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Feral and Roaming Cats

Domestic cats are terrific companions. While there are many responsible cat owners in our area, some cats are allowed by their owners to roam freely into our local bushland, other people’s yards or public land. The 2021 Biodiversity Study recorded roaming cats in several sensitive bushland reserves.

Roaming cats harm our native wildlife and can get themselves injured or killed by crossing roads. If you own a cat, Council supports keeping it indoors or preventing it from leaving its yard. This will help keep it safe and avoid further damage to our native animals.

Please note, all cats must be registered via a microchip by law. From 2020, costed annual permits are now required for owners of non-desexed cats. To find out how to microchip your animal or apply for permits, visit the Office of Local Government website.

What is Council Doing?

Following public exhibition in May 2022, Council adopted a Wildlife Protection Area Policy declaring 19 Wildlife Protection Areas in bushland reserves prohibiting the harmful presence of cats and off-leash dogs which can now be enforced.  The Georges River Biodiversity Study 2021 recommended declaring these 19 reserves as Wildlife Protection Areas due to the following combined reasons:
  Conservation classification of the sites.
      Presence of any threatened fauna species at the sites.
        Council management of the land.
      Presence of cat and/or off-leash dog, or predation threat recorded at the sites.

You can view the Wildlife Protection Areas in Appendix A of the Wildlife Protection Area Policy or by visiting the Neighbourhood Maps.

All visitors to a Wildlife Protection Area are encouraged to be aware of roaming cats or off-leash dogs. Any sightings are to be reported to Council via the Contact us webpage.

An authorised officer may seize and remove cats or dogs off-leash found in declared Category 2 Wildlife Protection Areas. Fines apply.

How Can You Help?

You can report feral cat sightings on the Feral Cat Scan website.

You can also help protect our native wildlife in Georges River by following these tips:

  • Keep your cat indoors at night and contained on your property during the day.
  • Consider installing special cat netting along fences and walls to prevent your cat climbing over.
  • Do not feed ‘stray’ cats.
  • Create a cat adventure playground at your home using mesh enclosures.
  • Desex your cat.

More information on Feral Cats can be found online at the Department of Climate Change, Energy, The Environment and Water.

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