Cat curfew

To help protect animals in our community since 1 July 2021 a cat curfew has been in place. From 6pm to 7am the next day or from 8:30pm to 7am during daylight savings, cat owners are required to keep cats contained on their property.

Keeping your cat inside is firmly supported by the RSPCA as it will help:

  • Cat health, safety, and longevity – less accidents with cars, cat fights, picking up diseases or pests, or getting lost.
  • Improve neighbourhood relations – less spraying and howling, fighting with other cats, and defecating in gardens.
  • Protect wildlife – cats will instinctively hunt and kill wildlife, even if they are not hungry.

How is it managed?

The cat curfew has been introduced primarily to protect native wildlife. Council is committed to ensuring that all cat owners are aware of the benefits that the cat curfew provides for their cats, local native wildlife, and local neighbourhood.

To reduce the possibility of incurring any enforcement costs cat owners must ensure their cat is microchipped, registered, and wearing their Council-issued tag.

Council also encourages neighbours to discuss the issues of roaming cats with each other, as the cat owner may not be aware it is roaming and causing problems.

Keeping your cat safe

Keeping your cat inside will help your cat’s health and longevity, improve neighbourhood relations, and protect wildlife.

In keeping your cat within your property’s boundary there are many options to keep them engaged that will keep them happy, comfortable, and healthy. Some ideas include:

  • Having a cat scratching post
  • Food dispensing toys
  • Toys for them to chase and play with
  • Interactive toys such as laser pointers

It is vital to provide an appropriate environment to maintain your cat’s physical and behavioural health. This includes making sure they have choice about where they play and rest, as well as providing opportunities to engage in normal cat behaviours such as climbing, pouncing, scratching, and exploring.

Training your cat

When training your cat to come in for the curfew, an option to try is to skip their morning feed and call it in at night to be fed. Don’t feed your cat until it comes in. Your cat will learn quickly that they won’t get fed unless they are home by dusk. Once your cat is inside, don’t let it out again until the next morning.

Adult cats that are used to roaming outdoors may have more difficulty in adjusting to being confined. If this is the case, consult your local vet for advice. Desexing cats also reduces their desire to roam and helps prevents behavioural problems.