As a responsible pet owner, it is important that your cat is microchipped, vaccinated and desexed.

Cat owner obligations

  • It is a legal requirement to microchip your cat.
  • Vaccinating your cat has many benefits including looking after your cats health and managing the spread of viruses, including the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).
  • Cats are not allowed to free roam on properties and need to be contained to either your house, or a suitable enclosure at all times. The AWLQ has information on how to manage an escaping or straying cat.
  • Desexing your cat has many benefits including health benefits and ensures you are not inadvertently contributing to the overpopulation.
  • You can keep up to two cats on your property without requiring a permit.

Permit types and requirements

No permit required

  • Keep up to 2 cats
  • Keep up to 4 cats on land 2,000m2 or more

Permit required

  • Keep 3 or 4 desexed cats on land less than 2,000m2
  • Keep 5 or more desexed cats
  • Commercial Cattery Licence – keeping cats for boarding, breeding and/or sale

Permit applications

  • Cat Permit Application Kit
  • If you are not the owner of the property, you must provide written approval from the owner for the keeping of animals, as per the permit application form
  • A kitten is considered a cat at three months of age
  • Keepers of any animals must comply with minimum standards set out in the Council’s Local Laws.

What are my responsibilities for keeping cats?

All cat owners are responsible for the animals on their property. They must ensure that:

  • all cats are confined to your property. Cats are not to roam or become a nuisance to your neighbours or neighbourhood. The AWLQ has information on how to manage an escaping or straying cat.
  • an adequate supply of food and water is provided for all animals
  • all faeces and urine is be disposed of in a manner that does not cause a nuisance to property or people
  • all cats should be vaccinated as appropriate to the age of the animal
  • cats must be kept in a manner that does not make them harmful to a person’s health
  • It is important not to forget your animals during an emergency or disaster event. For more information see Caring for Animals in an Emergency. For a handy and downloadable checklist, check out the Pet Emergency Plan.

How can I resolve a nuisance cat issue?

Contact the AWLQ Cat Assistance Team (C.A.T.)

The Animal Welfare League of Queensland (AWLQ) established the Cat Assistance Team to provide information and support to both cat owners and residents experiencing a cat nuisance.

Information and support is available to help keep cats safely and happily at home.

This service is currently available in the suburbs of Goodna, Redbank Plains, Rosewood, West Ipswich, Leichhardt and One Mile initially and may be expanded to other suburbs when sufficient resources are available.

Residents of these suburbs listed above can complete the Stray Cat Information Form and a member of the Animal Welfare League of Queensland (AWLQ) Cat Assistance Team will be in contact.

Contact the owner

The following information may assist you in identifying the cat's owner:

  • Post information and/or a photo on Social Media. Local area and Lost and Found animal groups tend to get the most responses.
  • Cats don't usually wander very far. Visit your surrounding streets in a 5-10 house radius and ask your neighbours  if they have seen the cat or know the owner.
  • Utilise the AWLQ Lost or Found Poster Generator and place fliers in letterboxes in your local area.
  • If the cat is friendly, and you can keep the cat safely contained in a carrier, take it to the nearest vet to be scanned for a microchip. If it is microchipped, the vet can search the database and contact the owner.

Contact Council

If you have a roaming cat issue or believe a property has excess cats, you can make a request to Council to investigate your complaint by following the steps below:

1. Have the following information ready:

  • What is the issue (e.g roaming) and how does it impact you?
  • Provide any distinguishing features of the animal/s (e.g type of animal, colour, sex, distinguishing marks)
  • Number of cats involved
  • Do you know who the owner is (name and/or address)?
  • Your details (this complaint cannot be lodged anonymously)

2. Contact Council by one of the methods below:

3. After 14 days if the problem has not been resolved you will need to contact Council for further action to be taken.

Please note: Council keeps complete and comprehensive records in the event that legal action is taken.  All parties including the complainant and other witnesses may be asked to attend court to provide evidence.  Personal information is only given out when it is directed by law to do so.

How Council investigates complaints

  1. In the first instance a letter will be sent to the cat owner to let them know a complaint has been received. Many owners will work to resolve the nuisance at this early stage.
  2. If the nuisance continues for more than 14 days after the initial notification and a further complaint is received then an investigation will take place.
  3. Councils’ investigation process forms part of a legal process and we must obtain sufficient information and evidence to confirm the existence of a nuisance. Council will consider any other evidence provided.

Lost or impounded cats

Lost or found animals

If you have lost an animal, or you have found a lost or injured animal, quick action is the key to reuniting the animal with its owner. For more information visit Lost and Injured Animals.

Impounded animals

If your animal is, or you suspect your animal is impounded at the Animal Management Centre you should visit the Centre in person. For more information visit Impounded Animals.

Release fees may apply. For details view Council’s Fees and Charges Schedule and search ‘impounding’ for current charges.

To surrender your cat, we encourage you to contact the Animal Welfare League of Queensland or complete their Pet Surrender Form.