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Cats must be kept on leashes after council introduces controversial new law

New law keeps cats indoors cat-wow
© Pixabay

Pet owners are being forced to walk their beloved moggies on leashes after a local council proposed a bizarre new law that bans cats from going outside.

By Ashley Murphy

Published on the 02/11/2019, 11:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:38

Muirhead is a small suburban development in the Northern Territory of Australia. The local population are well-known for their love of kitties, and there's plenty of wide-open spaces for the cats to explore.

Cats put under house arrest

But their adventures have been put on hold after the council introduced laws that ban cats from playing outside alone.

The new Cat Containment Policy means owners must accompany their furry friends whenever they leave the house! What's more, cats must be kept on a leash at all times.

Councilmember Robin Knox introduced the new law and is hoping to extend it to other suburbs. She said:

"I have chosen to state new developments because I do feel it may be confusing for people who already live in other suburbs. Initially, I'm asking for it to be applied in Muirhead, in future we can educate further suburbs."

Muirhead isn't the first town in Australia to put restrictions on cats and their owners. Several states have already brought in a kitty curfew, with owners facing a fine of up to $1500 if their cats are found outside.

The city of Perth is considering similar measures, while Mount Barker will introduce a curfew next year. Under the new law, cats will be under house arrest between 8pm-7am. Residents will also be restricted to owning a maximum of two cats.

 Is cat containment necessary?

Cat containment may sound bizarre, but many experts feel its necessary. Australia has seen a considerable rise in the number of stray cats, which has had a damaging effect on the local environment and wildlife.

According to some reports, cats kill over 300miilon birds and over 600million reptiles every year.