Owning a cat is a big responsibility. This page contains essential information about your responsibilities as a cat owner.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have a cat and I want to know of the law that applies for its care and upkeep.
The relevant laws for keeping domestic cats are found in:
- The Cat Act 2011 (WA);
- The Cat Regulations 2012 (WA); and
- Your local government by-laws.
As a cat owner what are my legal responsibilities?
As a responsible cat owner if your cat is six months old or older it must be:
- sterilised; and
- registered with your local government.
Are there penalties if I do not do any of the above?
You as the owner can be fined up to $5,000 for breach of each requirement.
Are any cats exempt from these requirements?
Yes there are exemptions if your cat:
- belongs to a class of cats prescribed as exempt from registration;
- has not been registered as it is within 14 days of you having just either moved to WA or started keeping the cat; or
- is exempt from sterilisation or microchipping.
Are there any requirements if my cat is seen in public?
Yes, your cat has to wear a collar with its registration tag when in a public place. This will enable the cat to be returned to you if it has wandered off.
Is there a penalty if I do not do this?
Yes, you can be fined up to $5,000 if your cat is not wearing its registration tag in a public place and no exemption applies to your cat.
Can my cat be exempt from being sterilised?
Your cat does not have to be sterilised if:
- your cat has a veterinarian certificate stating that sterilisation may adversely affect its health and welfare;
- you are an approved cat breeder and your cat is for the purpose of breeding; or
- your cat belongs to a class of cats prescribed as exempt from sterilisation.
Can my cat be exempt from microchipping?
Yes if your cat is over six months old and it has a veterinarian’s certificate certifying that microchipping it may adversely affect its health and welfare.
Can I get a discount if I am on a low income and want to sterilise or microchip my cat?
You may be entitled to some discount. Information is available from the Department of Communities website. Contact your local government too for further details.
How do I register my cat?
You have to make an application to your local government and pay the required fees. Further details are available at the Department of Communities website and your local council website.
What do I do if I want to breed cats?
Your local government must approve you as a cat breeder. You have to make an application by completing the required form available from your local government.
Your local council or shire may have more information.
The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries have a Guide for Cat Ownership.