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New cat regulations in the City of Whittlesea

New cat regulations in the City of Whittlesea

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

The City of Whittlesea has introduced new regulations to deliver positive benefits for cats, the community and wildlife. 

From 1 August 2023, all cats must be confined to their owner’s property or under effective control when outside, and newly registered cats will need to be desexed. 

Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson said unconfined cats can be problematic for neighbours and local wildlife.  

“Last year Council received more than 1,000 complaints relating to cats. During consultation with the community, we heard from approximately 1800 people, with more than 80 per cent supporting some form of cat confinement,” Lydia said.  

“We understand that cat confinement will not provide an immediate solution to cat nuisance issues, however it will make it easier for both residents and Council to address issues more swiftly.”  

The new regulations do not mean that cats need to be kept solely indoors but require cat owners, to keep their cats contained to their property or under effective control whilst outside their property, such as in a cat carrier or backpack, cat pram, or on a leash; these are the same rules that apply for dogs. 

The City of Whittlesea has been working hard to support the community to transition to the new regulations which will create a safer and more harmonious environment for cats, wildlife, and their owners.  

“Over the past 12 months, Council has developed videos, run workshops, held community pop-up stalls, and contacted all cat owners to help them prepare for the changes.” 

“We have seen a tremendous amount of community engagement for all our activities. Our instructional videos have been viewed over 3,000 times, and we had the pleasure of hosting nearly 100 people at our six in-person DIY workshops. Furthermore, we had meaningful conversations with over 1,000 residents at 18 pop-up events in shopping centres. It’s clear that our community is eager to learn more and take proactive steps in keeping cats confined,” Lydia said. 

The City of Whittlesea will continue to support cat owners with information and resources to ensure residents are able to comply with new regulations.   

Education will be Council’s priority and fines will only be issued as a last resort. 

The new regulations will bring the City of Whittlesea in line with 37 of 79 Victorian councils who have some form of cat confinement in place; a further 17 councils are currently considering introducing cat confinement laws.  

For further information on the new regulations and tips on how you can confine your cat to your property visit