Promote responsible cat ownership
Promote responsible cat ownership through community education and engagement campaigns.
With about a quarter of Canberra households owning cats, cats are significant part of our society. Cats provide love, companionship, and important health and wellbeing benefits to their owners. In return, it is essential that we provide safe and happy homes for them.
Consultation has now closed on the Draft ACT Cat Plan (the draft plan), which supports a vision where:
‘All cats will be owned, wanted and cared for by responsible cat owners’
The draft plan also focuses on how we can better protect native animals from roaming cats.
Living in the bush capital, many of us enjoy and live close to nature. For our native wildlife, this also means that they are often vulnerable to predation from cats.
Research shows that cats have already contributed to the extinction of more than 20 Australian mammals. In Canberra alone, it is estimated that roaming cats predated each year on 61,000 native birds, 2,000 native animals, 30,000 native reptiles and 6,000 native frogs.
The final plan will respond to this issue while also considering animal welfare and community wishes.
The draft plan contains eight strategies to address cat management in the ACT.
These strategies include:
Promote responsible cat ownership
Promote responsible cat ownership through community education and engagement campaigns.
Improve compliance and enforcement of cat laws
Explore options to improve compliance and enforcement of cat laws including legal obligations for owners to desex,microchip and contain their cat (if they live in a declared cat containment area).
Reduce the number of semi-owned and un-owned cats through community education, increased adoption rates and strengthening laws to minimise breeding, nuisance and wildlife predation.
Adopt best practice animal welfare practices and support training and provision of cat management facilities and shelters in the ACT.
Explore options for expanding cat containment in the ACT (both mandatory and voluntary) to reduce the impact of cats on the environment and improve animal welfare and safety.
Raise awareness of how feral cats impact on native wildlife and explore opportunities for monitoring, research and control.
Explore options for managing owned, semi-owned, unowned and feral cats in rural areas and undertake information and training campaigns with rural land holders.
Raise public awareness about how to reduce risk of infection from cats. Though unlikely, germs from cats may cause a variety of illnesses in people, from minor skin infections to more serious illnesses.
Canberrans love animals, including our pets or native wildlife. The Draft ACT Cat Plan (the draft plan) is seeking community views on how we can all better manage cats for the health, welfare and safety of both domestic cats and native animals.
The purpose of the draft plan is to engage the community on how we work together to improve our laws, services and programs for managing all cats—domestic and feral. Cats that are not responsibly owned (micro-chipped, desexed and contained) are at risk of harm to themselves and continue to harm native wildlife.
You must desex your cat unless:
You must microchip your cat. A cat of any age can be microchipped.
You may not keep four or more cats unless you have a multiple cats licence.
You must contain your cat if you live in a cat containment area.
To reduce the number of unwanted cats born each year that may become neglected and abandoned.Cats can give birth to about three litters of kittens each year and can start breeding at just 3-4 months old. Many of these kittens often flow into the feral cat population, feeding off wildlife and producing even more unwanted cats. Having your pet desexed also helps to reduce straying, aggression, fighting and antisocial behaviour, and has added health benefits for your animal.
Microchipping is an effective way for animal shelters and vets to identify lost cats to return to their owners.
Microchipping is a safe procedure where a silicon chip, approximately the size of a grain of rice, is implanted under the skin of the animal.
Cat containment means taking measures to prevent your cat from roaming and keeping your cat on your premises 24 hours a day. Cat containment is compulsory in some ACT suburbs. There are also many people who choose to voluntarily contain their cat.
Find out more about current cat containment laws in the ACT.
There are two key reasons to contain your cat.
The ACT Government pursuant to Section 81 of the Domestic Animals Act 2000, has declared the following areas to be cat containment areas:
A map showing cat containment areas is also available.
Cats can happily live indoors especially when they have been trained to be an indoor cat from a young age. Suggestions to increase activity and stimulation of contained cats include toys, scratching posts, vertical and horizontal climbing spaces, walks outside on a harness and lead and access to an outdoor escape-proof cat enclosure or cat run.
