Cat Management

Since 1997 I have been seeking to investigate bringing in by-laws by Council to control cats. However, it soon became evident not only was political will (at both Council and State Government level) lacking, but Council staff were dead opposed too, and trotted out various reasons over the years why Council should not do it.

Finally, the main reason staff had publicly opposed looking at cat by-laws, that there were no regulations under the Dog and Cat Management Act to form a basis for such, was thankfully resolved by the State Government last year.

Yes, I did see the irony that for the best part of twenty years the Dog and Cat Management Act had no regulations to deal with cats. We have a thing in South Australia about doing part of the job, don’t we? – like the one way expressway.

So, now that Council had a legal framework to introduce such By-Laws, and I had promised many residents over the years that I would so when the law changed, I did!

And I do so having already undertaken my own research on the subject – with Councils both here and interstate, reading reports available from the Dog and Cat Management Board and elsewhere, and of course, the information put out by the professional cat lobby.

My motion to begin the investigation is below:

Cr. Basham moved that Council resolves to have a sum of $20,000 to be referred to the March 31st Budget Workshop for the study and public consultation during the 2015/16 financial year budget on the feasibility of introducing cat registration and control by laws, which, if approved, would begin in the 2016/17 financial year.
Cr. Hubycz seconded CARRIED.

As you can see, we are investigating, and no decision will be made for another year or so.

In the meantime, I will be posting relevant updates on progress, documentation and links to this page, so if you wish to be kept in the loop as information becomes available, please email me and ask to be put on my ‘Cat By-Law Information Email List’.

Of course, you are welcome to comment here at any time.


South Australia




* Picture at top of page is our cat, Macavity, a stray we rescued. It is desexed, microchipped and stays in at night.


Some very good news indeed – the State Government has passed legislation to take over cat and dog management control from councils and introduce compulsory desexing and microchipping from July 1st 2018.

This will now leave Tasmania as the only state without similar legislation.

You might wonder why I am so keen on Council losing something, and that is because, logically, stray dogs and cats have a tendency to ignore Council boundaries (poorly educated…lol) and this creates problems chasing them down and dealing with them.

Exactly what role Council will play in the future is still not 100% certain and is subject to regulation, public consultation on which finished recently:

Updates on the new regulations and laws will be posted on the Dog and Cat Management Board website, which is also an excellent source of other information on this subject:

In the meantime, if you are aware of a feral or stray cat epicentre in the Council area, please let me know so I can arrange Council staff to investigate and take appropriate action.

Also, for your amusement, I have included a transcript of a very relevant Letter to the Editor from the October 12th edition of the City North Messenger below.

This wins my Gold Plated Tin Foil Hat Award for 2016 so everyone else can stop trying now:

Humans next

THE Regulations for the Amendments to the Dog and Cat Management Act have just been released for public consultation.
They state that all kittens and cats, aged three months and over, from the proposed date of July 1, 2018, will have to be microchipped unless their owners get a statement from a veterinary surgeon that they do not have to be microchipped on veterinary grounds.
What kind of a law is this? It is a blatant infringement of civil rights and the community should be screaming.
Don’t they realise that the next step will be that all Australian human residents will have to be microchipped, and if they are not they will become illegals? This push for identification is not “pie in the sky”. It has been simmering on the books in the US for some time and concerned citizens have been fighting against it.

CHRISTINE PIERSON, President, Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc (C.A.T.S.)

Feel free to comment below…

One comment

  • Hi Councillor,
    It would appear to me that the preferred pet for irresponsible pet owners is the cat. This is because they do not have to control it in any way. I am afraid to conclude that this tag of irresponsible pet owner” also extends to politicians as they are the ones who appear to insisting on decriminalization against all other pet owners to ensure that they do not have to take responsibility for the control of their pet cats. I would like to see legislation that requires that all pet owners have complete control of their pets at all times and this includes cats. . I live live in the Northgate area and in recent times I have noticed am increase in cats living in the storm water drains as well as the odd cat considering that my outdoor furniture is its right to sleep on. This is totally unacceptable and should no be my responsibility to capture the pending”pet”.
    Please continue to promote better control laws.

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