Cats can be a much loved addition to households; however, cats displaying nuisance behaviour can cause problems by roaming onto neighbours’ properties, attacking other cats, harming wildlife, yowling loudly, defecating in gardens and children’s sand pits or spraying to mark territory.
Residents are entitled to enjoy their garden without cats roaming onto the property. Residents who have concerns about a cat’s nuisance behaviour should first try approaching the cat’s owner in an amicable manner. The owner may not be aware of the cat’s behaviour and will then be in a position to address concerns.
Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, residents of a property can seize a cat if it has roamed onto their property more than once without permission. For Council to take enforcement action against a cat that is continually trespassing, andthe owner cannot be identified, the cat will need to be trapped and given to Council on more than one occasion.
Once it has been established that the same cat is reoffending, Council can issue a notice of objection to the cat owner objecting to the presence of that cat being on the property. Residents do need to be aware that if a notice of objection is issued their address will be made known to the cat owner.
If, after the owner receives a notice of objection, the cat continues to cause a nuisance and continues to enter the property, Council can issue fine/s to the cat owner and may impound the cat. A signed statement or witnessed Statutory Declaration may need to be supplied to Council.
There are millions of un-owned stray and feral cats in Australia. Research has also found that a major contributing factor to this problem is people feeding un-owned cats but not taking full ownership or responsibility for them. Thousands of cats are impounded, and the majority of these have to be euthanased (put to sleep). This is mainly due to poor health, or because not enough homes can be found for them. Feeding un-owned cats isn't the answer. If you want to help you must either take ownership of the cat or phone Council to have the cat taken to the pound or shelter.
For more information about stray, un-owned and semi-owned cats – including how to take full ownership of a cat you have been feeding – or how to humanely trap cats, visit www.whosforcats.com.au
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