Animal Management

Caring for Cats

The Alice Springs munic­i­pal­i­ty is an ani­mal restric­tion area under local gov­ern­ment author­i­ty. As such, Council’s Ani­mal Man­age­ment By-laws 2008 require domes­tic cats to be reg­is­tered and under the effec­tive con­trol of their own­ers, so as not to cause nui­sance to native wildlife, neigh­bours, or the gen­er­al public.

Cat reg­is­tra­tion

Domes­tic cats over the age of six months must be reg­is­tered with Coun­cil and there is a lim­it of two cats per house­hold (three or more cats requires a ken­nel per­mit). Coun­cil also rec­om­mends de-sex­ing and micro-chip­ping to expe­dite iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and return of lost ani­mals to owners.

More infor­ma­tion about reg­is­ter­ing your cat with Coun­cil can be found here.

Cat safe­ty

Cats are enter­tain­ing, intel­li­gent pets and are wel­come com­pan­ions in many cen­tral Aus­tralian homes. Cats also are also nat­ur­al hunters. Even a well-fed cat will still prey on small ani­mals, often cov­er­ing sev­er­al kilo­me­tres dur­ing a night time hunt­ing expedition.

The trend in local gov­ern­ment author­i­ties around the coun­try is mov­ing towards greater respon­si­bil­i­ty in pet own­er­ship to pre­vent the dec­i­ma­tion of Australia’s native wildlife by domes­tic and fer­al cat pop­u­la­tions. Alice Springs Town Coun­cil encour­ages cat own­ers to keep domes­tic cats safe­ly indoors, at least overnight.

There are numer­ous ben­e­fits to keep­ing your cat indoors, par­tic­u­lar­ly in Alice Springs where there are greater extremes of tem­per­a­ture and many more native predators.

Indoor cats are:

  • Less like­ly to be hit by cars or injured by anoth­er ani­mal (reduc­ing vet visits)
  • Less like­ly to fall prey to a din­go, wild dog, eagle, snake, or human predator
  • Less like­ly to transmit/​be infect­ed by trans­mis­si­ble feline diseases
  • Less like to cause dis­putes with neighbours
  • Less like­ly to hunt native wildlife, includ­ing pro­tect­ed species
  • Less like­ly to con­tract ticks, fleas, or worms from oth­er animals

If not strict­ly indoor cats, there are ways to con­fine your cat to the prop­er­ty, includ­ing: build­ing a cat enclo­sure; cat mesh; fix­ing deter­rents along the top of fences, such as the Oscil­lot Cat Con­tain­ment Sys­tem or PVC pip­ing; or, a Sure­guard elec­tron­ic system.

Lost, nui­sance, stray or fer­al cats

If your cat is miss­ing, please first con­tact the Alice Springs Ani­mal Shel­ter on (08) 8953 4430. If the Ani­mal Shel­ter does not have your cat, con­tact Council’s Rangers on (08) 8950 0500. Please note, you may incur an infringe­ment if your cat is col­lect­ed, away from your prop­er­ty, by a Coun­cil Ranger.

If a neighbour’s cat is caus­ing nui­sance with­in your prop­er­ty, Coun­cil rec­om­mends first con­tact­ing the neigh­bour to advise them of their cat’s behav­iour on your prop­er­ty. Chances are they are unaware. If the cat con­tin­ues to be a nui­sance, con­tact Council’s Rangers on (08) 8950 0500 to lodge a for­mal complaint.

To pro­tect our region’s native wildlife, stray or fer­al cats can be caught in humane traps, avail­able to the local com­mu­ni­ty by request to Alice Springs Town Coun­cil. To enquire about hir­ing, and the prop­er, humane usage of an ani­mal trap, please con­tact Council’s Rangers on (08) 8950 0500 or email astc@​astc.​nt.​gov.​au (con­di­tions apply)