Multiple Cat Permits - Frequently Asked Questions

​​​​​​​​Who should apply for a Multiple Cat Permit?

From 1 March 2022, changes to the Cat Management Act 2009 will mean tha​​t a person will not be permitted to keep more than four cats over the age of four months on an individual property.

The limit does not apply to a person keeping more than four (4) cats if the person:
  • holds a valid Multiple Cat Permit; or
  • is a registered cat breeder; or
  • holds a Cat Breeding Permit in relation to all cats in excess of four cats; or
  • is fostering a cat for a Cat Management Facility​ or an approved organisation; or
  • is operating a cat boarding facility or veterinary establishment; or
  • is minding another person’s cat for less than six months, and the owner of the cat does not reside on the individual property, and no payment is made for keeping the cat.
If a person has more than four cats over the age of four months, and none of the other exceptions listed above apply to their circumstances, they should apply for a Multiple Cat Permit​. There are two different application forms:
What if I already keep more than four cats? Will I have to find new homes for some of my cats?

No. If you have more than four cats over the age of four months, and none of the other exceptions apply to your circumstances, you will need to apply for a Multiple Cat PermitOnce your application for a Multiple Cat Permit has been received, you will receive a letter advising that you are considered to be compliant with the requirements of the Cat Management Act 2009 while you are waiting for your application to be assessed.

How many cats should a person include in their permit application?

The permit application must reflect the total number of cats a person has on their premises. For example:​

  • ​If a person has six cats, their application should be for all six cats.
  • If a person is a foster carer for a Cat Management Facility, and they also have five of their own cats, their application should be for the five cats they own.
  • If a person holds a Cat Breeding Permit​ for one cat, and has an additional five non-breeding cats, the Multiple Cat Breeding Permit application should be for the five non-breeding cats.​
Note: If you have cat under the age of four months at the time of your application, and your intention is to keep the cat after it turns four months of age, include it in your Multiple Cat Permit application. This means you will not have to submit another application after the cat turns four months of age. 

I have had more than four cats for years, why do I need to have a permit to have them now?

Allowing people to keep an unlimited number of cats at a property can result in animal welfare concerns for the cats, health issues for the owner, nuisance issues for neighbours, and potentially increases the number of cats roaming and contributing to the stray and/or feral population.

Changes to the Cat Management Act 2009 that come into effect on 1 March 2022, will limit the number of cats a person can keep on an individual property to four cats. This means that whilst you may have had your cats for a number of years, after 1 March 2022 you will need to have a Multiple Cat Permit to keep more than four cats over the age of four months.

Is there a limit to the number of cats that a person can include in an application for a Multiple Cat Permit?​

No. However, the applicant needs to be able to demonstrate to the issuing authority that the health and welfare needs of the cats, and all the conditions of the Multiple Cat Permit​ can be met before a permit will be granted.

What evidence can I use to prove my cat is desexed?

The following documents may be used to provide evidence of desexing:
  • a sterilisation certificate from a veterinary surgeon; or
  • a letter from a veterinary surgeon stating the cat has been desexed, or the cat has a desexing tattoo indicating the cat has been desexed; or
  • a microchip registration document that identifies the cat as desexed or sterilised.
All documents must identify the cat by name (and microchip number if possible). Providing false information on these or any other documents may result in your application for a permit being denied or cancelled.​

I don’t have desexing documents at the moment for all or some of my cats. What do I do?

An application should still be submitted. Documents can be provided later by emailing them to invasivespecies@nre.tas.gov.au If documents have not been received by the time your application is assessed, an authorised person will contact you.

What is the ‘notice of intention’ that I am required to publish?

A person applying for a multiple cat permit is required to display a notice on their property for 14 days to advise neighbours of their intention to hold a multiple cat permit. A person who resides on, or owns, land within 200m of the boundary of an applicant’s property, may submit an objection to a permit being issued. The notice for publication will be sent to an applicant with details of where and when it needs to be displayed after their application for a permit has been received.​

I can’t meet all the conditions of the permit. What do I do?

