nuisance in our communities and have serious impacts on our wildlife and environment. As a cat owner you are responsible for:
- Providing the cat with food, water and shelter
- Ensuring the cat does not impact on Tasmania’s native wildlife
- Ensuring the cat does not become a nuisance to others
- Complying with the Cat Management Act 2009 and Cat Management Regulations 2022.
As of the 1 March 2022 new requirements on cat owners have been introduced, these are:
- All cats over the age of four months must be desexed and microchipped (exemptions apply).
- A person wanting to breed a cat must be a registered breeder or hold a cat breeding permit.
- A limit of four cats over the age of four months can be kept on an individual property without a permit.
- Cats that are sold or given away must be more than eight weeks old, desexed, microchipped, vaccinated, had at least one treatment for internal worms and be free of external parasites.
- A person is permitted to trap, seize and humanely destroy cats in certain circumstances.
For more information on these changes please see the below links:
- Responsible Cat Ownership in Tasmania
- Desexing and Microchipping
- Trapping Cats
- Roaming and Nuisance Cats – Frequently Asked Questions
- Multiple Cat Permits
- Breeding, Selling and Buying Cats
There are 3 categories of cats defined in the Cat Management Act 2009.
- Domestic cat – means a cat that a person may, on reasonable grounds, believe to be currently owned.
- Stray cat – means a cat that is not a domestic cat but lives in close proximity to humans and may receive from them some food, water or shelter and be accustomed to their presence.
- Feral cat – means a cat that lives largely or entirely removed from humans in the wild and does not depend for its survival on humans intentionally providing food, shelter or water.
Do not abandon an unwanted cat
Abandoning a cat or kittens is illegal. If you can no longer keep your cat you should try to find them a new home. The best solution would be to rehome your cat with friends or family, but if this is not possible you should contact a cat management facility. If they have the capacity, they will provide your cat with the best possible care and try to find them another loving home.
Don’t feed stray cats or kittens
It may be tempting to want to feed a stray cat or kitten, but this only adds to the problems associated with stray cats. Unlike owned cats, stray cats and kittens are more likely to carry diseases that they can pass on to you, your family or other pets.
Feeding stray cats may encourage other cats to move into the area, leading to a congregation of cats (a colony of cats). Feeding also increases the cats’ breeding capacity. Unless they are desexed, female cats can start breeding at 4 months of age and if they have access to food, can have as many as 3 litters of 1-8 kittens per year.
More stray cats in an area puts increased pressure on wildlife and feeding them does not stop them predating on wildlife. In fact it does the opposite by improving their stamina to hunt wildlife. Stray cats can also infect wildlife with harmful diseases such as toxoplasmosis.
Instead of feeding stray cats you could:
- Talk to your neighbour to see if the cat/s are owned by any of them. If the cats are owned, advise the owner that their cat/s are roaming.
- Talk to your nearest cat management facility about trapping the cats for possible rehoming.
- Do not feed a cat that is not yours unless you have permission from its owner.
Visit the TassieCat website for more information about stray cats.
What to do if you see a feral cat
Help us to record feral cat sightings so that we can get a better understanding of the distribution and numbers of feral cats in the Huon Valley.
The best way to do this is to record sightings on the Feral Cat Scan app on your smart phone when and where you see them. The App automatically records the location, adds them to a central database and maps the sightings so that everyone can view them.
Visit the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania website for more information about feral cats.