Cat Ownership

Responsible cat ownership includes having you cat registered, microchipped and desexed, caring for their welfare needs, keeping them safe, proving a great quality of life, and complying with local requirements for keeping cats on your property.

Cats make great pets and are excellent company. Compared to dogs, they are quieter, they don't need a lot of space or exercise, are independent and cope better with being left alone when owners are at work.

For more information about caring for your cat, please visit Agriculture Victoria's Cats page.

If you wish to obtain further information or advice in relation to responsible cat ownership, please contact Council.

Council registration for cats

Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, all cats over the age of 3 months must be registered with Council. To register your cat, see our Council Registration for Dogs and Cats page.

Microchipping and desexing

All cats living in Greater Shepparton must be desexed and microchipped prior to being registered with Greater Shepparton City Council. Desexing helps to reduce the number of unwanted or feral cats and kittens. Microchipping helps Community Rangers to locate the cat's owner if it becomes lost.

Please contact your veterinarian to have your cat microchipped and desexed.

For more information, please visit the Microchipping and Desexing pages.

Wandering cats

Cats are highly valued pets in Australia, however roaming cats can cause serious issues and become injured if allowed to roam.

Wandering cats can:

  • get hit by a car or become injured in fights
  • catch fatal diseases such as feline AIDS
  • kill native wildlife (even well fed cats will hunt)
  • annoy neighbours by spraying, fighting, yowling and digging in gardens
  • become lost.

In December 1996, Council made an order under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, section 25, which makes it illegal for a cat to roam. This means that legally you are not allowed to let your cat leave your property.

It is an offence for a cat to be outside the owner’s premises at any time of the day or night. Council Officers can seize your cat, issue a notice to stop your cat trespassing or issue infringement notices if you cat wanders off your property.

If a cat is found wandering outside the premises of the owner or not securely confined to the owner's premises (as described above), the owner is guilty of an offence and liable to a penalty of up to 1 penalty unit for a first offence and 3 penalty units for a subsequent offence.

How to confine your cat

  • You can simply keep your cat in the house or flat with you.
  • Buy a ‘cat enclosure’ for your garden, or use clear netting to enclose your courtyard, alleyway or verandah.
  • Build your own A-frame enclosure with chicken wire, or adapt an aviary.
  • Make fences difficult to jump. You can try attaching floppy chicken wire to the top of your fences to make them harder to climb or build an inward-facing ledge along the top of them.

Provide your cat with what it needs

To prevent your confined cat from becoming bored or developing behavioural problems, provide it with environmental enrichment, including:

  • companionship (from yourself or another pet)
  • exercise through play (you can even train cats to walk outside on a harness and leash)
  • climbing and scratching posts, toys (like scrunched paper or balls), and hiding places (like cardboard boxes)
  • access to window ledges for sunshine, or place a chair near a window
  • plants and grass to chew (non toxic varieties such as ‘cat nip’, ‘cat mint’, oats, wheat or rye-grass).

What happens if your cat becomes lost?

Ensure your cat is wearing its registration tag on its collar at all times. If your cat becomes lost, contact the Shepparton Animal Shelter to report your missing pet. Council Community Rangers and the Shepparton Animal Shelter can identify a lost cat's owner through its microchip and registration tag.

Shepparton Animal Shelter

The Shepparton Animal Shelter cares for lost animals or when an animal’s owner can longer care for them. For more information please visit the Shepparton Animal Shelter page.