An applicant may still submit an application even if they are currently unable to meet all the conditions of the permit, as time will be afforded to applicants to meet the conditions of the permit.

Will a rescue or shelter need a Multiple Cat Permit?

Yes. Animal rescues and shelters will need to complete an Application for a Multiple Cat Permit - Organisation.

Do foster carers have to apply for a Multiple Cat Permit?

A person who is part of a fostering program managed by a Cat Management Facility or an approved organisation is exempt from the limit to the number of cats that are kept on their property, provided the cats are part of the foster program.

A person that is part of a fostering program managed by a rescue/shelter that is not a Cat Management Facility does not have to apply for a Multiple Cat Permit​ if the rescue/shelter has a valid Multiple Cat Permit - Organisation, as any foster carers will be covered by the rescue/shelter's permit.

If the rescue/shelter for which you are fostering cats does not have a Multiple Cat Permit​, you will need to ask the rescue/shelter to submit an application for a permit.

Any foster carer who has more than four cats over four months of age that they own, in addition to cats kept as part of a foster program, will need to apply for a Multiple Cat Permit - Individual for their own cats.

​General conditions of a Multiple Cat Permit

All Multiple Cat Permits will be subject to General Conditions that MUST be complied with. The Agency Secretary or the General Manager of the relevant municipal council may also grant a Multiple Cat Permit with one or more special conditions in addition to the General Conditions.

Permit holders should be aware that failure to comply ​with any special or general conditions listed on the permit may result in the cancellation or non-renewal of the permit.

Can additional cats be placed on an existing Multiple Cat Permit?

If you hold a valid Multiple Cat Permit for a certain number of cats and you sell or give away one or more of your cats, or one or more of your cats passes away, you can replace that cat, but you must notify the Agency Secretary of the details of the new cat.

A copy of proof of desexing and microchipping of the cat will need to be provided by emailing invasivespecies@nre.tas.gov.au.

If you wish to increase the number of cats being kept on the property, you will need to submit a new application for a Multiple Cat Permit​.

Can a Multiple Cat Permit be transferred to another person or property?

A Multiple Cat Permit​ is not transferable from person to person, nor are they transferable from property to property. Therefore, if a person transfers ownership of a cat on their permit to someone who already has four cats over four months of age, the Multiple Cat Permit​ is not transferable, and the new owner will need to apply for their own Multiple Cat Permit​.

If a person moves to another property and wishes to retain their Multiple Cat Permit​, a new application will need to be submitted.

Who can grant an application for a Multiple Cat Permit?

The Act provides for a person to make an application for a Multiple Cat Permit to either the Agency Secretary, or to the General Manager of their municipal coun​​cil​.

My neighbour has applied for a Multiple Cat Permit. Can I object?

A person who resides on, or owns land within 200m of the property boundary of a person applying for a Multiple Cat Permit can object in writing to the application within 14 days of the applicant publishing the notice of their intention to hold a Multiple Cat Permit. Applications to which the 14-day public notice period apply are listed on our webpage Objections to an Application for a Multiple Cat Permit. Objections can be submitted using the form located on that page.

What if I don’t have a Multiple Cat Permit on 1 March 2022. Will I receive a fine?

No. However, you are advised to apply for a permit as soon as possible. If you fail to make an application, you may be provided with information and advised/required to apply for a Multiple Cat Permit. If you continue to breach the legislation, you may be liable to prosecution under the Cat Management Act 2009​.​

What happens after an application for a Multiple Cat Permit is submitted?​
Once an applicant has submitted an application they will receive an email advising that their application was submitted. The email will enable the applicant to be considered to have met the requirements under the Cat Management Act 2009​ whilst they are waiting for their application to be considered. Further correspondence will follow with information relating to the display of a public notice identifying their intention to hold a Multiple Cat Permit. If clarification is needed in regard to an application, an authorised person will make contact with the applicant to ensure that a complete and accurate assessment of the application can be achieved. Once an application has been assessed, the applicant will be notified in writing of the outcome.

Why is there a requirement to display a public notice identifying an intention to apply for a Multiple Cat Permit?

