Roaming and Nuisance Cats – Frequently Asked Questions

​Are cat owners required to contain their cat to their property?

There is no requirement under the Cat Management Act 2009 for owners to contain their cat(s) to their property. Keeping a cat within the owner’s property is however, strongly encouraged. A multiple cat permit and/or a cat breeding permit may have conditions to ensure the cat/s are not wandering onto other people’s property without permission. Councils may also make by-laws for containment if they so choose. Changes to the protection of private property mean that a roaming cat may be trapped if it is found on someone else’s land.

How can a person stop their cat from roaming? Is it costly?

Cats can adjust to being kept inside by gradually keeping them inside for longer and longer periods of time, and by providing them with toys to keep them stimulated. In addition, there are straightforward, relatively cheap enclosures that can be constructed, and can provide some good freedom for the cat. For example, cat netting can be purchased and installed using existing household structures  such as adjacent walls and fences. Simple, self-built climbing structures can also be easily added.

Further information on cat enclosures is available on the TassieCat website.

Is my neighbour permitted to trap my cat?

Yes. A person who owns or leases a premises may trap, seize and detain a cat found on the premises. A person within 24 hours of trapping a cat must arrange for the cat to be:

Can a person who traps my cat, euthanase my cat?

A cat may be humanely destroyed if found on primary production land or at a production premises by a person managing primary production on the land, a person who is the occupier of the premises, or a person working on behalf of one of the afore mentioned.

A cat found on a private premises may be humanely destroyed by the owner of the premises if the location is more than 1km from any structure or building used as a place of residence.

Note: Humane destruction must be conducted in accordance with all relevant legislation including the Cat Management Act 2009, the Animal Welfare Act 1993​, and the Firearms Act 1996​.

What should I do if​ I see a cat in a national park or on reserved land?

If you see a cat in a national park or on reserved land, please notify Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service on tel. 1300 827 727 (Mon-Fri 9am to 4.30pm), or fill out and lodge an online Feedback ​Form. Please ensure you provide the name and approximate location within each national park where the cat/s were sighted.

What should I do if I see a cat in a council reserve near me?​

Contact the relevant municipal council and inform them of your observations. Please ensure you know the name of the reserve when you contact them.

There are always cats roaming around my neighbourhood. Can anything be done about it?

Contact the relevant municipal council to discuss the matter. It could be that there is a stray or feral cat population in the area. If you know the owner of the cats, you can try dropping off some friendly letters in your neighbours’ letterboxes. See TassieCat's webpage Cats in the Neighbourhood ​​for a letter template.

If the cats are roaming onto your land, under the Cat Management Act 2009 you can trap the cats (see TassieCat's Guidelines for trapping a cat in urban and peri-urban areas). Before you set any trap,  please contact your local Cat Management Facility​ to ensure they will be able to take any cats that ​you trap, and find out if there are any fees associated with them accepting a trapped cat.

What do I do if I see cats in poor condition?

If you see a cat in poor condition, if possible, get photos of the cat/s (without breaking any laws), make a note of the area where the cats are located, and contact the RSPCA hotline either on tel. 1300 139 947 or reportit@rspcatas.org.au (this can be done anonymously).

I have a cat that keeps roaming into my yard. Is there something that can be done about it?

If you know the owner of the cats, you could try talking to them. If that is not possible, try dropping a friendly letter into your neighbours’ letterbox. See TassieCat's webpage Cats in the Neighbourhood ​​for a letter template.

You can trap cats on your own property (see trapping guidelines and information about trapping cats under the Cat ​Management Act 2009). Before you set any trap, contact your local Cat Management Facility​​ to ensure they will be able to take any cats that you trap and to find out if there are any fees associated with them accepting a trapped cat.

Where can I obtain a trap to catch cats roaming onto my property?

Contact your local Cat Management Facility​ to arrange for a trap to be hired. There may be a ​refundable deposit required. Some municipal councils may also hire out traps. There are strict conditions around the use of a trap (see TassieCat's Guidelines for trapping a cat in urban and peri-urban areas).

I have trapped a cat. What should I do with it?

If you trap a cat, under the Cat Management Act 2009 you must do one of the following within 24 hours after trapping:
  • arrange for the return of 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 person, business or organisation nominated by a cat management facility.
Before setting a trap with the intention of trapping a cat, you should talk to their local Cat Management Fac​ility​ to ensure they have the capacity to take the cat.

Why should I pay to take a cat to a cat management facility when it’s not my cat?

Cat management facilities are not-for-profit organisations. They may ask for a donation when accepting a cat to assist with the veterinary and housing costs. Before setting a trap, ring the Cat Management Fac​ility to understand the facility’s procedures for accepting a cat, operating hours, and any associated fees.

My neighbour has a lot of cats, and I am concerned about the living conditions for the cats. Who can I report it to?

In the first instance, contact the relevant municipal council to report the situation. If you think the cats are in poor condition and there may be welfare concerns, you can contact the RSPCA hotline anonymously on either tel. 1300 139 947 or ​email reportit@rspcatas.org.au.

Situations such as these can take some time to work through, so please don’t be disheartened if things appear to be moving slowly (for privacy and other reasons the RSPCA do not provide feedback on investigation​s).

Can a person who has a conservation covenant on private land humanely destroy a cat?

A covenant established under Part 5 of the Nature Conservation Act 2002 is regarded as 'reserved land' and therefore falls within the definition of a 'cat prohibited area'. The Cat Management Act 2009 permits a person responsible for a 'cat prohibited area', or a person acting on their behalf, to take cat management action in relation to any cat found in the prohibited area. Cat management action includes:
  • seizing,
  • trapping,
  • detaining,
  • returning a cat once it has been desexed, or
  • humane destruction. 
Note: Humane destruction must be conducted in accordance with all relevant legislation including the Cat Management Act 2009, the Animal Welfare Act 1993​, and the Firearms Act 1996​.

Where can I report an alleged breach of the Act?

An alleged breach of the Cat Management Act 2009 may be reported to Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania or to a municipal council. Investigations of breaches are undertaken by a person authorised to do so under the Act, which also includes local government officers authorised under the Dog Control Act 2000.



Contact

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