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Cats make great pets. They are quiet, clean and don't need a lot of space or exercise. Compared to dogs, cats cope better with being left alone when owners are at out of the house. Cats provide excellent company. They can be playful and affectionate, yet can still be very independent.

This page has some important information on how to keep you cat safe and happy.

Mandatory desexing for cats

All cats and kittens are required to be desexed prior to being registered unless:

  • The cat has written Veterinary advice that the health of the cat is liable to be significantly prejudiced if it is desexed.
  • The cat is owned by a member of an applicable organisation and the animal is registered with that organisation (proof must be provided of both owners and cat membership at the time of registration).
  • The cat is owned by a person or body that conducts breeding with a registered domestic animal business.

Mandatory desexing was established as per Council orders (page 2987) given on 8 November 2011 in accordance with section 10A of the Domestic Animals Act 1994.

Cat curfew

To help protect animals in our community, Bayside regulations require the confinement of cats between 8pm and 6am or between 9pm and 6am during daylight savings.

Why was it introduced

Bayside City Council introduced these regulations to protect the welfare of animals in our community. 
While cats are highly valued pets in our community, serious problems can occur if they are allowed to roam outdoors between dusk and dawn. Keeping cats inside will help prevent them from breeding, fighting, being injured and killing wildlife.

Where to confine your cat

There are many different options to suit you and your cat's needs that will help keep them happy, healthy and comfortable, including:

  • Keeping your cat in the house or flat with you
  • Keeping your cat in the garage or shed at night, or
  • Installing enclosures or cat fencing in your yard.

Training your cat to stay in at night

Try skipping its morning feed and calling it in at night to be fed. Don't feed your cat until it comes inside. It will learn quickly that it won't get fed unless home by dusk. Once inside, don't let it out again until morning.
Ensure your cat has a cosy and well-ventilated sleeping area, with food, water and a litter tray. Help enrich your cat's environment by providing:

  • companionship (from yourself or another pet)
  • exercise through play
  • climbing and scratching posts or toys
  • hiding places or access window ledges. 

This will prevent your cat from getting bored or having behavioural problems. Your cat should adapt to night confinement within a few days. If not, get further advice from your vet.

How the rules are regulated

  • Educating cat owners of the responsible pet ownership requirements. We will spend time promoting the regulations and the reasons behind them in the community.
  • Issuing warnings and notices to comply where appropriate. Where issues arise or complaints are received, we will take a personal approach in devising programs for specific complaints.
  • Issuing infringements to offenders where appropriate. Infringements are typically issued after other avenues have been explored.

Cat nuisance

We may be able to assist if a cat is causing a nuisance by coming onto your property or if you have a problem with a stray or feral cat. Residents who have unwanted cats roaming on their property can borrow a humane cat cage from us free of charge. Animal Management Officers will inspect your property to determine if your property is suitable to set a trap.

If you would like an animal management officer to investigate a nuisance cat or would like to borrow a cage, fill out the contact us form.

More information

The Victoria State Government website has information on:

You can also find out more about responsible pet ownership on the Animal Welfare Victoria website.

Download our protecting your cat in Bayside brochure (PDF, 114.08KB).