Cat ownership laws and fines

Laws relating to cat ownership are set out by the Companion Animals Act 1998  and the Companion Animals Regulation 2018.

  • All cats must be microchipped from the time the cat is 12 weeks old or earlier if they are sold or given away
  • 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
  • If your cat was born before 1 July 1999, it must have either a collar and an identification tag or be microchipped
  • All cats must wear a collar and identification tag or microchip when outside their property – visit this page to order a free engraved pet tag (conditions apply)
  • All cats are prohibited from being within 10 metres of a food preparation/consumption areas (meaning any public place, or part of a public place, that is within 10 metres of any apparatus provided in that public place or part for the preparation of food for human consumption or for the consumption of food by humans)
  • All cats are prohibited from wildlife protection areas (meaning any public place or any part of a public place set apart by the local authority for the protection of wildlife and in which the local authority ordered that cats are prohibited for the purposes of the protection of wildlife and in which, or near the boundaries of which, there are conspicuously exhibited by the local authority at reasonable intervals notices to the effect that cats are prohibited in or on that public place)

Offences and penalties

Below are some examples of common offences under the Companion Animals Act 1998  and the Companion Animals Regulation 2018  encountered by Council, along with their associated penalties.

Offence On the spot penalty Local Court penalty
Animal not permanently identified (microchipped) Minimum penalty: $180 – $1,320 Maximum penalty: $880 – $5,500
Animal not registered Minimum penalty: $330 – $1,320 Maximum penalty: $880 – $5,500
Cat not wearing identification Minimum penalty: $180 Maximum penalty: $880
Owner/person in charge of cat found in a prohibited place Minimum penalty: $180 Maximum penalty: $880
Failure to comply with nuisance cat order Minimum penalty: $165 Maximum penalty: $330 – $880


Lodge a cat complaint


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Page last updated: 20 Sep 2023