East Gippsland Shire Council is reminding residents that a cat curfew is effective throughout the municipality.
It is an offence for cats to be found at large outside the premises of the owner or not securely confined to the owner’s premises at any time of the day or night.
Community Laws Coordinator Bill Petersen said contained cats are less likely to become lost, impounded or injured.
“They are also less likely to get into cat fights and therefore less likely to sustain cat-fight related injuries such as abscesses or catch diseases such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). Small animals, including native threatened species, are also often killed by cats, who by nature are hunters.”
When cats are contained to the owner’s property it increases the opportunity for owner-animal interaction and reduces the impact of hunting by cats and disturbance caused to neighbours.
It is possible for your cat to live happily contained to your property boundaries. Cats contained to the owner’s property do not have to live entirely indoors. You may provide them access to an outdoor escape proof enclosure, which greatly increases the opportunity for activity and stimulation. Specialised backyard fences also allow cats to have the entire backyard in which to roam free.
Cats that are contained can also be walked on a lead and harness, which allows them the opportunity to find new scenery and scents which help their mental stimulation and exercise requirements.
Council encourages cat owners to have their cat de-sexed as this reduces the likelihood of unwanted pregnancies, fighting, and the desire to roam to find a mate. Cat owners are also eligible for a reduced registration fee (up to $150, depending on certain conditions) if their animal is de-sexed. All cats must be registered with Council from three months of age.
Cat containment tips to make your home a stimulating, feline-friendly environment:
- Provide vertical and horizontal climbing spaces.
- Introduce several safe toys to keep your cat amused.
- Provide access to several scratching posts which keeps their nails in good condition and prevents any unwanted scratching of furniture.
- Visit the RSPCA for more containment tips.