Responsible Cat Ownership



The Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 sets out the state laws relating to South Australian cat ownership. The Dog and Cat Management Board (DCMB) oversees the administration and enforcement of the Act and sets the strategic direction of dog and cat management for the state, with local councils taking responsibility for the day-to-day administration of dog and cat management laws.

As a responsible cat owner, you need to be aware that in South Australia, all cats born after 1 July 2018 must be desexed by a registered veterinary surgeon. 

There are some exceptions however. For more information refer to the Dog and Cat Board website dealing with desexing exemptions.

Cats must also be micro-chipped and registered on Dogs and Cats Online (DACO). This helps us identify you as the pet owner and assists to reunite you with your animal should it become lost.

It is recommended that cats are kept contained, particularly at night-time, for their own safety, and to reduce annoyance to neighbours and impact on our wildlife.

The safest place for your cat is home


For further information on responsible cat ownership, care and confinement, please visit the Dog and Cat Board website.  

In normal circumstances, Council can provide cages to transport found cats and kittens - both owned and stray animals - to the Animal Welfare League, where they can be housed temporarily while they are examined for microchip information and reunited with their owners.

However, the Animal Welfare League has informed us that their facilities are at their highest-ever capacity, and unfortunately this means that, as of 15 May 2023, the AWL will closed for intake of cats and kittens until further notice, and will not be able to accept surrenders of animals.

This means that Council officers will not be offering cat cages to assist in capture and transport of felines for the foreseeable future.

The Animal Welfare League wishes to thank Council and the Unley community for their understanding and support, saying that the welfare of the animals currently in their care is their top priority. The City of Unley and the AWL will notify the public when this situation changes.

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