"The Cat Act 2011 was introduced to assist in dealing with the devastation caused to native wildlife by both domestic and feral cat species within the state."
"As of 1 November, 2013, a failure to undertake any of these provisions may result in the cat owner being subject to a modified penalty (infringement currently in the amount of $200 per offence) being issued by the Local Government Authority of the cat owner to be prosecuted".
"To register for 1 year = $20; 3 years = $42.50; or Lifetime = $100." (as one can never be sure how long one will have a cat I doubt many people would pay the $100 fee; perhaps cat breeders whose cats probably don't get the chance to roam?)
There are a number of cats, probably 5 or 6 different ones, that keep visiting our garden, some of which are peaceful and some of which are somewhat aggressive. Precious has always been a timid little cat and is rather frightened of several of these cats. She will quite often peer through the back window or back door before venturing into our garden and if there is a cat there we have to shoo it off before she will go out. I know there is at least one male cat that hasn't been desexed as sometimes an horrific odour greets us when we open the back door; it is so strong that it will also permeate the house at times. Can all male cats (desexed or not) make that smell? I thought not.
Precious rarely goes outside our boundary fences for which I am very thankful and I wonder if the owners of these other cats will obey these new laws? How will this law be policed and enforced? Will the ranges be constantly prowling around seeking cats without collars? Precious has never worn a collar and I somehow think she will object to doing so (a friend said the same about her cat). Precious climbs trees in our garden which worries me as we once lost a young cat whose collar became hooked on the branch of a tree. He was mute so couldn't cry out and would have died a horrible death (we didn't find out about it until about a week after the event). I thought micro-chipping would be enough and if a cat was caught they could check if it was chipped.
Don't get me wrong. I think cats should be registered and although we haven't had Precious micro-chipped (it wasn't suggested when we bought her from the Cat Haven although we took her back to be sterilised) and I hope it won't be too expensive. The collar? As said before, that really is a worry and my only hope is that she will continue to be a stay at home cat and not be caught without a collar. We will buy her one (elasticised) and try it but at 12 years of age I don't like the idea of stressing her out too much.
It is going to be very interesting over the next several months to see how the new laws play out. I have pre-registered Precious with our local council. Are there similar laws where you live perhaps? If so, has it worked. My other half is worried that if enough people decide not to have cats because of these new laws...will the mice and rat populations increase? That is definitely food for thought and quite a scary one too.