Cat confinement

Manningham has a 24-hour Cat Confinement Order to help protect your cats’ welfare.

Cat confinement means your pet cat is not allowed outside of your property boundary and is endorsed by animal welfare organisations including the RSPCA.

Keeping your cat at home is:

Safer for your cat

Keeping your cat at home is one of the best things you can do for them!

Research shows a cat contained to your property can live up to four times longer than a cat who is free to roam (Australian Veterinary Association, 2014).

It is a common misconception that cats need to roam. If their basic needs are met, cats enjoy longer and healthier lives when safely contained to the property.

Serious problems can happen if cats roam outdoors, particularly at night. Around 80% of accidents involving cats happen at night. (Animal Welfare Victoria)

Wandering cats are also exposed to, and can transmit, disease, can be hit by cars, become lost and fight with other cats and foxes.

Better for neighbour relations

We receive consistent complaints about cats entering neighbouring properties and spraying or defecating, fighting or making noise.

See more information below on engaging with neighbours who have a roaming cat.

Safer for local wildlife

Even well-fed cats will hunt and this can have a significant impact on local wildlife, including birds and possums.

Most of the reports Wildlife Victoria receives are about wildlife injured by domestic dogs and cats, this is why it is important for all Manningham pet owners to exercise responsible pet ownership.

See more information below, under ‘How is Cat Confinement Order being applied by Council’

What happens if my cat is caught outside my property?

We are encouraging you to be a responsible pet owner and to keep your cat within your property.

Our Local Laws officers will work with you to ensure compliance with the order, however we will be acting on reports from the community about roaming cats.

Enforcement of the cat confinement order will be assessed on an individual basis, as we work with our cat owners to promote responsible pet ownership.

If your cat is registered and microchipped this will assist Council Officers getting your cat home to you safely should your cat become lost.

Keeping your cat safe and healthy

Can I take my cat for a walk on a lead if there is cat confinement?

Yes, as long as you have effective control in a securely fitted harness, or the cat is in a carrier.

Lots of animal welfare organisations provide tips for training your cat to walk on lead and there are a range of harnesses and leashes available specifically for cats.

For tips and advice visit:

How can I train my cat to stay at home?

Resources are available to assist in the transition to helping your cat to an indoor (or an outdoor enclosure) lifestyle.

Some simple methods include feeding your cat indoors and not letting your cat back outside as soon as they're finished eating.

Young cats should adapt quite quickly to an indoor lifestyle, while cats used to roaming will take a little more time and training.

Often gradually increasing their time indoors will help to make the transition easier for your cat.

There are lots of ways to make indoors a fun and enriching place for your cat. Adding a few cat-friendly activities to our home will fulfill your cat’s natural instincts to search for food, play, as well as their climbing and clawing needs.

For tips and advice visit:

Is my cat allowed outdoors on my property?

Yes. Your cat is allowed outdoors, providing it remains within the boundaries of your property.

How can I keep my cat active outdoors?
Will keeping my cat at home impact its mental health?

If a cat is kept active and given enrichment toys, then keeping your cat at home will have little effect on its mental health. As noted above, cats are still allowed outside, so long as they stay within your property boundary.

Indoor cats are less susceptible to disease and injury. A cat allowed to roam free has an average life expectancy of only three or four years, compared to 15 years or more for a cat kept at home (Animal Humane Society).

Reporting stray or nuisance cats

What do I do if a cat is wandering onto my property and causing a nuisance?

If you know the owner of the cat we encourage you to speak with them first. If the issue cannot be resolved and you wish to make a formal complaint, contact us.

If you feel uncomfortable about confronting a neighbour about their wandering pet, we have provided a printable resource for you to anonymously let them know about their cat's unwanted roaming.

Cat confinement neighbour alert flyer
Cat confinement neighbour alert flyer
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Can I request a cat trap?

If you have issues with cats trespassing contact us to address your concerns. Council Officers may provide a trap to assist in identifying the owner of the cat.

How can you tell the difference between a pet, stray or feral cat?

It’s important that pet cats are microchipped and registered so we can distinguish them from unowned cats and reunite them with their owner if they become lost. It is often hard to tell the difference between a pet, a stray, or a feral cat, as some pet cats will display different behaviours depending on their characteristics. Quite often stray and feral cats will disappear around people unless they have built up trust with that person.

How is the cat confinement order being applied by Council?

Our officers are acting on complaints from the community about roaming cats. Our aim is to educate owners and provide assistance on how to safely contain cats on their property.

Do other Councils have cat confinement?

A growing number of Victorian Councils have implemented, or are considering introducing, cat confinement laws. As of March 2024, the new regulations will bring Manningham in line with 38 of 79 Victorian councils that have some form of cat confinement in place. A further 16 councils are currently considering introducing cat confinement laws.

Is it legal for my neighbour or Council to trap my cat?

Yes. It is legal for someone to humanely trap a trespassing cat. If you know the owner of the cat, we encourage you to speak with them first. If the issue cannot be resolved and you wish to make a formal complaint, contact us.

Will confinement make any difference to overall levels of predation or to the threat of wildlife?

Cats are natural predators of native wildlife, whether they are owned or stray/feral.

Approximately 78 per cent of cats allowed to roam will hunt and this presents a major threat to our native animals. On average, each roaming, hunting pet cat kills more than three animals every week (Invasive Species Council 2023).

Most of the reports Wildlife Victoria receives are about wildlife injured by domestic dogs and cats, this is why it is important for all Manningham pet owners to exercise responsible pet ownership.

Containing your cat within the boundaries of your property (especially at a young age) will lower its natural predation and will assist in the protection of local wildlife.

What happens to cats that are captured?

If the cat is microchipped and/or registered with Council we will make all necessary attempts to reunite the cat with its owner. If the owner of a cat can’t be identified or contacted, it will be transferred to the Manningham Pound where it will undergo a health and behavioural assessment to determine suitability for adoption.

When was the cat confinement order implemented?

The order began 1 April 2024 with an evaluation period scheduled for December 2025.

The decision was guided by feedback provided at our Domestic Animal Management Plan consultation, community consultation, reports about nuisance cats, reports of environmental impacts of cats in parks and reserves, and reports of attacks on wildlife.


How do I register my cat?
Will the cost of cat registration be reduced?

As part of the animal registration process there are reduced fees for desexed animals as well as if the owner is entitled to concession.

If my cat is made to be indoors 24 hours a day, will I still need to register them?

Yes. All cats over the age of three months are required to be registered under state law. If your cat escapes your property, then these fees will assist in returning your cat to you. Registering your pets helps Council reunite you with your pet as Council will be able to quickly trace them back to you. 

Useful links

Tails of the Forgotten Paw offer free desexing to local cat owners experiencing financial hardship.

The DAMP was informed by extensive community consultation and adopted by Council in May 2022.

Registering your pet lets you reunite with them quickly if they ever get lost.