SA State Law and District Council of Peterborough's Cat By-Law No 6 of 2018

Please see below a summary of rules and regulations according to State Law and the District Council of Peterborough's Cat By-Law No 6 of 2018. For further information and explanation please see the By-law: click here.

In South Australia, all cats (and dogs) must be microchipped and desexed  and registered in Dogs and Cats Online, the statewide database for dogs, cats, microchip, desexing and breeder registrations. Some exemptions apply.

Limits on Cat Numbers

The limit on the number of cats kept on any premises is two (2) only, and are to be desexed in accordance with any requirements of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995.

Cats must be Registered

Every cat kept in the Council's area must be registered under this By-Law, unless subject to conditions of the By-Law, with all relevant information kept up to date.

You must register your cat in Dogs and Cats Online by its mandatory microchip number. This is easy with council charging only $10 for a cat registration fee. Your cat’s microchip number should be provided to you by your vet, microchip implanter, shelter or breeder. There are easy reference guides on the Dog and Cat Management Board’s website if you need help.

Cat owners who’ve registered their cat’s microchip number in Dogs and Cats Online will receive a notice each July to remind them to log in and check their details are up-to-date. If you move, you’ll need to update your address. If your cat dies, is missing for more than 72 hours, is given to a new owner, or is surrendered to the RSPCA or Animal Welfare League, update your cat’s record in Dogs and Cats Online.  Choose ‘deceased’ or ‘lost’ from the ‘Animal Status’ drop down menu on your pet’s record.

If your cat goes to a new home, their registration must be transferred to the new owner. You’ll need to initiate a transfer in Dogs and Cats Online and give the transfer number to the new owner who then logs in to complete the transfer themselves. There are easy reference guides on the Dog and Cat Management Board’s website if you need help.

Mandatory desexing

All dogs and cats born after 1 July 2018 must be desexed by a registered veterinary surgeon before it is 6 months of age; or within 28 days after an owner takes possession of a puppy or kitten. Some exemptions can apply, visit the Dog and Cat Management Board website for details.

Mandatory microchipping

All cats (and dogs) must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age (unless exempted by a vet - see the Dog and Cat Management Board for details) and owners must register the microchip number in Dogs and Cats Online. Visit to find and book an upcoming session near you. Of course your local vet can microchip your pet.

Cats not to Wander at Large

A person who owns or is responsible for the control of a cat must not allow the cat to wander at large, unless subject to conditions of the By-Law.

Cats not to be a Nuisance

A person who owns or is responsible for the control of a cat must not allow the cat to cause a nuisance.

If an unwelcome cat enters your property, we encourage you to approach its owner (if you can identify them) in a friendly manner to explain the impact their cat is having on you. If you treat the issue as a shared problem and work on a solution together, you’re likely to achieve a good result.

Breeding, selling and buying

There are laws which regulate breeding and selling dogs and cats in South Australia. The most significant are set out below. Visit the Dog and Cat Management Board website for further information.

  • Breeders and sellers must adhere to the South Australian Standards and Guidelines for Breeding and Trading Companion Animals.
  • Breeders intending to sell dogs or cats they have bred must register in Dogs and Cats Online.
  • A dog or cat can’t be sold without a microchip.
  • Dogs and cats must be desexed by six months of age.
  • Any advertisement selling a dog or cat must include the seller and breeders’ contact details and breeder registration number.
  • Sellers/breeders must provide specific information to purchasers, eg. seller and breeders’ details; breeders’ Dogs and Cats Online number; vaccination details; desexing details; microchip details; known illnesses or medical conditions; control order information (dogs)


The Law and Trapping of Cats:

The District Council of Peterborough supports responsible cat management within the community and has cat traps available for hire to assist with the removal of feral and unowned cats within the district.

Conditions of Hire:

  • Traps are not to be set on Friday nights or during public holidays - Traps will not be serviced on weekends or public holidays
  • Traps must be monitored daily by the hirer.
  • The traps will only be hired out for the genuine removal of a feral or unowned cat.
  • Anyone living within the Council district can hire a cat trap if they are 18 years of age or older.
  • Cat traps must only be used on your own property or with the written consent of the occupier or owner of the land or property.
  • Cat traps will only be hired out for a period of time negotiated with a Council Officer.
  • Do not place the trap in direct sunlight (remembering shade cover moves during the day).
  • Do not set the trap on extreme weather days, ie exteme heat or storms.
  • Do not place the trap in an area where other animals can have access to or harass a trapped cat.
  • No person may interfere or remove the means by which a cat is identified.
  • Once a cat is caught, cover the trap with a blanket, tarp or something similar, leaving the ends exposed for ventilation or move the trap to a sheltered area where people, pets or other animals cannot harass the cat.
  • Trapped cats must not remain in a trap for any period of time exceeding 12 hours.
  • When a cat is trapped, within 12 hours you must contact Council’s Dog and Cat Management Officer (Tel: 0439 867935), or Council on 8651 3566 between 9am and 5pm week days (excluding public holidays).  (An individual is not authorised to destroy the cat).

Do I have to identify my cat with a collar or microchip?
Yes, from 1 July 2018, all dogs and cats must be microchipped.  Owners must microchip their cats by 12 weeks of age or at the point of sale. This includes cats that are more than 12 weeks of age on 1 July 2018.  Veterinarians may exempt an animal for medical reasons. Owners are encouraged to take advantage of the numerous discount microchipping days throughout the state. Visit for upcoming dates, locations and to make a booking. Alternatively, contact your local vet.  Cats without identification can be trapped either by the public or by Council and the cat can then be humanly disposed of. Cats with an implanted microchip sometimes have an “M” tattooed in one ear. Your vet or the Animal Welfare League Tel. 08 8348 1300 can advise you.

How can I deter cats from coming into my yard?
Many people claim cats can be repelled by scattering cayenne pepper, paprika, naphthalene flakes, or camphor around the garden although the results of doing so have not been proven. Citronella, eucalyptus oil or Dettol mixed with biodegradable cat litter and scattered around the garden is useful or try dribbling some of these solutions onto a tea bag or two or even some cotton balls and leaving them scattered around your garden. Commercial repellents such as Get Off My Garden and Skunk Shot are helpful. A pet shop, garden shop or hardware store may stock these commercial repellents.

What must I do if I catch or trap a cat that has a collar or is tattooed with “M” in its ear?
You must release the cat immediately, it is illegal to seize or detain an identified cat. The penalty for removing or interfering with the identification on is a maximum penalty of $5,000.


A refundable deposit of $15 is required at the time of collecting the cat trap and will be refunded on the return of the cage, provided it is returned cleaned and undamaged.

To hire a cat trap, please contact the Council on Tel: (08) 8651 3566, or visit the office, Monday to Friday, 9.15am to 4.30pm.

Cat Trap Hire Form

Please click here for impounded cats.