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Cat owners horrified at new South Australian law limiting number of felines

Two ginger cats cat-angry
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Imagine being told you could only have a certain number of cats in your household. Well, that’s now the reality that will leave cat lovers distraught in South Australia.

By Zoe Monk

Published on the 07/09/2019, 11:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:40

There’s nothing more wonderful than a house full of cats and it’s always been up to each individual cat lover to decide how many felines they want in their household. But cat owners in Mount Barker, South Australia, can only have a maximum of two cats.

A cat curfew

The new laws voted in by the South Australian council has also introduced a curfew for cats. They must be at home on their owner’s property from 8pm to 7am.

Owners will be fined for feline misdemeanours

While a limit on the number of cats you can have AND a cat curfew might seem harsh enough, owners will also be fined if their cats misbehave. This includes urinating or defecating on neighbour’s gardens or caught killing native wildlife.

Cat owners will need to be extra vigilant.

Jamie Tann, health and safety manager for Mount Barker said the most residents supported the council’s new cat laws. He told The Messenger:

"A lot of people have mentioned they want [the] council to play a role in cat management. We're allowing cats to roam for part of the day, but at night when they're most active and have the most impact on wildlife, we're expecting them to be kept inside."

While most cats love being out at night on the prowl, Mount Barker’s council believe the best place for a cat is to be at home. Mr Tann added:

"The safest place for a cat to be is at home - that's the message we're trying to get across."

Responding to complaints

Mount Baker’s cat owners won’t be seeing patrols of feline inspects keeping an eye on the neighbourhood cat activities; the council will take action on the back of neighbour’s complaints.

Mr Tann explained: "If someone says my neighbour's cat is repeatedly coming into my yard, we'll have covert cameras that we can set up in the yard and we could use that as evidence to say your cat is causing a nuisance." 

Rules on cat ownership

But cat owners in Mount Baker aren’t the only ones facing restrictions on their feline friends. The West Australian government has also been considering introducing legislation that could ban cats from being allowed to go outside not just at night, but during the day too.

Try telling your moggy that they can’t go out and play in the garden today!