Caring for Cats

The Alice Springs municipality is an animal restriction area under local government authority. As such, Council’s Animal Management By-laws 2008 require domestic cats to be registered and under the effective control of their owners, so as not to cause nuisance to native wildlife, neighbours, or the general public.

Cat registration

Domestic cats over the age of six months must be registered with Council and there is a limit of two cats per household (three or more cats requires a kennel permit). Council also recommends de-sexing and micro-chipping to expedite identification and return of lost animals to owners.

More information about registering your cat with Council can be found here.

Cat safety

Cats are entertaining, intelligent pets and are welcome companions in many central Australian homes. Cats also are also natural hunters. Even a well-fed cat will still prey on small animals, often covering several kilometres during a night time hunting expedition.

The trend in local government authorities around the country is moving towards greater responsibility in pet ownership to prevent the decimation of Australia’s native wildlife by domestic and feral cat populations. Alice Springs Town Council encourages cat owners to keep domestic cats safely indoors, at least overnight.

There are numerous benefits to keeping your cat indoors, particularly in Alice Springs where there are greater extremes of temperature and many more native predators.

Indoor cats are:

  • Less likely to be hit by cars or injured by another animal (reducing vet visits)
  • Less likely to fall prey to a dingo, wild dog, eagle, snake, or human predator
  • Less likely to transmit/be infected by transmissible feline diseases
  • Less like to cause disputes with neighbours
  • Less likely to hunt native wildlife, including protected species
  • Less likely to contract ticks, fleas, or worms from other animals 

If not strictly indoor cats, there are ways to confine your cat to the property, including: building a cat enclosure; cat mesh; fixing deterrents along the top of fences, such as the Oscillot Cat Containment System or PVC piping; or, a Sureguard electronic system.

Lost, nuisance, stray or feral cats

If your cat is missing, please first contact the Alice Springs Animal Shelter on (08) 8953 4430. If the Animal Shelter does not have your cat, contact Council’s Rangers on (08) 8950 0500. Please note, you may incur an infringement if your cat is collected, away from your property, by a Council Ranger.

If a neighbour’s cat is causing nuisance within your property, Council recommends first contacting the neighbour to advise them of their cat’s behaviour on your property. Chances are they are unaware. If the cat continues to be a nuisance, contact Council’s Rangers on (08) 8950 0500 to lodge a formal complaint.

To protect our region’s native wildlife, stray or feral cats can be caught in humane traps, available to the local community by request to Alice Springs Town Council. To enquire about hiring, and the proper, humane usage of an animal trap, please contact Council’s Rangers on (08) 8950 0500 or email astc@astc.nt.gov.au (conditions apply).