Cat owners have a responsibility to make sure their animals are happy, safe and not being a nuisance in our community. The Cat Act 2011 is designed to encourage responsible pet ownership, reduce the number of unwanted cats and minimise the number being euthanised each year.
Being a Responsible Owner
There are a number of homes within the Esperance community who have a four legged friend as part of the family. You should be aware of your responsibilities if you are considering owning a cat. The average lifespan of a cat is 12 years. This means cat owners need to be prepared to make a long-term commitment.
To be a responsible cat owner, you must first ask yourself whether a cat is suitable for you. Be honest about yourself and the changes you are able to make to look after a cat.
Basic cat needs include housing, balanced diet, training, exercise, grooming, health, flea control and vaccinations. Cat owner’s basic responsibilities include:
- Registering all cats over the age of six months
- Ensuring that your cat is microchipped and sterilised
- Ensuring your cat wears a collar displaying council registration tag, your name, address and phone number
- Containing your cat to your own property
- Keeping your cat inside at night
All domestic cats over the age of six (6) months must be registered. All cats must be sterilised and microchipped to be eligible for registration. Cat registration will allow Ranger Services to re-unite you with your cat quickly should it wander or become lost.
It is a common misconception cats that have been given a microchip are also registered with the Shire. This is untrue. Microchips issued at the vets are completely separate to the registration tags issued by the Shire. A cat is only exempt microchipping if a veterinarian issues a certificate stating that the implantation of a microchip may adversely affect the health and welfare of the animal.
An owner of a cat that has reached six months of age must ensure that the cat is sterilised. A cat is only exempt sterilisation if a veterinarian issues a certificate stating that sterilisation may adversely affect the health and welfare of the cat or; the cat is owned, for the purpose of breeding, by an approved cat breeder; the cat belongs to a class of cats prescribed as exempt from sterilisation.
Cat registrations are valid for either one (1) or three (3) years or lifetime. The cat registration fees are as follows:
Type One (1) Year Three (3) Years Life Sterilised $20.00 $42.50 $100.00 Concession $10.00 $21.25 $50.00 Breeding Cats $100.00 N/A N/A
All cats must be identified by a microchip and are required to wear a collar and a registration tag. Identification ensures that a lost or injured cat can be easily returned to its owner and enables Rangers to easily determine if a cat is a pet, a stray or a feral animal.
To register your cat, complete the Cat Registration Form and return it, in person, to the Shire of Esperance. To transfer the ownership of a cat, please complete a formal Transfer of Ownership and submit this form to the Shire of Esperance.
If you are a current cat breeder or if you wish to breed cats, even only one litter, you must apply for a permit to be an approved cat breeder. Permits are valid for 12 months and a fee is payable.
An applicant for a Cat Breeder permit must be over 18 years of age, have sufficient facilities to breed cats in a safe and ethical way, and preferably be a current member of one of the following organisations and associations:
- the Cat Owners Association of Western Australia (COAWA);
- the Feline Control Council of Western Australia (FCCWA);
- the Australian National Cats (ANCATS).
The application fee (for grant or renewal of approval) is $100 for one year, per breeding cat (male or female). A certificate will be issued once approved.
For more information, including tips for being a responsible cat owner, visit the Department of Local Government and Communities Responsible Cat Ownership web page.
Additional information about the Cat Act 2011 can be found at the State Law Publisher.