Breeding, Selling and Buying Cats

​​​​​Amendments to the Cat Management Act 2009 are changing the rules for breeding cats in Tasmania. From 1 March 2022:​

  • Anyone wishing to breed a cat must be a registered breeder or hold a Cat Breeding Permit

  • A person must be a member of an approved cat organisation or hold a valid State Government breeder registration issued prior to 1 March 2022 to be recognised as a registered cat breeder. ​The State Government will no longer be accepting applications for cat breeder registrations​​. 

  • ​The option for Care Agreements will be removed meaning people selling cats must ensure the cat is desexed (exceptions apply), microchipped (exceptions apply) and have passed a health assessment by a registered veterinarian before being sold or given away.​

Breeding cats

From 1 March 2022, a person who wishes to breed a cat in Tasmania must be a registered breeder or hold a Cat Breeding Permit.

​ Registered breeders are exempt from requirements under the Cat Management Act 2009 to desex a cat where the cat is part of their commercial business or is being used for breeding purposes.

Who is considered a cat breeder?

A person is considered to be a cat breeder if their cat becomes pregnant or causes another cat to become pregnant, irrespective of whether there was an intention for breeding to take place. Anyone that breeds a litter from a cat, even if kittens will not be offered for sale, is considered a cat breeder.

Who is recognised as a registered cat breeder?

To be recognised as registered cat breeder a person must be a member of an approved cat organisation; or hold a valid State Government breeder registration issued prior to 1 March 2022. ​

Approved cat organisations

The following are approved cat organisations in Tasmania:

Persons interested in becoming a member of an approved cat organisation, should contact the organisation directly.​

Cat Breeding Permit

A person who does not wish to become a registered breeder but wishes to breed a cat, may apply for a Cat Breeding Permit. The Act allows for a person to apply to NRE Tas or their municipal council for a permit to breed a cat. Further information on cat breeding permits can be found at our website Cat Breeding Permit.

What happens if I am not a registered breeder or I don’t hold a Cat Breeding Permit and I breed cats?

Anyone who breeds a cat who is not a registered breeder, or who does not hold a Cat Breeding Permit, or anyone claiming to be a registered breeder when they are not, may face prosecution.

Selling cats

Any person may sell a cat in Tasmania as long the cat being sold:

  • is not less than eight weeks of age; and

  • is microchipped (or a certificate has been issued under s12(2) by a veterinary surgeon); and

  • is desexed (or a certificate has been issued under s14(2) by a veterinary surgeon or the cat is being sold to a registered breeder or a person holding a Cat Breeding Permit​ for that specific cat; and

  • meets the prescribed health requirements (i.e., includes a health check and vaccination by a veterinary surgeon, and treated for internal and external parasites).

Under the Cat Management Act 2009, 'to sell' includes giving away a cat or offering to sell a cat.

​​These requirements do not apply to foster programs operated by cat management facilities, surrendering of unwanted cats to cat management facilities, and transferring stray or feral cats to a cat management facility.

Advertising cats for sale/re-homing

  • A person is not required to be a registered breeder to sell/re-home a cat in Tasmania.

  • A person who holds a State Government breeder registration issued prior to 1 March 2022 is required to include their registration certificate number in any advertisement relating to the sale of cats. 

  • The Cat Management Act 2009 does not require a person who is a member of an approved cat organisation to include their breeder number in an advertisement relating to the sale of a cat. However, individual cat organisations may require inclusion of a breeder registration number in advertisements to sell/re-home a cat.​

Buying cats

Introducing a new cat or kitten into the family is an exciting time. It also means that you are accepting responsibility for the management, health and welfare of the cat for its lifetime. You need to know what you are buying before you make a commitment, so do your homework and consider these things when buying a cat:

  • From 1 March 2022, all cats sold must be:
    - over eight weeks of age;
    - microchipped;
    - desexed;
    - have been health checked and vaccinated by a veterinary surgeon; and
    - been treated for internal and external parasites.

    If the person selling the cat cannot provide documents to confirm that these requirements have been met, as the new owner, you not only risk the cat not being in good health but also potentially introducing illnesses to other animals in your home, as well as to your family members. You will also inherit responsibility for the costs of compulsory microchipping and desexing requirements if these haven’t been met.

  • Remember to transfer the microchip over into your name after purchase. This can be done by contacting the service provider for the microchip. Again this should be given to you when you purchase the cat.​

  • Being a responsible cat owner is more than just providing love - you are responsible for ensuring the cat has access to clean water, an appropriate balanced diet, providing it with veterinary care, providing space and an environment where it can explore and express its natural behaviours such as jumping, hiding and playing. 

Registration of cats

The Cat Management Act 2009 does not require cats to be registered in Tasmania. 

Municipal councils may however, choose to require registration of cats within their municipality.

Compulsory microchipping​ of cats provides an alternative identification mechanism to registration, enabling a cat to be scanned for a microchip and its owner identified. 


Invasive Species Branch