Shire considers 24/7 curfew for cats

A review of cat curfews is underway at Surf Coast Shire Council, with an investigation welcoming community feedback.

The Council is considering curfews for cats as part of its Pet Care Plan 2022-25, which guides how people, dogs and cats can live together.

Local law requires cats in urban areas of the Surf Coast Shire to be safely confined to the owner’s premises from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. In rural areas there are no restrictions as it is difficult to confine a cat to a farm, and they are often instrumental in controlling vermin.

Mayor Cr Libby Stapleton encouraged people to share their views on cat curfews to help determine whether to keep the current rules or consider changes, including a 24-hour cat curfew .

“There are 924 cats registered as pets across the county, half of them in the Torquay ward,” she said.

“Although we only receive a low number of cat complaints – we had 58 in 2021 – we recognize that free-roaming cats can negatively impact native wildlife and nearby pets.

“In addition to helping prevent harm to wildlife, curfews improve the health and safety of cats. A cat curfew can prevent injuries that can occur during fights with other cats, d being run over by a vehicle, eating poisonous plants or poisons, or wandering into neighboring houses where they could cause a nuisance.

The cats curfew survey can be completed via by 5pm on Monday 12th September.

“Whether you own a cat or not, whether you live in an urban or rural area, we would like to hear your opinion on this subject,” said Cr Stapleton.

“Rules that outline how cats should be confined are vital, similar to state law that requires dogs to be safely confined to their owner’s property.

“Ultimately, reviewing cat curfews will help us create a safer surf coast for our community, our cats, and our native wildlife.”