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Council encourages all owners to be responsible for their pets. As owners it is recommended that you provide adequate housing and food along with using responsible breeding practises.
If your cat causes a nuisance to your neighbours by persistently making noise, fouling their yard or attacking animals you can be issued with a Nuisance Cat Order and an infringement notice.
Read more about microchipping and pet registration, including details around regulation.
Responsible cat ownership
All cat owners have a responsibility to their cat, their community and the environment. The Cat Protection Society of NSW works with the community for the mutual benefit of cats, people and the natural environment and offers a range of educational responsible cat ownership materials.
Visit the Cat Protection website to view videos and factsheets on Good Neighbour topics.
Cats can be declared a nuisance if they:
- attack native wildlife
- destroy other peoples property
- cause too much noise.
Keeping Cats Safe at Home project
RSPCA NSW has partnered with Tweed Shire Council to deliver the Keeping Cats Safe at Home project, which encourages cat owners to prevent their cats from roaming.
For more information, visit Keeping Cats Safe at Home (RSPCA).
Applications open - Keeping Cats Safe at Home - $500 voucher
Complete your expression of interest online form below – it’s the purr-fect opportunity to show the world just how amazing your cat truly is. Whether it’s their napping abilities, climbing prowess, or simply being adorable.
Apply below in 5 easy steps before midnight on Sunday 21 May 2023. See terms and conditions(PDF, 94KB) and guidelines for participants(PDF, 123KB).
Why keep your cat safe at home?
Keeping your cat at home has many benefits for both you and your furry friend!
Firstly, indoor cats live longer, healthier lives if they don't roam away from home as they’re protected from dangers such as traffic, fights with other animals, and exposure to diseases.
Secondly, you get to spend more quality time with your cat and watch them grow and thrive in their comfortable environment - at home.
And finally, by keeping your cat inside your property, you’ll be helping to protect wildlife. So, why not give your cat the gift of a safe and happy at-home life? They’ll thank you with endless purrs and cuddles.
Keeping Cats Safe at Home application form
10 essential tips for cat owners
- Do not allow your cat to roam.
- Ensure your cat wears a collar and bell.
- Avoid unwanted kittens, have your cat desexed.
- Have new cats registered and microchipped after 1 July 1999.
- Do not allow your cat out at night.
- Ask your adjoining owners if your cat causes any nuisance problems, and correct them.
- Do not allow your cat to enter local bushland or attack native wildlife.
- Keep your cat healthy and happy.
- Avoid nuisance problems caused by boredom.
- Make sure you really want a cat and are prepared to care for it before acquiring one.
Should I desex my pet?
All owners are encouraged to desex their cat. The cost of registration is less for a desexed animal, especially for pensioners.
- Early desexing eliminates the risk of serious diseases including reproductive cancers.
- Desexed cats grow up cleaner, healthier, quieter and more home loving.
- Desexing significantly reduces antisocial behaviour such as fighting and spraying.
- Desexed cats are less aggressive than entire cats.
What to do if you lose your cat
List your cat (if possible with its microchip number) on the Impounded and lost pets page. You are also able to update your cat's status online as 'missing' via the NSW Pet Registry. Alternatively you can phone Council on 02 6670 2400.
- If your cat is microchipped and your details are current on the NSW Pet Registry, Council will be in contact if your cat has been impounded.
- If your cat is not microchipped, check the Impounded Animals list regularly.
- Door knock your local neighbourhood and speak with your neighbours.
- Contact the local Veterinary clinics for lost/ injured animals.
What to do if you find a cat
- Check for identification/registration tag - if the cat is wearing a name tag, phone the owner.
- Ask around the neighbourhood to see if anyone has lost a cat.
- Contact the local veterinary clinics to have the cat scanned for a microchip.
- Contact Council so we can take the cat to be scanned for a microchip and reunited with its owner.
If you can't find the owner within a reasonable amount of time you are required by law to contact Council - failure to do so can incur a $550 fine. People who are missing a cat will contact us but they won't find it in your backyard.
Keeping cats indoors
There are very good reasons to keep your cat inside at night:
- all cats hunt, regardless of how well fed they are - cats usually hunt at night
- most cat fights occur at night
- most vehicle accidents involving cats occur at night
- cats can also cause considerable damage to the environment if allowed to roam.
Cats should never be fed until it is time for them to be confined. Once you invite them in to be fed, keep them in for the night. For those who don't like cats indoors at all then the garden shed or garage is a suitable alternative for confinement.
Nuisance or invasive pest cats
Cats (Felis catus) are thought to have been introduced to Australia with the First Fleet, but may have been introduced earlier from Dutch shipwrecks. There are three kinds of cats present in the Tweed: domestic cats, free-living strays and feral cats.
Studies have shown that domestic cats prey on approximately 480,000 animals in the urban environment each year! In the wild, feral cats can take six to 30 animals a night!
- can have two litters per year, with litter size ranging from 2 to 7
- prey on native animals and have caused the extinction of and decline of many species
- carry infectious disease which can spread to native animals and humans
- are at a much greater risk of being attacked by other animals and being hit by cars when roaming outdoors.
What you can do
Keep your cats indoors to prevent roaming and increase their life expectancy. Cats sleep up to 20 hours a day so provide companionship and entertainment for waking hours.
- Desex your cat. De-sexed cats typically live longer and wander, fight and spray-mark territory less than undesexed cats.
- Have a scratching post, shelves, boxes and toys to keep your cats amused. Cats love a window seat.
- Provide a clean litter tray.
- Consider having an outdoor enclosure as this protects your cat and native wildlife too.
- Cats are prohibited from all Wildlife Protection Areas.
- Report stray or roaming cats to Council as soon as you see them - call us on 02 6670 2400.