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Cats are an important part of our everyday life. As companions, they fulfil a vital role in society by providing companionship and unconditional love for their owners.

Cats And The Law

Cat Owners Handbook

Good Cats Play At Home

New Cat By-Law

By-law No.6 was introduced to prevent nuisance caused by cats.

The cat by-law includes the following changes:

  • Cats not to be a nuisance
  • Effective confinement of Cats
  • Cat free areas
  • Registration of Cats

Please refer below for a copy of the cat by law -

By law No 6 Cats 2021


A cat is causing a nuisance if it (as per definition):

  • 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.

What will happen to cats making a nuisance?

In the first instance Council will discuss any cat nuisance issues with owner(s) of the cat(s) and inform them of their responsibilities. This will hopefully result in a change of behaviour, if the issue continues Council will investigate further.

What can I do if there is a cat causing a nuisance?

If you are experiencing a cat problem such as spraying cats, cat fights and straying cats, there are several options available to help you to rectify the problem.

Approach the owner

Many people are not even aware that their cat/s are causing a nuisance.

When this situation occurs, it is primarily a dispute between two individuals and may be resolved by having a conversation with the owner. If you know who owns the cat/s, approach the owner and discuss the matter in a friendly and constructive way - you may be able to work together to find a suitable solution.

To assist you, please refer to the below letter, that can be used, should you wish to make contact with your neighbour.

Anonymous letter to cat owner


To discourage cats from entering your property, there are many deterrents available that will assist you, some of these include:

  • Cayenne pepper - Sprinkle pepper around the problem areas. You can also sprinkle mustard, eucalyptus oil, vinegar, citrus peel, cloudy ammonia or citronella oil, as cats don't like the smell.
  • Vaseline - Smearing Vaseline on the fence and post tops will deter cats as they cannot grip the greasy surface.
  • Chicken wire - Fences can be modified by attaching floppy chicken wire to the top of an existing fence, angled slightly inwards, cats will find it very difficult to balance on the chicken wire.
  • Rue - Plant this herb near their normal toileting area will deter them from returning there.
  • Ping-pong balls - If a cat uses the roof of your car to sleep on at night, hang ping-pong balls on fishing line from the roof of the garage. Hang them at a height where they just miss the car but would hit the cat, hence annoying it so much that they would find another place to sleep.
  • Water your garden - If a cat digs in a certain area of your garden at night, water this section just before dark so that it will be wet overnight as cats don't like to have wet, muddy feet.

Homeless cats flyer

Helpful Hints on Deterring Cats

Confinement (Curfew)

As and from 1 January 2023, you must ensure that your cat is confined at all times at your property between the hours of 8 pm and 7 am daily.

A curfew will address nuisance behaviour from cats within the curfew times (8pm to 7am) 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.

Please refer below for more information and Fact Sheets.

RSPCA Australia Guide to Keeping Your Cat Safe and Happy at Home

Desexing and Microchipping

The City of Marion does not charge a fee for registering your cat, However it is recommended that you update your contact details and cat's microchipping and desexing details in to the registration database Dogs and Cats Online (DACO). It is important to register your cat to assist with identifying the cat should it be collected by one of our Community Safety Inspectors, or taken to a vet or the RSPCA. Keeping your information up to date on the microchip record and on DACO will assist us with reuniting you with your beloved pet.

As of 1 July 2018, the State Government made some changes to the requirements for desexing and microchipping cats and dogs.

  • All cats and dogs are required to be microchipped.
  • All cats and dogs born after 1 July 2018 must be desexed.

Exemptions may apply.

Visit the Dog and Cat Management Board website for more information.

Number of cats permitted

The number of cats permitted per residence is two desexed cats.

Residents may apply to the City of Marion for permission to keep more than the permitted number of cats.

Each application will be investigated by a Community Safety Inspector and each application is judged on its merits.

The application form below must be completed in full for it to be lodged and assessed.

A Community Safety Inspector will investigate and inspect the property where the cats will be kept.