The Cat Management Act 2009 provides for any person residing on, or owning, land within 200m of the boundary of the property of an applicant of a Multiple Cat Permit, to submit an objection to the Agency Secretary or the General Manager of their municipal coun​​cil.​ An objection must be made in writing within 14 days of the applicant publishing a notice of their intention to hold a Multiple Cat Permit. Reasons for the objection must be clearly set out.

How will an application for a Multiple Cat Permit be processed?

Once an application has been received, the applicant will receive an email acknowledging that the application for a Multiple Cat Permit has been submitted.

The applicant will then receive further correspondence with information advising of the requirement for them to publish a notice advising of their intention to hold a Multiple Cat Permit by either displaying the notice:
  • at the entry points to the property; or
  • in the common areas of an apartment or unit complex.
A notice on behalf of the applicant will also be placed on the Biosecurity Tasmania website:

An authorised person from the relevant municipal council or Biosecurity Tasmania, may conduct an inspection of the identified property (as required).

In assessing an application, objections to the issuing of the Multiple Cat Permit from owners or residents of properties within 200m of the boundary of the applicant’s property, will be taken into consideration.

An authorised person from the relevant municipal council or Biosecurity Tasmania, may make contact with the applicant if there are any details that need to be clarified.

The granting of a Multiple Cat Permit must not be in contravention of any relevant by-laws or other legislation.

How will a decision be reached?

In reaching a decision as to whether to grant a Multiple Cat Permit and what conditions will apply, either the Agency Secretary or the General Manager of the relevant municipal council will consider:​
  • any relevant objections;​
  • the site visit report (as required);
  • if the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a Multiple Cat Permit​;
  • if it is appropriate in all circumstances to grant the application;
  • the welfare of the cats and the suitability of the living conditions;
  • the ability of the applicant to comply with the conditions of the permit;
  • the likelihood of the cats creating a nuisance;
  • an applicant's capacity to care for the specified number of cats.
Once a decision has been made, the applicant will be notified, in writing, of the outcome of their application.

How long will my Multiple Cat Permit be valid for?

A Multiple Cat Permit may be valid for up to five years. This will be determined by the Agency Secretary or the General Manager of the relevant municipal coun​​cil​.

Can an application for a Multiple Cat Permit be refused, renewed or cancelled?​

An application for a Multiple Cat Permit​ may be denied if it is the opinion that:

If an application is refused, the applicant will be provided with a notice of the refusal and written reasons for the refusal.

Can a Multiple Cat Permit be cancelled before its expiry date?

A permit may be cancelled or varied at any time if the Agency Secretary or the General Manager of the relevant municipal coun​​cil​​​ is satisfied that:
  • the provisions of the Cat Management Act 2009​ or any other relevant Act are not being complied with; or
  • the general and/or special conditions of the permit have not been met; or
  • the situation or condition of the premises is such that the cats are creating a nuisance; or
  • laws relating to public health and environmental protection are not being complied with; or
  • a person is convicted of an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 1993; or
  • in contravention of relevant local government by-laws; or
  • a complaint is received and follow up investigation finds a plausible offence.
Notification in writing will be given in this instance, allowing the holder of the permit to make submissions as to why the permit should not be cancelled. All submissions, if any, will be considered.

Can my application be denied when it is being renewed?

A renewal may be denied if:
  • the number of cats being kept on the property is more than the initial permit has been granted; or
  • the holder of the permit fails to provide all the relevant information to renew the permit.
(If the number of cats is over four but less than the original permit was issued for, when a renewal is completed, the new permit will be issued for the number of cats being kept on the property at the time of the renewal (provided it is less than the permit being renewed).

Review of decision

A person who is aggrieved by a decision of the Agency Secretary or the General Manager of their local coun​​cil​​, may under Section 16D of the Cat Management Act 2009 apply to the Magistrates Court (Administrative Appeals Division) for a review of that decision.

Contact

Invasive Species Branch
Phone: 03 6165 3777
Email: invasivespecies@nre.tas.gov.au