The RSPCA has more information on how to ensure your home is a feline-friendly, stimulating environment.
Advice, tips, and tools to help you transition your cat to a safer and happier life at home is available through the Safe Cat, Safe Wildlife website.
Cat registration is an official database of microchipped and registered cats. An online registry would allow pet owners to update contact details, report missing pets, change the ownership of pets, and, if applicable, pay a registration fee.
The Registry would be managed by the ACT Government as part of the ACT Government’s commitment to strengthen animal welfare standards and promote responsible pet ownership.
A cat registration system would support compliance and enforcement and improve systems for reuniting lost pets with their owners.
All cats are the same species (Felis catus). However, for management purposes, we define cat populations using different categories. RSPCA Australia defines cats as either domestic or feral and separates domestic cats into three subcategories based on their relationship with humans: These include:
The flow of cat populations between these categories is interconnected. To effectively manage the welfare of cats and their impacts on the environment, the entire population must be managed in an integrated way.
Domestic cats have some dependence (direct or indirect) on people. Feral cats have no relationship with or dependence on humans, and reproduce in the wild.
A cat that is cared for by a specific identifiable person. Owned cats are directly dependent on people and usually sociable.
Semi-owned cats are fed and cared for by people who do not consider they own the cat. Semi-owned cats may be associated with one or more households and sociability/friendliness to humans varies.
Unowned cats are indirectly dependent on people with some having casual and temporary interactions with different people. They are of varying sociability, including some who are unsocialised to humans, and some may live in groups (e.g. around rubbish tips, drains, food outlets).
A stray cat is a general term for roaming cat that may or may not have an owner.
The following are several research papers undertaken on impact, management and ecology associated with cats in Australia.
Click on the links below to read the full paper.
The online ‘YourSay’ service is provided using a digital platform operated by the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate (CMTEDD).
The ACT Government respects the rights and privacy of all individuals and is committed to complying with the Information Privacy Act 2014 and the Territory Privacy Principles and protecting the personal information we hold.
CMTEDD (via Harvest which is contracted service provider of CMTEDD) collects your personal information as part of providing the Territory’s online community engagement services, informing you about these services, complying with contractual and other legal obligations, responding to your enquiries and administering its community engagement technology.
CMTEDD may use your personal information for these purposes, any other purpose listed on a collection statement at the point of collection, or in any other way made clear at the time of collecting the personal information. In cases where feedback is received about an engagement opportunity that is subject to another Territory agency's Terms and Conditions, or arrangements for handling personal information, your feedback may be provided to the agency concerned.
In your feedback to the ACT Government, you should not provide personal information, including personal health information (for example, any information (medical or otherwise) about a person’s health, mental status, treatments received etc) about any other person (a third person).
We collect the comments, votes, posts and selections you contribute when interacting with the feedback mechanisms provided through 'YourSay', which include:
This information is analysed and interpreted by CMTEDD staff, staff of other ACT Government agencies and in some circumstances, third party contractors who have been engaged to assist in the analysis of the data collected, to inform the creation of better projects, plans and policies.
Can you remain anonymous or withhold personal information?
Yes. You can access and participate in select ‘YourSay’ engagements anonymously, without disclosing any personal information. Some identified studies may require you to register and establish an account in order to participate. Users may choose to adopt a pseudonym for these studies.
When you register for a ‘YourSay’ account or sign-in to your existing account, the information we collect includes:
For engagements where you do not register for a ‘YourSay’ account, we may seek to collect from you:
Demographic details are requested in order to help us determine the degree to which views of participants are representative of a diverse cross-section of the community.
By providing an email address you help us protect the integrity of the discussion from individuals and groups who may attempt to unduly influence the outcomes of the consultation process anonymously. For example, we check the database to ensure each user has a single email account on the site. We also frequently review the site for trolls and spammers.
If you are registered and signed-in to your user account, the contributions and feedback you provide may be linked with your username and any demographic details you have recorded in your account.
If you subscribe to receive notifications about upcoming consultations and other engagement activities , the email address you provide will be used by CMTEDD to send you information and updates about new opportunities to have your say. You can unsubscribe from these updates notifications at any time.
If you subscribe to receive updates about a specific engagement project, for example by using the ‘Follow’ function, the email address you provide will be used to send you information and updates about that engagement. You can unsubscribe from these notifications at any time.
Cookies are used on our site, but they do not collect any personal information. For the most part they are sessional and just contain system-generated values to identify the user's session for statistical and system administration purposes only.
Site visit data
The site’s web-server automatically collects the following de-identified data for statistical and system administration purposes only:
To the extent that this data could make you identifiable, CMTEDD and Harvest will not attempt to identify individuals from the records the server automatically generates unless necessary to investigate a breach of law or regulation.
When you sign up for and use the ‘YourSay’ service you provide two types of information:
Publicly available information
Publicly available information is limited to your username and any comments you leave under that username in the forums or other feedback tools published to ‘YourSay’.
You can use your first name or an anonymous username if you do not want your full name attached to forum and guestbook comments, stories or questions.
Feedback (including overall results of polls and surveys, and in some instances, quotes from forums and surveys) may be published in publicly available reports at the end of the consultation period.
Please note that the ACT Government is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2016. The Freedom of Information Act 2016 provides a general right of access to government information. This includes documents created by the government, documents held by contracted service providers relating to the performance of government contracts and documents supplied to government by external organisations or individuals.
Information available to CMTEDD and Harvest (and which CMTEDD may disclose to other entities as set out in this privacy notice) includes:
Information available to third party contractors may include but is not limited to:
CMTEDD will take all reasonable measures to prevent unauthorised access to, or disclosure of, your personal information.
Organisations to which personal information is disclosed include other ACT Government directorates, the ACT Government’s contracted Service Providers, such as Harvest and their subcontractors or agents who may be based in Australia or overseas (namely in the Philippines), who perform various services for and on behalf of the ACT Government. These contractors have agreed to be bound by the provisions of the Information Privacy Act 2014.
We will also take all necessary measures to ensure that your personal information is not disclosed to other individuals, institutions and authorities except in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2014, such as if required or authorised by law or explicitly permitted by you. Some examples of when information may be provided to another person without your consent include in the event of an investigation into suspected unlawful or improper activity or when a law enforcement agency or government agency may exercise its legal authority to inspect the web server's records (e.g. in relation to hacking or abusive messages).
You may seek corrections to your personal information that CMTEDD has collected if you believe it is inaccurate, out-of–date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading. CMTEDD is required to take reasonable steps to correct personal information to ensure that, having regard to the purpose for which it is held, the information is not inaccurate, out-of–date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading.
You may also seek access to your personal information that CMTEDD holds.
The ‘YourSay’ Privacy Statement does not apply to third party websites or digital services which may be linked to from content published to 'YourSay'. We recommend you read the privacy statement of the relevant service when you access these sites.
Third Party Providers
We sometimes use third party providers for some web-based services, with information stored in the United States and Europe. These include Campaign Monitor and Mail Chimp for email subscriptions, Survey Monkey and Typeform for online surveys, Social Pinpoint for interactive maps, Viostream for live streaming question and answers, MindHive for running a collaborative forum and EventBrite for registration at events. Please follow the hyperlinks for details on their privacy policies.
Campaign Monitor Privacy
CMTEDD uses Campaign Monitor to provide electronic newsletters to subscribers.
CMTEDD holds the Campaign Monitor account and personal information collected through that account can be accessed by other agencies of the ACT Government for the purposes of sending electronic newsletters.
Campaign Monitor will use the information collected from you for the purpose of providing the online service which enables CMTEDD and other agencies of the ACT Government to create, send and manage electronic newsletters. Campaign Monitor will also use this information to measure the performance of CMTEDD and other ACT Government email campaigns.
Campaign Monitor may transfer this information to its contractors or other third parties who process the information on Campaign Monitor’s behalf, or where otherwise required to do so by law.
Campaign Monitor is based in the United States of America (USA) and is subject to the laws of the USA. Your information (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Campaign Monitor on servers located outside Australia.
You can unsubscribe from the 'YourSay' electronic newsletter at any time by selecting the 'unsubscribe’ option in every email sent to you by Campaign Monitor.
More information about how CMTEDD manages the personal information it collects can be found at http://www.cmd.act.gov.au/legal/privacy.
If you have any questions relating to the use of your personal data please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whole of Government Engagement Customer Relationship Management System
If you provide your personal information during an engagement, it may be included in a Whole of Government Customer Relationship Management System (CRM), together with the feedback or views you provide, and handled in accordance with Schedule 1 of the Information Privacy Act 2014, and the Territory Privacy Principles (TPPs).
The CRM system has been designed to provide directorates’ employees or authorised contractors with a place to store information about engagements with stakeholders and access information about engagements with stakeholders undertaken by other employees or authorised contractors. Information in the CRM may be used to inform subsequent engagements with the same or similar stakeholders. The use of the database is intended to strengthen coordination between ACT Public Sector agencies and reduce duplication of effort and stakeholder fatigue, by sharing information about engagement activities across government.
More detailed information about how your personal information is handled is available in the CRM Privacy Notice available at https://www.act.gov.au/crm-privacy. Further information about directorates’ privacy policies and where to locate them can be found in the CRM Privacy Notice.
If you have any comment in relation to any aspect of the collection, use, security of, or access to your personal information please contact us via:
Privacy Contact Officer
Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate
GPO Box 158
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable:
but does not include personal health information about the individual.
Personal health information
Personal health information means any personal information, whether or not recorded in a health record:
(a) relating to the health, an illness or a disability of the consumer; or
(b) collected by a health service provider in relation to the health, an illness or a disability of the consumer.
What are the conditions with a user’s account?
If you want to terminate your own account, please send an email to email@example.com.
We are not responsible for the content on the site that has been provided by the users of the site. Any content posted by you is subject to the rules of our Moderation Policy. Your contribution to the site may be edited, removed or not published if we consider it inappropriate (refer to Moderation Policy). Contributors should also be aware that their posts may remain online indefinitely. Where practical, you may choose not to identify yourself, deal with us on an anonymous basis or use a pseudonym.
What’s required of users?
You must understand and agree that, without limitation:
These Terms shall be governed in accordance with the laws of the Australian Capital Territory.
What content does the ACT Government own?
Your Say website contains the copyrighted material, trademarks, patents, trade secrets and other proprietary information (“Intellectual Property”) of Harvest and its suppliers and licensors. ACT Government owns and retains all proprietary rights in the intellectual property. All intellectual property in the content of this site including without limitation to text, software, source code, pages, documents and online graphics, photographs, sounds, audio, video and other interactive features are owned by or licensed to us.
Any original content that you submit or post on our site may be made available to the public and allows users to share your content (with the end user acknowledging your contribution) under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Australian License.
Except for Intellectual Property which is in the public domain or for which you have been given written permission, you may not copy, alter, transmit, sell, or distribute any of the Intellectual Property.
We are not responsible for your communications or dealings, including payment and delivery of goods or services, with a third party found via our website. Any loss or damage incurred from those communications or dealings are solely between the user and the third party.
Disclaimer and Warranties
Users must agree that your use of the site is at your own risk. We make no warranty that the site will meet your requirements or be uninterrupted or error-free. Any material that the user downloads through the site is done at their own risk and users are responsible for any damages to their computer system or loss of data.
What happens if these Terms change?
We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to modify or replace these Terms at any time without notice. The most recent version of the Terms can be seen on this page. By continuing to access or use our site after those revisions become effective, you agree and will comply to the revised terms. If you do not agree to the revised terms, please discontinue using our site.
If you have any questions about these Terms, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enter your email address below. We will send you instructions to reset your password.
Thank you, your account has been created.
Completing the questions below helps us better understand the diverse range of people who contribute their ideas. The questions are optional.