Singleton Cat Policies

A summary of policies from Singleton Council and the Companion Animals Act on Stray Cats, Nuisance Cats and Lawfully Seizing Cats in Singleton.

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What’s a Stray Cat ?

There’s not an official definition of a stray cat. Cats are permitted to roam in NSW, so they’re not stray like a dog. You can’t seize a cat that you see wandering except in specific circumstances such as if it’s in a food prep/service area, wildlife areas or if it’s dangerous. See “When can you Lawfully Seize a cat ?” for details.

When can you Lawfully Seize a Cat ?

You can lawfully seize a cat if its in a food preparation/consumption area or wildlife protection area or if the cat is a danger to people or animals.

From the Companion Animals Act (Amended for brevity)

30 Cats prohibited in some public places Food preparation/consumption areas…Wildlife protection areas. Any person (including an authorised officer) may seize a cat that is in a place in which cats are prohibited…for the cat’s own protection. If the owner of the cat is present, an authorised officer (but no other person) may seize the cat (whether or not for the cat’s own protection), but only if the owner fails to remove the cat from the place when the officer directs the owner to do so. Note: Removing the cat prevents the cat being impounded but it does not excuse the contravention and does not stop action being taken for the contravention.

32 Action to protect persons and animals against cats Any person may lawfully seize a cat if that action is reasonable and necessary for the protection of any person or animal (other than vermin) from injury or death.

What to do if you Lawfully Seize a Cat ?

Contact the council rangers or bring the cat to a vet. If you deliver the cat to a vet, we’ll attempt to find the owners or deliver to the council within 72 hours.

What if you Unlawfully Seize a Cat ?

Take it back where you found it.

From the Office of Local Government (The government agency with oversight of the Companion Animals Act)

“Any cats that are taken to a Council pound/holding facility, Vet Clinic or approved animal holding facility that are micro-chipped or not micro-chipped but aren’t feral and appear to be owned must be returned to the area they were taken from.”

What’s a Nuisance Cat?

A cat that repeatedly annoys people or damages property outside of its yard.

From the Companion Animals Act (Amended for brevity)

31 Nuisance cats…a cat is a nuisance if the cat…makes a noise that persistently…interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises, or…repeatedly damages anything outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept.

From Singleton Council – If you have a complaint about a nuisance animal, you should talk to the owner and try to find a mutually acceptable solution. If this proves unsuccessful or you are not comfortable with this approach, contact your local council.

When Council receives a complaint from a member of the public regarding a nuisance cat we first look at the complaint to see if it fits the legislative criteria. If it does, we will then attempt to speak to the cat owner in the first instance and if we can’t we will post them a letter advising them of the complaint, tips to help curb the behaviour and the possible outcomes if they do not comply and the nuisance behaviour continues.

If we receive further complaints we will then obtain statements from the complainant/s and witnesses and will then issue a penalty notice if we have been able to identify the owner. If the owner still does not comply we will then move to issuing a nuisance cat order to the owner which has strict provisions on the owner for the cat.

What to do with Feral Cats or Kittens/Litters ?

Take them to council or us at Heights Pet Hospital.

From Council – Under our infant & feral cat policy when a cat is assessed by a qualified vet and determined to be feral, Council may authorise the euthanasia of the cat. Where possible, Rangers will attempt to send infant cats to rescue.

At Heights Pet Hospital we re-home cats all year round under a charity called Singleton Kitten Pawphanage. We have limited spaces and funding for the kitten rescue, but we do what we can. If we can’t re-home kittens ourselves we send them to another rescue.

Cat Identification

Cats must be identified from 12 weeks of age with name and address or telephone number via tags or a microchip. Note: Doesn’t apply if the cat is on its own property.

From the Companion Animals Act (Amended for brevity)

29 Cats must have form of identification A cat must be identified…the name of the cat and the address or telephone number of the owner…(with) …a collar worn around the cat’s neck with a tag…(or) a microchip…does not apply to a cat on property of which the owner of the cat is the occupier…

Cat Registration

Cats must be registered from 6 months old.

From the Companion Animals Act (Amended for brevity)

9 Registration required from age 6 months A companion animal must be registered…from…6 months old. The owner…is guilty of an offence if it is not registered.

Permits to own a Not Desexed Cat

A permit is required to own a not desexed cat older than 4 months…with a 2 month grace period…so basically 6 months.

From the Companion Animals Act (Amended for brevity)

11B Annual permit required for cats that are not desexed A permit is required to own a cat that is 4 months or older, unless the cat is desexed. The owner of a cat that is not desexed…is guilty of an offence if a permit is not in force in relation to the cat. 2 months grace period applies after the cat reaches 4 months or a person acquires ownership of a cat.

More Information

If you need clarification or extrapolation check the Companion Animals Act 1998:

Call council reception and ask for the rangers: 02 6578 7290

Call at Heights Pet Hospital: 02 6573 4738

About the author: Anthony

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