Consultation closed on Monday 20 November 2023

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In 1999, Council resolved to make a Cat Control Order (cat curfew) effective for the whole of Wyndham. The community felt it was important that domestic pet cats should not create a nuisance, prey on Indigenous animals and birds and run the risk of interacting with feral cats that can spread disease or risk injuries that result from cat fights.

An order (cat curfew) was created to ask cat owners to lock up their pet cats between the hours of 10.00pm and 6.00am, effective 10 April, 2000.

The Domestic Animal Management Plan 2021-2025 (DAMP) was endorsed by Council in October 2021. The plan outlines the services, programs and policies we have established, or plan to establish, to address the administration of the Domestic Animals Act 1994 (Vic), and the management of dog and cat issues in Wyndham.

The Plan states that Council will conduct community consultation on cat curfew effectiveness*.

*Several reviews have been conducted, along with this current review to determine the effectiveness of the cat curfew.

  • The DAMP identifies specific activities under each objective that Council will aim to action.

  • Wyndham's current cat curfew is between 10pm and 6am.

  • An activity under Objective 4.2 states that Council will conduct community consultation on cat curfew effectiveness.

How to get involved

Survey closed

Feedback on the cat curfew closed at 11:59PM Monday 20 November, 2023.

  • Chat with the team

    Attend a drop in session with the Animal Management Team.

    See timeline (right) for session dates, times and locations.

Cats and the importance of a curfew

There are different types of cats?

During the review of the effectiveness of the current cat curfew, we acknowledge that there are different types of cats in our community. These different types of cats may be included in this review, however it is the owned cats that are impacted by a cat curfew.

These cats are well socialised cats that happily form part of a family. They have an owner to take care of their needs, will most likely be vaccinated and de-sexed to inhibit the spread of disease and unwanted litter of kittens. They reside in a home and are reliant on humans for all their needs.

You will most likely have seen them wandering around your neighbourhood. These are unowned cats found in suburban areas. They can be seen wandering around shopping centres, or in industrial commercial areas. Some of these cats may be abandoned pets or lost; however, most will have been born on the streets and will not have had any human interaction like a domestic pet cat. The cats may even be sleeping in your backyard. Unlike feral cats, these cats have a reliance on humans for food and to a degree, for shelter.

Unlike domestic pet cats and urban stray cats, feral cats have no reliance on humans. They are typically found in areas where there is limited human interaction and that have a food source such as native wildlife and birds. They are commonly found in such areas as grasslands and wetlands. Feral cats hunt and survive on their own merits and as with urban cats, will not have been handled or had any interactions with humans.

The importance of a cat curfew

  • Your cats’ activities may be impacting on your neighbours, their animals and affecting neighbourly relations.

  • Reduce the impact on native nocturnal wildlife.

  • Reduce the risk of encountering feral cats and running the risk of disease and injury in cat fights.

  • Reduce the instances of domestic cats being a nuisance during curfew hours.

    • Digging and toileting in gardens.
    • Disturbing pets.
    • Entering houses.

When cats roam

Cats will roam anywhere from 50 meters to over 350 meters from their homes when let outside. They usually wander looking for food or to hunt. Domestic cats will wander even if well fed, exposing them to roads, traffic and other hazards.

  • 95 - Cats hit by cars during 2022-23

    Road traffic accidents are a common cause of injury and death in outdoor access cats. Spring is typically the time when we see an increase in the cases of cats being hit by cars. 95 deceased cats were brought into the pound for scanning for identification after being hit by cars.

  • 450 - Cat traps requested during 2022-23

    We received 450 requests for traps, for cats trespassing on properties and causing nuisance. Requests for cat traps during 2022-23 outweighed our ability to hire out the traps as pound staff must take into account the cage space and care requirements of impounding the cats brought to us in cat traps.

  • 280 - Cat traps hired during 2022-23

    When cats are brought to the pound in a cat trap, they are scanned for a microchip. Where possible, we will reunite cats with their owners and provide education on confinement of their cat. Where there is no identification, the cat will be held for 8 days before being assessed for adoption.