Cat Management Act 2009

The Cat Management Act 2009 has been created to support the community in managing the health, welfare and impacts of cats in Tasmania. There have been some recent changes to the Act that all Tasmanians should know about and here we outline your responsibilities as a cat owner under the new legislation. 

Phasing in of legislation


All cats over the age of four months must be microchipped, unless a veterinarian considers it to be a health or welfare issue for the cat.

Microchipping your cat will greatly improve their chance of being returned to you if they become lost. If your lost cat is taken to a cat management facility or veterinary clinic, they will be scanned for a microchip. The microchip contains a number that is linked to the owner’s contact details and you can be reunited with your lost cat after a single phone call. If you move or change your phone number, make sure you update your details with the online registry.


All cats over the age of four months must be desexed unless a veterinarian considers it to be a health or welfare issue for the cat, or the cat is owned for the purpose of breeding.

Desexing your cat is the responsible thing to do. Many cats are bred by accident, as people do not realise that cats can have a litter from as early as four months of age. The unintended breeding of cats is a big problem in Tasmania and has resulted in an oversupply of cats in the community.

Along with helping to control the cat population, there are many other benefits to having your cat desexed. Desexing your cat at an early age is beneficial for their health as there are no chances of complications whilst giving birth. Additionally, a desexed cat is less likely to roam, yowl or spray urine and tends to be involved in fewer cat fights, resulting in fewer injuries and fewer vet bills. On average, desexed cats have an increased lifespan compared to non-desexed cats.

Maximum number of cats

You are allowed to keep a maximum of four cats over the age of four months at a property. This maximum number does not apply if you are a registered cat breeder, you hold a cat breeding permit, or you are fostering cats for a cat management facility. If you want to keep more than four cats on a property you are required to apply for a ‘multiple cat permit’.


How do people do that?

Breeding of cats

In Tasmania you are not allowed to breed a cat unless you are a registered breeder, or you hold a cat breeding permit. Anyone that breeds a litter from a cat, even if kittens will not be offered for sale, is considered a cat breeder. Cats that are not being kept for breeding must be desexed by four months of age.


Where can they apply for a breeding permit and when would you get one?

Selling or giving away a cat

Any cat that is to be sold or given away must be at least eight weeks old, desexed and microchipped, wormed and vaccinated prior to sale. In addition, written evidence of the results of a general health check must be provided by a qualified veterinarian. The only exceptions are if a vet certifies that microchipping and/or desexing may adversely affect the health and welfare of the cat, or the cat is being sold for the purpose of breeding.


There is no requirement in Tasmanian legislation to keep your cat contained to your property. However, for the benefit of your cat, your neighbours and local wildlife it is strongly encouraged that you keep your cat contained to your house and yard.

Cat owners have a responsibility to make sure their cat/s do not become a nuisance to their neighbours. The Cat Management Act 2009 allows for all cats to be trapped if they are found wandering on private property, so it is in the best interest of your cat to keep them contained to your property.

A factsheet on the Legislation for Cat Owners in Tasmania can be downloaded here and the full Cat Management Act 2009 can be viewed at XXXXX

TassieCat is a state-wide initiative to promote and facilitate responsible cat ownership and management in Tasmania. The project is supported by Cradle Coast Authority NRM, Kingborough Council, and NRM North through funding from the Tasmanian Government.

© Tasmanian Cat Management Project 2021