Being a responsible cat owner

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Inner West Pets

Responsible cat ownership


Cat owners are encouraged to follow the guidelines below

  • Microchip your cat before 12 weeks old or earlier if they are sold or given away

  • It's highly recommended that all cats wear an I.D. pet collar or tag, displaying the owner's details. Visit this page to order a free pet collar or tag (conditions apply)

  • Lifetime registration: all cats born after 1 July 1999 must be lifetime registered by the time they are 6 months of age or when they are sold or given away

  • Annual permits: from 1 July 2020 cats must be desexed by 4 months of age or an annual undesexed cat permit fee may apply

  • Desex your cat to prevent unwanted kittens and minimise cat population problems, excessive roaming and unwanted territorial behaviour

  • Attach two bells to your cat's collar to prevent attacks on native birds

  • Keep your cat inside between dusk and dawn and monitor your cat's activities during the day

  • If you go away, make arrangements for a responsible person to stay with your cat or place your cat in a boarding facility

  • If your cat was born before 1 July 1999, it must have either a collar and an identification tag or be microchipped


Companion animal management

Introduced by the NSW State Government in 1998, The Companion Animals Act 1998 (the Act) and the Companion Animals Regulation 2018 (the Regulation), are to provide for the effective and responsible care and management of companion animals. A companion animal is currently defined under the Act as a dog or cat.

The Act and the Regulation replace the Dog Act 1966 and provide legislation for the identification and registration of companion animals and for the duties and responsibilities of their owners.

The Act and the Regulation came about in response to community expectations about the role and place of dogs and cats in society. The new State Government approach to companion animal management has provided Council with an opportunity to develop a strategic response to managing pets in our community.

Learn more about Inner West Council's Companion Animal Action Plan 2019-23

Pets in the City

The Petcare Information and Advisory Service has produced a guide called Pets in the City.  This guide helps people decide whether they should have a pet, what the most suitable pet may be for them and their family, and how to enjoy life with a pet. Both potential pet owners and current pet owners would benefit from reading this guide.

We are Family

We are Family is a guide to nurturing the child-pet relationship; from pregnancy to preschool. 

Benefits of companion animal ownership

Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. More than eight out of ten Australians have owned a pet at some stage of their lives and almost two-thirds of Australian households currently own pets.

Research has shown that pets provide owners with both psychological and physiological benefits and the majority of these owners are healthier than those without pets.
- The Power of Pets, Australian Companion Animal Council, 2009.

The Australian Companion Animal Council incorporated is a non-profit organisation. It is the leader and voice for the pet care industry on the benefits of socially responsible pet ownership in Australia. Visit their website for more information on the benefits of companion animal ownership.

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Page last updated: 29 Oct 2022