Responsible cat care
Cats need food, shelter, bedding and much more to ensure they live a long and happy life.
There are minimum standards of day-to-day care you must provide for your furry friend.
Registering your cat and keeping your registration details up to date will help keep your cat safe. We can use the pet identification tag and microchip information to identify and return your cat if it gets lost.
Cats over 3 months of age must be microchipped and registered with Council. Registering your cat is the best way to avoid a fine. Pet registration is a state government rule under the Domestic Animal Act 1994.
If your pet is unregistered and gets lost, we will take it to Council’s pound Animal Aid in Coldstream. If your cat can be identified, Animal Aid will attempt to contact you.
Find out more about registering your cat.
All pet owners must microchip their cat. Animal Aid provides free microchipping for up to 2 cats or kittens to Knox residents.
From 10 April 2022, cat owners need to keep their cats on their property at all times.
This change is designed to:
- keep cats safe
- protect wildlife
- reduce nuisance to neighbours.
Cats are at a much higher risk of illness and injury if allowed to roam. They can live up to 4 times longer if kept on your property.
Cats can live their best lives at home when they have a comfortable environment. This could be in your home, yard or in an enclosure.
Council endorsed a cat curfew in the 2017-2021 Domestic Animal Management Plan.
A fine may apply for not keeping your cat on your property. A first offence fine is $91, based on penalty unit rates set by the Victorian Government. Cat containment is the best way to avoid these fines.
Can my cat still go outside?
Cats can still go outside, as long as it remains on your property. Cat enclosures and cat-proof fencing are some ways to stop a cat from wandering outside your property.
Cats can leave your property in a cat carrier, e.g. when taken to the vet or pet boarding facilities. You can also walk your cat outside if it is on a leash.
Resources to prepare for cat containment
It is important to look at ways to engage and enrich your animal to ensure it can adapt to its new living arrangements, for example, interactive toys.
The RSPCA and Zoos Victoria have developed a range of tools to help cat owners give their cats happy and enriched lives at home.
Other helpful resources
- Cat proof fencing
- Freestanding cat enclosures
- Building a cat enclosure attached to the house or shed
- Your cat's welfare needs
- RSPCA Guide to Safe and Happy Cats
- RSPCA video on helping cats thrive at home
- Enrichment ideas for your cat
Building permits for cat enclosures
In most cases, you do not need a building permit to build and construct a cat enclosure. This includes:
- Portable cat enclosures and portable cat runs
- Lightweight cat enclosures constructed of steel mesh material
- Freestanding cat enclosures located in the backyard less than 10m2 in floor area, and less than 2.4m in height
But you may need a building permit if you want to build a cat enclosure that is attached to your home. This includes permanent attached roofed structures, like a patio or verandah.
Dealing with wandering cats
Cats are not allowed to trespass on other people's property. If you find a cat wandering on your property, we recommend:
- discussing the matter with the cat owner. The owner may not be aware that their cat is wandering.
- printing out and dropping a notification letter in the cat owner’s letterbox to let them know their cat is entering your property.
Find out more about dealing with nuisance cats.
Compulsory cat desexing
We introduced compulsory desexing of cats in April 2011 to help manage unwanted cats in our community.
This only applies to newly registered cats, not those already registered.
Random door knocks
Council conducts random door knocks throughout Knox to check for unregistered animals.
You may be fined if unregistered dogs and cats are found.
You need a permit to have more than two cats or two dogs on one property.
Learn more about animal permits.
Contact us and we will get back to you.
Or call our Community Laws department on 9298 8000.