What is the purpose of the new Cat Local Law?

In 2011, the Western Australian State Government introduced legislation called the Cat Act 2011 which requires that all domestic cats 6 months and older must;

  • Be sterilised unless owned by a prescribed breeder;
  • Be micro-chipped;
  • Be registered with the local council where the cat is ordinarily kept; and
  • Wear a registration tag, issued by the local government where the cat was registered.

Local laws that deal with cats must comply with Cat Act 2011, the Cats Regulations 2012 and the Cat (Uniform Local Provisions) Regulations 2013.

The main purpose of the proposed new Cats Local Law 2016 is to limit the number of cats that may be kept at premises, or premises of a particular type. 

Why does the City need this new law?

The purpose of setting a standard number of cats that may be kept is to allow the City the ability should it be required to deal with cases where a resident may keep cats to the extent that while they may not necessarily to be a health hazard or in conditions that might require referral to the RSPCA to examine their welfare, but in such numbers so as to present a nuisance to the community.

The recommended standard number is three; anyone who has more than three cats can keep existing cats that are registered with the City but once and if the local law is made, cannot not add any more or substitute them without approval.

How many cats will be allowed per premise?

Three cats are allowed under the proposed new Local Law, any more must be approved by the City.

Note that under the City’s existing Health Local Law 2002, no more than 2 cats can be kept – under the proposed new Cats Local Law, this will be increased to three. 

What if I have more than three cats?

Under the proposed new Cats Local Law, a permit will be needed from the City to keep more than three cats over the age of 6 months. An application for approval can be made and must be accompanied by an application fee that is listed on the City’s schedule of Fees and Charges. The application will be assessed by the City and approval may be granted.

One of my cats is very old, do I have to add him to the application?

Yes, if you have more than three cats on the premises, the proposed Local Law will apply to all cats. 

What if one of my cats has kittens?

A cat that is under 6 months of age is not to be included when calculating the number of cats ordinarily kept at prescribed premises.  So kittens under the age of 6 months won't need approval to be kept from the City under the proposed new Local Law.

What is the penalty/fine if someone has more than three cats?

The penalty is a fine of $5,000 if prosecuted.

What happens if I don’t comply with the legislation?

The City of South Perth has a number of options to respond to non-compliance and may take the following steps:

  1. Verbally request you comply
  2. Issue a written request
  3. Issue an infringement notice
  4. Commence proceedings for a prosecution.

What if I am cat sitting and looking after more than three cats?

Under the proposed new Local Law, limitations to numbers of cats only refers to cats that are on premises they are ordinarily kept, so cat sitting is allowed for a short term.   

Should I notify the City if my neighbour has more than three cats?

Yes you can notify the City on 9474 0777 and the City’s Rangers will contact your neighbour. If you are concerned with the welfare of the cats you can also report them to the RSPCA WA.

Who will enforce the Local Law?

The City of South Perth Ranger services will administer and enforce the proposed new Local Law.  As is the case with other legislation, its success depends on the level to which this is done and the support from the community.