Lack of cat laws in Rockingham frustrates residents

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A lack of confinement laws or regulations requiring cat owners to keep their pets indoors at night has left residents within the City of Rockingham demanding action.
Camera IconA lack of confinement laws or regulations requiring cat owners to keep their pets indoors at night has left residents within the City of Rockingham demanding action. Credit: WA News.

A lack of confinement laws or regulations requiring cat owners to keep their pets indoors at night has left residents within the City of Rockingham demanding action.

Baldivis resident Shannon Pettley took to social media last week, saying he was frustrated his neighbour’s cat was free to roam around his neighbourhood, and had on countless occasions over the past two years, damaged his property.

Mr Pettley said the cat in question had been using sand at the side of his property as a litter box on a daily basis, scratching his flyscreen and ripping up a shade cloth in his backyard as the cat moved along the top of it.

After two years of dealing with the cat damaging his property, Mr Pettley said he was very close to taking the cat to a vet or ranger.

“I am a firm believer that they should be kept inside. If you buy a pet, you should be responsible for that pet and any damage they cause,” he said.

“The cat laws are too slack and are allowing people to buy an animal and pretty much leave them to do what they please.”

There are no confinement laws for cats in State legislation or in City of Rockingham Local Law.

However, City of Rockingham deputy mayor Deb Hamblin said the City did receive complaints regarding feral cats on residents’ properties, which the law allowed the City to collect.

Ms Hamblin said the City could not collect cats from properties or issue infringements to cat owners if their cats were found roaming.

“The City has received complaints from residents about cats roaming around neighbourhood properties… the majority involve people requesting assistance to collect feral cats,” she said.

Mr Pettley said that owners of cats who were let out to roam did not have to worry about facing fines, unlike other pet owners, and it was time rules changed and required cat owners to face the same fines other pet owners did.

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