Your cat could cost you hundreds if caught roaming the streets in Australian cities and towns, which have banned outdoor cats to protect wildlife.
Pet cats kill around 390 million animals each year in Australia. This amounts to around 186 mammals, reptiles and birds per cat each year, including many native species.
Cat owners in Canberra face the steepest fines when the ACT government’s new cat containment laws come in midway through this year, with out-of-bound felines attracting fines of up to $1,600 for repeat offences.
Bendigo residents also risk fines for not keeping their cats within their property boundaries.
If pet owners break the curfew rules, they risk paying $120 to reclaim their pet from the council.
The Fremantle Council in Western Australia has voted to ban cats from all council property, including roads, verges, footpaths and car parks.
This could see cat owners slapped with a $200 fine for letting their feline roam on council property.
There are no other state and territory-level bans, although in Victoria, local governments have been granted the power to ban pets from certain areas.
Keeping you pet indoors
For people living within cat-curfew areas, or are generally worried about their pet’s killer instinct, all cats can be transitioned to indoors even if they have lived outside for most of their lives.
Keeping a cat inside can also save you on vet bills.
According to the RSPCA, cats need the following five basic resources:
resting and hiding places
toileting areas (litter trays)
places to scratch
Two litter boxes per cat is recommended as well as multiple feed stations and scratching surfaces.
If you have several cats, you’ll need to provide more resources as cats are not always keen to share.