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Be a responsible pet owner

You are responsible for ensuring your pets are identified, healthy, safely contained and do not create a nuisance in the neighbourhood.

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Cats are wonderful companions and are a popular pet choice. Highly adaptable and flexible, cats fit into domestic life easily.

You do not need to register your cat, however you must comply with a number of legislative and environmental health requirements.

As a responsible cat owner you must:

Fines are in place for those who disregard the regulations. Find our more on our Laws, breaches and fines page.

Desexing has many benefits and will help your cat live a healthier and longer life:

  • reduce unwanted kittens and feral cat numbers with early desexing
  • protect from injury and disease
  • stop aggressive behaviour in males
  • prevent roaming, spraying and noise nuisance.

Keeping cats happy

Keep your cats happy and healthy by creating an interesting environment for its physical, mental and social needs, such as:

  • food and water – provide separate areas for eating away from the litter trays
  • health and nutrition – speak to your local vet about behaviour and care
  • plants and grass – grow non-toxic varieties for your cat to smell, rub against and even eat
  • toys and exercise – cats love to play with toys that make noise and move. Train your cat to walk on a leash or harness outside
  • scratching posts – these help cats stretch their muscles and sharpen claws
  • space – providing dedicated own areas in multi-cat households can prevent aggression
  • resting areas – provide quiet areas where your cat can feel secure and safe
  • viewing areas – provide elevated vantage points where your cat access sunshine and observe surroundings
  • toileting areas – each cat requires his/her own litter box. Scoop daily and clean weekly to reduce odour.

Contain your cat safely on your property

It is your responsibility to provide a secure escape-proof fence or enclosure. A roaming cat is in danger of becoming lost, injured or killed. It can spread disease, harm wildlife and may disrupt neighbours.

One penalty unit applies for a breach of this requirement.

There are many options available to keep your cat contained to your property:

  • contain your cat inside your home – provide daily play sessions
  • modify existing fencing to make cat proof – give your cat access to the whole yard
  • build an enclosure attached to your house – allow access in and out of the house
  • free-standing, outdoor enclosure – provide outside time safely contained with shade and shelter.

Learn more about keeping cats happy with useful information in our Keeping cats safe fact sheets.

More information

For Animal Management enquiries, contact us on 07 5667 5990.

If a cat is causing problems in your area, you can contact us or visit Report a problem – Animals and complete an online form.

Related information

Jump to key information
  • How must I take care of my dog under City of Gold Coast's local laws?

    • Register and microchip your dog from three (3) months old. Attach the registration tag to its collar.
    • Keep your dog under control and on a leash in public. The City of Gold Coast has 'leash-free' areas where your dog can be exercised, providing owners keep them under control.
    • Pick up after your dog when it defecates in a public area.
    • Keep your dog safely contained on your property.
    • Ensure your pet is not a nuisance. 

    Penalties apply for breaches of these requirements.

  • What happens if I don't follow these rules?

    • You may be liable for an on-the-spot fine or alternatively you may face a court imposed penalty.
    • Your dog may be impounded if it's found wandering or unleashed in a public place. Unidentified animals become the property of Animal Welfare League if not claimed within three days. Identified animals become the property of the Animal Welfare League if not claimed within five days.
  • Am I responsible if my dog attacks?

    • You may be liable for injury to a person or animal attacked by your dog, fined or ordered to fence your property.
    • City of Gold Coast may declare your dog to be a dangerous dog, or your dog may be destroyed.
  • How many cats or dogs can I have?


    Council of the City of Gold Coast Local Law No.12 (Animal Management) 2013 allows a maximum of two dogs to be kept on a property.


    Council of the City of Gold Coast Local Law No.12 (Animal Management) 2013 allows a maximum of two cats on a property.