Controlling Stray and Feral Cats

Stray and feral cats pose a risk to Tasmania's wildlife, environment and agriculture. Cats may also act as a vector for diseases that affect wildlife, livestock and humans.

The Cat Management Act 2009 allows for cat management actions on certain land types defined in the Act.

Trapping of cats

Any person is permitted to trap, seize or detain a cat on their private property (section 17(1)). If a person sets a trap, the person must check the trap and remove any animals contained in the trap, at least once every 24 hours after first setting the trap (section 17(2)).

A person, within 24 hours of trapping, seizing or detaining a cat, must either:
  • return the cat to its owner; or
  • arrange for the cat to be taken to a cat management facility; or
  • arrange for the cat to be taken to a nominee of a cat management facility.
Please read the TassieCat Guideline for the rules and processes related to trapping a cat in urban and peri-urban areas.

Humane destruction of cats

The following persons are permitted to humanely destroy a cat:
  • A person managing primary production on primary production land1 (section 17A(2));
  • A person who is the occupier of production premises2 (section 17A(2));
  • A person acting on behalf of a person managing primary production on the primary production land or a person occupying production premises (section 17A(2));
  • The owner of private premises if the location at which the cat is found is more than 1km from any structure or building used as a place of residence (section 17A(3));
  • An authorised person, or a person acting on behalf of an authorised person, in a prohibited area3 (section 18);
  • A person responsible for a prohibited area, or a person acting on behalf of a responsible person, in a prohibited area (section 18);
  • A person or organisation specified in the declaration of a cat management area4 to undertake humane destruction (section 20).
1. Primary production land has the same meaning as in the Land Tax Act 2000.

2. Production premises means premises used (a) in relation to agriculture; or horticulture; or viticulture; or aquaculture; or (b) for the preparation or storage, for commercial purposes, of food for humans or animals; or (c) as an abattoir; or for any associated purpose.

3. Prohibited areas include Crown Land, private timber reserves, reserved land and land subject to a conservation covenant under the Nature Conservation Act 2002 and State Forests and Reserves.

4. A cat management area is an area of land within the municipal area of a council declared by the council to be an area within which measures may be taken in respect of cats.

Please note: All cat management activities must be conducted in accordance with the Cat Management Act 2009 and the Animal Welfare Act 1993. Penalties apply for inhumane activities and other breaches of those Acts.

Further information

Guide to trapping a cat in urban and peri-urban areas (TassieCat)

Pestsmart - Feral cat (Centre for Invasive Species Solutions)
Is a toolkit of information and videos on the impact and management options for feral cats in Australia.

Threat Abatement Plan for predation by feral cats (Commonwealth of Australia) Establishes a national framework to guide and coordinate Australia's response to the impacts of feral cats on biodiversity. Identifies research, management and other actions needed to ensure long-term survival of native species and ecological communities affected by predation by feral cats.

Feral Cats (DPIPWE)

Feral Cats in Tasmania - Fact Sheet (DPIPWE) (281 KB)

For further information about cat management in Tasmania:


Invasive Species Branch
Phone: 03 6165 3777