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Cat Curfew Consultation

image of ginger cat looking up on floorboards

Council is planning to introduce a cat curfew.

A cat curfew is a specified time that cats are not allowed outside your property.

The proposed curfew aims to not only protect cats but also the safety of local wildlife in our wetlands and conservation areas including birds, reptiles, frogs and more.

This consultation is now closed. 

What is Council proposing?

Council is proposing to introduce a cat curfew. This means that cats won't be able to leave their properties.

This will be done by an Order of Resolution. 

Why is a curfew required?

One of the most significant risks to cat over population is the impact on our environment. Greater Dandenong is home to many sensitive ecological wetlands and conservation areas.

These areas provide habitats to water birds and birds in general, reptiles, mammals, frogs and the many aquatic and terrestrial macro-invertebrates.

Council impounds an average of 700 cats per year. The number of cats being reclaimed by the owner is currently around 7%. This means the remaining 651 cats may have no “legal” owners leaving Council responsible for all costs relating to the animal’s care.

These costs can equate to approximately $216,000 per year. This significant cost is expected to increase with current management methods having little, to no long-term success.

Whilst urban cats kill fewer animals on average than a feral cat in the bush, in urban areas the density of cats is much higher (over 60 cats per square kilometre). As a result, cats in urban areas kill many more animals per square kilometre each year than cats in the bush.

Will the curfew be day and night?

Yes, Council proposes the curfew will be in place day and night.

Does this mean my cat has to remain indoors all day and night?

No, the curfew only requires cats to be contained to the property. 

Do other local government areas have cat curfews?

Yes, many Councils around Victoria have cat curfews in place including Bayside, Bendigo, Darebin, Knox Council, Mitchell Shire, Monash, Whitehorse and Yarra Ranges.

When will the curfew be introduced?

The curfew is expected to be introduced in June 2023.

If the curfew is introduced what happens if my cat is caught outside?

If a cat is trapped during curfew and picked up by officers, then the cat will either be returned to the owners or taken to a pound. If the cat is collected from a pound owners will have to pay a reclaim fee. Owners may also face other enforcement actions, such as a fine however in the first instance it will only be a warning. 

How can I train my cat to stay indoors?

There are many ways to traing your cat

Here are some tips to assist in transitioning your cat to an indoor lifestyle or outdoor enclosure:

  • feeding your cat indoors instead of letting your cat back outside as soon as they're finished eating, keep them inside for increasing periods of time
  • if you're retraining your cat during the winter, a warm, dry bed to snuggle in may encourage them to stay inside
  • installing a cat run, cat enclosure or cat-proof fencing so your cat can roam safely on your property.

Read some great resources.