Cat Management Further Information
Cat Management Further Information
Neighbourhood Cat Problems
Community concern about cats, both owned ('pet' or domestic cats) and unowned (stray or feral) stems from a number of factors.
Straying or wandering cats may cause a number of nuisance problems. These include property damage, pollution (noise, odour, faeces), harassment of other pets and annoyance via intrusion.
Stray or wandering cats have been implicated in a number of health issues. There is a risk to public health with the possibility of transmission of toxoplasmosis, ringworm and fleas. Stray cats can also transmit feline diseases to owned cats.
Limits on the number of cats
Council has a By-Law in place that limits the number of cats that can be kept on a property to two. Should you wish to keep more than two cats you will need to contact Council for approval.
Should you keep more than the allowable number of cats without obtaining Council approval can result in you incurring an expiation notice of $187.50.
What Can You Do?
Cats should be encouraged to stay indoors from dusk to dawn. Not only does this help to protect the wildlife, it protects your cat/s. Nocturnal cat fights can leave your pet requiring veterinary attention and cats are also more likely to be run over at night.
You should also consider installing a enclosed cat run where cats can exercise outdoors on your property but are contained and can not wander into other neighbours or public property.
More cats end up losing their lives through lack of identification than through any other cause. Identify your cat/s with a collar and tag or microchip and tattoo to ensure this does not happen to your companion cat.
Desexing solves a large percentage of cat problems when coupled with responsible cat ownership. Desexing will reduce caterwauling, 'tom-cat' urine spraying, wandering and fighting over females. Desexing your cat also eliminates the possibility of unwanted kittens.
Maintain your cats health with annual vet visits, a nutritionally balanced diet, protection against fleas and other parasites and lots of love and attention.
Neighbour Friendly Cats
It is your responsibility to control your cat and prevent it from annoying neighbours. If complaints are received from your neighbours, you must prevent your cat/s from entering onto their premises.
Cats are active animals that love to run, jump and climb and it can be difficult to confine them to your yard if you do not provide adequate facilities for them.
- Provide your cat/s with a well-turned mulched area for use as an 'outside toilet'
- Fencing can be adapted to discourage your cat/s from leaving your property
- An enclosed 'cat run' can provide outside activity and ensure that your cat is kept safely on your property
If you have any questions regarding this or any other aspect of the law and your cat, contact Council on 633 9720.
Does your garden have a cat problem?
Council often receives complaints about stray and wandering cats entering adjoining premises and causing a nuisance.
Apart from relying solely on your neighbour to fix the problem, it is often beneficial to work with your neighbour to resolve the problem, and there are certain deterrents that you can try around your home to prevent cats from entering onto your property.
Squirting the cat with a hose is a good deterrent, and a cat who has been 'caught' several times may be reluctant to return. This does not harm the cat, and the best results are achieved from squirts to the flank, not the face.
If the cat visits a particular area in your yard for sunning itself, defecating or urinating, it is important to break the habit. This may be achieved in a number of ways. Squirting with the hose or making a loud noise to startle the cat are the easiest and cheapest methods. However, the cat will associate the unpleasantness with your presence and may return later when you are not around. Keeping the area consistently wet should deter the cat from digging in the ground or sunning in that particular area.
Placing citrus peel, sprigs of rue (herb), naphthalene flakes, or sprinkling pepper on the problem area until the habit has broken may provide a useful deterrent for some cats. Cat repellent sprays and gels (available from plant nurseries or vets) may also be successful at repelling some cats. These methods will only work if the cat does not like the smell of the product. If the cat likes the smell it will not work and may even attract the cat to the area.
Another deterrent that can be used for a particular place in your garden, is placing cacti or other prickly plants around the area where the cat visits. If the problem occurs mainly at night, painting some mouse traps black and carefully placing them upside down where the cat visits can also work. This method is particularly effective around the base of bird cages or other animal pens that cats may harass. These methods often work as the cat doesn't associate the unpleasant behaviour with a person, but with the environment.
For the above methods, it would be wise to allow at least a fortnight (2 weeks) trial to determine if it has been effective before trying a different method.
Electronic deterrents are also available which emit a high pitched sound to deter animals such as cats, dogs and possums. However, these may also restrict other wildlife from entering your yard, such as birds, and are expensive to purchase.
Many people make the unfortunate mistake of trying to clean away strong smelling cat urine with disinfectants containing ammonia. Ammonia based disinfectants will attract cats to the area. It is better to clean the area with warm soapy water, than to try to combat the smell with another smell.
The final option is to trap the cat. An identified cat must be released immediately and in the area from which it was trapped. As you release the cat however, giving it a squirt with the hose may convince the cat not to return to the area. Do not use a hose at high pressure to do this. If you trap an unidentified cat (stray) please refer to Councils animal management officers for further advice.
Should you wish to arrange a trap on your property, please contact Council on 8633 9720