What is a cat containment area?
A cat containment area refers to a suburb, or part of, where cats must be confined to their keeper's or carer's premises at all times.
What are my responsibilities as a cat owner in a containment area?
As a cat owner living in a containment area, it is your responsibility to ensure your cat remains within your premises at all times so that it cannot roam. This does not necessarily mean it needs to stay inside your home. Many cat owners have cat runs which are outdoor areas where cats can be contained.
How do I contain my cat?
Cats can be contained to the premises in a number of ways, including by keeping them indoors or by using a purpose built cat run that provides adequate shelter and access to an outdoor area.
What's the purpose of cat containment?
Cat containment aims to protect native wildlife in areas where cats pose a serious threat and has been implemented in some of Canberra's newer suburbs.
Does cat containment have any other benefits?
Yes. A 2011 study showed contained cats live longer and are less likely to suffer diseases or sustain injuries through fighting with other cats or dogs, misadventure or being hit by cars.
Will other suburbs be declared in the future?
It is anticipated that other new suburbs will be declared in the future. These are suburbs where the presence of cats could likely to be a serious threat to native flora and fauna in the area.
What other suburbs are being considered?
Other new suburbs in Gungahlin and Molonglo Valley are likely to be declared in the future, consistent with the Molonglo Valley Plan for the Protection of Matters of National Environmental Significance (the NES Plan) and the Gungahlin Strategic Assessment Biodiversity Plan (PDF 1.3MB).
What if I don't contain my cat?
Cat owners found not complying with cat containment legislation in a declared area may be issued a penalty of up to $1,500.
What should I do if I see a cat roaming in a cat containment area?
Domestic Animal Services (DAS) is responsible for administration and regulation of the Domestic Animals Act 2000 including cat containment compliance and enforcement. If you observe a roaming cat in a cat containment area you can contact DAS for advice by email or on 13 22 81. Please be aware that DAS responds to a number of domestic animal matters and respond to matters in order of priority (i.e. aggressive dogs and dog attacks being more urgent). As such, a DAS ranger may not be able to respond immediately to your concerns regarding a roaming cat.
Cats are notoriously difficult to catch and rangers often attend call outs where the animal has since left the area and cannot be located. To assist, you may be able to provide the details of the owner or a description of the cat. Alternatively, if you feel comfortable doing so you may wish to raise the issue with the owner of the cat.