Responsible cat ownership means providing proper housing and food for your cat and making sure you follow responsible breeding practices.

Allegations of cats causing a nuisance are common complaints received by Council. We recognise these complaints can create friction in neighbourhoods and can be very frustrating to those involved, however, we will no longer be dealing with this type of request.

We encourage negotiation between neighbours in an attempt to resolve the problem. Such negotiations can be conducted between each party or with the assistance of an independent mediator through a forum such as a Community Justice Centre. Advice and further information on Community Justice Centres can be obtained by contacting 1800 990 777.


All cats must now be identified by a Permanent Identification microchip (PDF) by:

  • 12 weeks of age
  • At point of sale
  • Change of ownership, which ever occurs first.


All cats must now be registered by six months of age. The costs of lifetime NSW Companion Animal Registration (PDF) are as follows

Registration Type Registration Description Species Registration Fee
Assistance Animal Animal under 6 months of age training to be an assistance animal, for example, a guide dog Cat $0.00
Cat - Desexed or Not Desexed Desexed or non-desexed cat Cat $56.00
Cat - Eligible Pensioner Desexed cat owned by an eligible pensioner Cat $27.00
Cat - Desexed (sold by pound/shelter) Desexed cat sold by an eligible pound/shelter Cat $0.00
Cat - Not Desexed (not recommended) Cat with written notification from a vet that it should not be desexed Cat $56.00
Cat - Not Desexed (recognised breeder)

Cat not desexed and kept by a recognised breeder for breeding purposes

Cat $56.00

You may lifetime register your cat online at the NSW Pet Registry, at any Council in NSW. You may also register your cat at our local Pound or the RSPCA.


All owners are encouraged to desex their animals. The cost of registration is a less for desexed animals with proof of sterilisation. Further discounts are available for desexed animals owned by a pensioner.

  • Early desexing eliminates the risk of serious diseases including reproductive cancers
  • Desexed cats grow up cleaner, healthier, quieter and more home loving
  • Desexing significantly reduces antisocial behaviour such as fighting and 'spraying'
  • Desexed cats are less aggressive than entire cats and make safer family pets particularly for those families with young children.

Thousands of unwanted cats and kittens are destroyed by animal welfare agencies each year because there are simply not enough homes for them.

Hunter Animal Watch is a voluntary organisation that aims to reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs in the Hunter by offering financial assistance to people on low incomes to desex their animals. For further information contact (02) 4961 6133 Monday to Friday between 11am and 3pm.

What to do if you lose your cat

Ring Council and tell them your cat is missing. You are legally required to do this within 72 hours of the cat going missing.

  • Check the pound on a daily basis - don't just ring - go in and look
  • Ask around the neighbourhood and check with your neighbours
  • Check the local newspapers lost and found ads - put an ad in the paper
  • Check the local vet clinics for injured stray cats
  • Put free lost cat announcements on the local radio station.

What to do if you find a cat

  • Check for identification/registration tag - if the cat is wearing a name tag, phone the owner
  • Check the papers for lost cat announcements
  • Ask around the neighbourhood to see if anyone has lost their cat
  • Take it to the pound.

If you can't find the owner within a reasonable amount of time you are required by law take the cat to the RSPCA - failure to do so can incur a $550 fine. People who are missing a cat will check the RSPCA but they won't find it in your backyard.

Keeping cats indoors

There are very good reasons to keep your cat inside at night:

  • All cats hunt, regardless of how well fed they are. Cats usually hunt at night
  • Most cat fights occur at night
  • Most vehicle accidents involving cats occur at night
  • Cats can also cause considerable damage to the environment if allowed to wander.

Keeping your cat or kitten indoors at night will prevent around 90% of all cat-related complaints.

Confining cats is quite easy

Cats should never be fed until it is time for them to be confined. Once you invite them in to be fed, keep them in for the night.

If your cat is well behaved you can let them roam freely inside. Shut the cat in a convenient room where they have a bed and a litter tray if you need to. For those who don't like cats indoors at all then the garden shed or garage is a suitable alternative for confinement.

What to do if you sell or give away your cat

It is the responsibility of the 'old' owner (the person selling or giving away the animal) to notify the change. You can transfer ownership online at the NSW Pet Registry, or complete Change of ownership (PDF) form which needs to be signed by the 'old' owner as well as the new owner and forward to your local Council. Failure to notify council of the change may result in fines.

What to do if I move address or change my details

Pet owners should make sure that their contact information listed on the NSW Companion Animals Register is always up to date and current – if your pet goes missing, you can’t be contacted if your information is out of date.

This can be completed online at the NSW Pet Registry, or by completing animal change of ownership form (PDF) and forwarding to your local Council within 14 days.

Further Information

Read the Department of Local Government Responsible Pet Ownership Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) brochure is available if you require any further information.