Draft Cat By-Law

New cat by-law to help manage cats

Council has endorsed a draft cat by-law to go to community consultation. Rules in the draft by-law include compulsory registration; number of cats allowable and cat confinement and will help reduce the negative impact cats have on the environment.

The draft cat by-law is a result of a lengthy consultation organised as part of Council’s Animal Management Plan in 2017.

Part of the consultation involved asking questions regarding the management of cats in the Mount Barker district. Council received a very high response from the community in relation to cats and as a result formed a cat working group which recommended the new draft cat by-law.

Draft Cat By-Law(126 kb)

The new cat by-law includes the following changes:

Limit to cat numbers (2 per property)

Placing a limit on the number of cats which can reside at a property will assist with the reduction of unwanted kittens which require rehoming. It will also build the capacity to addresses excessive cat numbers causing health, nuisance and welfare issues.

Animal hoarding

Limit is 2 per dwelling, there is no difference regarding a rural or urban residence. Exceptions may be made for those who already own more than two cats. Please contact council for further information regarding this.


The main advantage of cat registration is it helps with reuniting lost cats with their owners.  This is a key component of Council’s role in dog and cat management.


A key part of the by-law is addressing nuisance cat behaviour. A cat is causing a nuisance if it:

  • Unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of a person, including but not limited to a cat(s) displaying aggressive nature or creating unpleasant noise or odour; or
  • Damages or otherwise has an adverse impact upon native flora or fauna; or
  • Acts in a manner that is injurious to a person’s real or personal property; or
  • Wanders onto land without the consent of the owner or occupier of the land 
  • Defecates or urinates on land without the consent of the owner or occupier of the land.
Confinement (curfew)

A curfew will address nuisance behaviour from cats within the curfew times (8pm to 8am) and will also be a huge step toward decreasing the impacts that cats have on native wildlife.

A curfew is also in the best interest of people’s valued pets as the safest place for a cat is at home, they won’t be at risk from getting lost, hit by a car or fighting with other cats.

Generally speaking, indoor cats live in a much more stress-free environment than those that spend time outside and may live up to 15 years or more.

Community feedback

Council will focus on informing the community and will actively promote and monitor responsible pet ownership. Local vets and key stakeholders have been consulted.

Community consultation closed on 30 April 2019. 

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6 Dutton Road, Mount Barker SA 5251
T 8391 7200