Rules surrounding stray cats and cat ownership

Responsibilities of a cat owner

Under the provisions of the Companion Animal Act 1998, cats within NSW are considered to have no boundaries and are free to roam. Due to this we are unable to seize stray cats. It is often difficult to determine someone's pet from a stray or homeless cat.

We encourage responsible cat ownership and recommend owners take the following steps so that their cat has a minimal impact on its surrounding environment. You might also like to read the RSPCA Australia Guide to Keeping Your Cat Safe and Happy at Home.

  • Ensure that your cat is microchipped and registered. Put a collar and tag on your cat.
  • Desex your cat at an early age. You will not have the worry about unwanted kittens and it reduces the chances of having a non desexed male hanging around marking his territory and yowling at inconvenient hours. Desexing male cats at an early age will reduce involvement in cat fights and the tendency of your cat to wander looking for a female.
  • Keep your cat indoors at night. Cats tend to cause the most damage to the environment during the night when they can hunt under the cover of darkness. Remember cats are natural hunters so by keeping them in at night it greatly reduces their urge to hunt.
  • Ensure your cat has adequate food, water and shelter at all times.

Stray cats

Remember cats are often people's pets. If you are having trouble with a stray cat, we suggest hiring a humane cat trap. You should be aware of the following:

  • There are penalties involved if an animal is caught inhumanely. If you are setting a trap it should be checked daily.
  • We will not tolerate cruelty to any animal and all acts of cruelty can and will be immediately reported to the NSW Police or the RSPCA.