From 1 October, cats must be kept on their owners’ property at all times. The 24 hour cat curfew is designed to protect cats and local wildlife, as well as reducing problems for neighbours.
Preparing a suitable environment to keep your cat on your property will keep them happy and safe.
There are a few ways to contain your cat. You can keep them entirely indoors, or allow your cat to roam indoors and outdoors while remaining securely on your property.
Keeping your cat indoors at all times is the easiest and cheapest way to contain your cat. Creating a stimulating environment in your home to keep your cat happy and meet all their needs is important, this includes providing enough space, cat toys and scratch posts.
Cats can live its best and safest life inside, for more ideas on how to keep your cat happy, healthy and entertained indoors visit safecat.org.au.
If you plan to let your cat roam in your yard, you will need to effectively cat proof it to keep your cat safe and secured. Some options include cat proof fencing, cat rollers installed on fencing, free standing cat enclosures, or cat enclosures attached to a house or shed. There are many affordable commercial options available from hardware stores and pet suppliers.
Considerations when cat proofing your yard
Your adjoining neighbours
The way you modify and cat proof your fencing may impact your neighbours. If it will impact them, it is recommended that you chat with them first to make sure they agree before making any changes, examples include:
- Cat rollers on fencing: if cat rollers are installed directly above the fence, this will impact your neighbour. If the cat rollers are installed entirely on your side of the fence and not visible to your neighbours, you may not need to discuss it with your neighbours.
- Netting or open screening on fencing: these can be installed on top of the fence, up to a maximum height of 2.5m from the ground. This will impact your neighbours, it is recommended that you chat to them first.
In most cases, a building permit is not required to construct a cat enclosure. This includes:
- Portable cat enclosures and portable cat runs
- Lightweight cat enclosures constructed of steel mesh material
- Freestanding cat enclosures located in the backyard less than 10m2 in floor area, and less than 2.4m in height
However, you may need a building permit if you are considering building a cat enclosure which is attached to your home. This includes permanent attached roofed structures similar to a patio or verandah.
Before you build any attached permanent structure, we recommend you to draw up a plan, and check with Council to see if a building permit is required.
More helpful resources about preparing your cat and home for the cat curfew can be found at knox.vic.gov.au/cats