The approval process may take up to 4 weeks. The City of Marion will advise you of the decision in writing. The approval is only valid for the cats mentioned in the application. The approval may be withdrawn if the City of Marion receives a complaint relating to the cats.

To apply, You can download and complete the form below

Additional Cat Application Form

Cat traps

The City of Marion Community Safety Inspectors investigate matters relating to breaches of our by-law No. 6 Cats. Investigations include cats breaching the cat curfew hours and cats causing a nuisance.

What are the hours of the cat curfew?

During the hours of 8pm – 7am cats must be contained or under effective control by means of physical restraint.

What is a cat nuisance?

  • 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.
  • damages or otherwise has an adverse impact upon native flora or fauna.
  • 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.

In the above circumstances, if residents are willing to supply a signed statement and attend court our inspectors can conduct an investigation for any breaches of the by-law.

As part of these investigations a Community Safety Inspector may supply residents with a cat cage to trap a cat to prove an offence has occurred.

You will be required to sign a ‘Community Safety Cat Trap Loan Agreement Form’ prior to any trapping commences. Our Community Safety Inspectors will explain the process and requirements during the investigation.

If residents do not wish to supply a signed statement and attend court, there is the option to hire a cage to trap cats, residents will be responsible for conveying these trapped cats to the RSPCA.

These cages are available for collection between 8.30am and 4.30pm. Please telephone the City of Marion Customer Service Centre on 8375 6600 to check availability. If a cage is available, the Customer Service Centre can place the cage on hold for 24 hours.

A refundable deposit of $85 applies and the hire period is 4 weeks. Where any cage is not returned within 4 weeks, the resident will be charged for the full replacement cost of the cage at $230.00.

A cat must be released within 12 hours of being trapped by one of the following methods:

  • Taken to RSPCA 9A Majors Road O'Halloran Hill
  • Released where it was caught.
  • Taken to a veterinarian within the City of Marion (Hallett Cove Veterinary Surgery are unable to hold cats however they can scan for microchip)

RSPCA 9A Majors Road O'Halloran Hill SA 5158 Shelters - RSPCA South Australia (

For your convenience, the Cat Trap Agreement Form is available to download below.

Cat Trap Loan Agreement

Lost Cats

The City of Marion does not keep a register of lost cats.

If you have lost your cat, please visit our Lost Animals page.

It is also advisable to place a notice in your local shopping centre, perhaps do a local letter box drop, or consider putting an advertisement in the local newspaper.

Identified Cats

It is important to note that in accordance with legislation (Dog and Cat Management Act 1995) cats are identified if they have either a tagged collar or a microchip as indicated by an ‘M’ tattoo in the ear.

It is an offence to trap an identified cat and the animal must be returned to the place where it was trapped.

It is unlawful to enter private property in order to trap a cat.

Any cat must be either released, taken to a veterinarian or RSPCA O'Halloran Hill located at 9A Majors Road O'Halloran Hill (contact details above) within 12 hours of capture. Whilst the RSPCA does not charge for accepting stray cats, donations are always welcome.

Further details regarding this legislation can be obtained by visiting the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water website.

RSPCA Lonsdale phone: 1300 477 722

RSPCA Headquarters phone: 1300 4 RSPCA (1300 4 77722)

RSPCA Headquarters email:

Cat traps - hire temporarily suspended

Update - 17 November 2023: Council has suspended its cat cage hire program due to the global shortage of vaccines.

RSPCA South Australia has recently advised they are unable to accept unvaccinated cats due to a supply shortage of core cat vaccinations.

An exception will be made for surrendered cats whose owners can provide a certificate as evidence of their cats being vaccinated in the last two years. Surrenders are by appointment only and assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Kittens less than 6 months of age will continue to be taken in at this time. There are strict practices in place for this process to ensure the safety of other sheltered animals.

As a result, the City of Marion will temporarily suspend its cat cage hire service, until further notice.

Find out more by reading RSPCA SA's media release.

RSPCA O'Halloran Hill phone: 1300 477 722

RSPCA Headquarters phone: 1300 4 RSPCA (1300 4 77722)

RSPCA Headquarters email: