The City of Kwinana has introduced a new Cat Local Law aimed at improving control over pets and protection of the environment.
The new two cats per household limit hopes to engage more ‘effective control’ of cats within the area, which the City says would provide significant benefits to the State’s existing wildlife.
A survey conducted by Animal Medicines Australia found that 27 per cent of households have pet cats and of that, 70 per cent were allowed to roam and hunt freely outside.
Devices such as bells on collars may reduce some harm to wildlife but does not prevent hunting altogether.
Further research from UniSA Cat Tracker project found that on average pet cats kill 186 animals a year including native reptiles, birds and mammals.
The increasing public awareness of the negative effects of cats on the environment and the new Cat Local Law will add to existing microchipping, sterilisation, registration and breeding control laws in Kwinana.
The most significant inclusions under the new law regards the number of cats allowed on premises without a permit or exemption.
The new two cats per household rule will mean that in public areas they must be held, securely tethered, in a cage or controlled by other means to prevent escape.
Limiting the number of household cats and regulations in public areas or at home significantly reduces the opportunity for hunting and the impacts hunting has on native animals.
Residents can apply for cattery permits.
Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said the City would employ an education first approach in the coming months to ensure cat owners meet their responsible pet ownership obligations.
“Initially, education will be used to encourage compliance by cat owners before moving on to official warnings and then formal enforcement if necessary,” Ms Adams said.
“The aim is to obtain willing compliance by cat owners, rather than enforcement, to ensure their cats are kept in a manner that keeps them safely on their own property while avoiding detrimental impacts to nearby properties and native wildlife,” she said.