Feral Cat killing a native Australian Major Mitchell Cockatoo

Feral Cat killing a native Australian Major Mitchell Cockatoo Photo – Lisa Wilson
In November 2011 the state of West Australia’s (WA) Legislative Assembly passed the Cat Act 2011.

The legislation means all cats:

  • Must be sterilised unless being used for breeding.
  • Be micro-chipped so they can be returned if lost, stolen or stray from properties.
  • Be registered so local government can readily deal with cats without owners.

This act will take effect on November 1, 2012.

WA Local Government Minister John Castrilli welcomed the passing of legislation. “This legislation effectively defines ‘responsible ownership’ of cats,” Mr Castrilli said.

“The new Cat Act then gives local governments the power to deal with owners that are not responsible, including cat hoarders, and with cats that are not owned,” the Minister said.

“In essence, the legislation will make way for better management of the unwanted impacts of cats on the community and the natural environment, causing nuisance and damage to property.”

One of the best parts of this new legislation is that only approved cat breeders may breed cats. There is provision under the act for a Penalty of $5,000 for failing to comply with this.

Cat eating LizardUnfortunately though there is no provision for a penalty for an infringement under Cat control notices, (Part 3 — Management of cats – Division 1 — Page 11 – Cat control notices) so in this area the new legislation does not go far enough.

In Victoria the Sporting Shooters Association wants the State Government to change the law to allow hunters to kill any cat it considers a risk to native fauna. “Cats within 200 metres of dwellings or on public land should be considered a danger to native fauna. Such animals within these areas should be able to be legally destroyed,” (The thought of so called “sport” shooters running around doing this does not sit well with me.)

Also in Victoria, a Bendigo resident (reported to be a man) has posted notices on a suburban community notice board labelled “Cat death” that warned cat owners any pets caught in a trap that had been set up in the residents yard would be “humanely destroyed”.

“If your cat strays outside your yard and it disappears then it is likely that this is what happened,” the notice read.

“Responsible cat owners, of course, have nothing to fear but if you are not a responsible cat owner and let your cat stray then your cat will pay the price.”

Another story, perhaps an urban myth, is where the person trapped cats on their property shaved them with hair clippers then wrote on the cats skin with a non-toxic marker “Last chance, next time I catch kitty on my property he no come home” Then releases the cat to allow it to return home.

There are those, such as the Australian Veterinary Association(AVA), that believe that mandatory de-sexing programs do not reduce overpopulation and other problems associated with cats in the community.

The AVA also introduce a third category of “Un-owned Cats” and state that “Un-owned cats should not be fed, but should be reported or captured and handed over to the local government animal management authority or shelter for assessment and care.” and “un-owned cats should be kept for at least 7 days (or according to legislation), prior to being made available for re-homing or euthanasia.”

John Wamsley in cat hatOf note is Dr John Wamsley – 2003’s Prime Minister’s Environmentalist of the Year, who in 1990 wore a cat hat to the Tourism Awards in Adelaide. In 1990, it was illegal to interfere with feral cats destroying wildlife in South Australia. So in order to push for a change in the law he wore his famous cat hat. It changed the law and they were able to shoot cats on their sanctuaries even if it had a collar on.

Apparently, one time TV show “Burke’s Backyard” reported some years back that the Dr John Wamsley run “sanctuary sells cat skin rugs and cat skin hats. They are in need of cat skin suppliers and will pay $20 each for properly tanned cat skins.”

The Kritic has long been a proponent for the total control of cats, I have a blogs about it back to September 27, 2009. My desire for this is supported by many, even the WA Cat Act, according to Mr Castrilli, has 93% support.

So why this blog?

It’s time for all States and Territories to, at a minimum, adopt the approach that the WA Government, with the addition of a provision for a penalty for an infringement under Cat control, has taken and put in place legislation that will bring irresponsible cat owners into line.

Our native fauna is being decimated by cats!

Inside Cat = Domestic – Outside Cat = Feral


  1. Stephen said:
    4 June 12:48 pm

    I remember John Wamsley and his efforts to create a string of conservation parks. I wonder what he does these days.

    My neighbours cats are allowed unrestrained access to the outdoors. I have rung the council and they are not interested in doing anything about it.

    If I had someway of trapping them I would take them to a pound in a neighbouring council and, hopefully, they are not microchipped and are then put down.

  2. Cat Lover said:
    4 June 12:54 pm


    I’m a Cat Lover.

    But I feel I am one of the rarer owners that also love our wildlife. My cats have an outdoor enclosure where they are free to roam and are unable to harass wildlife.

    I can see no problem with making owners responsible for their pets, and, if absolutely necessary, the putting to sleep of wayward cats. (And maybe their owners?)

  3. Possum Lover said:
    4 June 1:27 pm

    I think a bounty on all outside cats is a good idea. Council rangers find it too hard to track down cats, I think this is why councils don’t make it law. As a wildlife carer I am well aware of the damage cats do.

    Cats carry Pasteurella multocida bacteria which can be fatal to native animals as well as being able to cause zoonotic infection in humans.

  4. Kerri said:
    4 June 2:36 pm

    That anyone would have a problem with the control of cats is impossible to understand.

    That governments do not see the need to provide legislation requiring cat control is absolutely ridiculous. Especially when they are hell bent on adding a revenue raising opportunity to nearly everything else.

    The Government needs to step up and control cats.

  5. James said:
    6 June 3:12 pm

    This needs to apply to ALL animals held in private captivity.

  6. Deborah Bluangel said:
    7 June 6:26 pm

    Sadly there needs to be some controls, not everyone is as responsible as they should be, keeping your cat indoors and/or building a run prevents the destruction of wildlife and keeps expensive vet bills at bay. Sterilizing and microchipping are a start but are not going to prevent the cat from killing wildlife…and many cats kill even with bells on their collars.
    If anyone disagrees they should have a look at how many unfortunate pets are destroyed each week in shelters simply because there aren’t the resources to feed and home them all.