Keeping a cat | Brisbane City Council

Keeping a cat

Responsible cat ownership

As a cat owner, you have to make sure your cat doesn't become a neighbourhood nuisance.

You should:

  • provide an enclosure appropriate to prevent your cat going over, under, through or otherwise escaping it
  • ensure your cat does not cause a nuisance for neighbours and impact wildlife
  • identify your cat with a collar and microchip
  • desex your cat before it is six months old 
  • vaccinate your cat annually 
  • provide your cat with enough food, water and exercise.

Read more about responsible cat ownership (Word - 105kb).

As part of Council’s commitment to responsible cat ownership, we have partnered with the Animal Welfare League of Queensland to support the Brisbane Cooperative Desexing Program. To find out more and see if you are eligible for subsidised desexing, visit Council’s Brisbane Cooperative Desexing Program.

Cat permit

In Brisbane you can keep up to three cats without a permit. If you want to keep more than three cats, you will need to apply for a permitIf the keeping of more than three cats is authorised under a development approval issued by Council, a permit is no longer required.

Deciding if a cat is the right pet for you

Cats have a reputation for being independent, but they still need care and discipline for their own health and safety.

If you decide to get a cat you should think about:

  • how much grooming it will need 
  • if the breed you want is shy and quiet or active and robust
  • if you have appropriate fencing or enclosures to prevent it causing a nuisance to neighbours or impacting wildlife
  • if it will be an indoor or an outdoor cat
  • the time and costs involved.

Advice about choosing the right cat for you is available if you adopt a cat from a Council Rehoming Centre.

Buying a cat

To limit unwanted animals, Council recommends you purchase your kitten or cat from:

Know where your cat is

You must prevent your cat from wandering and causing a nuisance to neighbours. A cat enclosure is the best way to keep your cat safe. Your cat will be less likely to be hurt in fights, pick up diseases, be hit by cars or cause a nuisance. A cat causing a public nuisance by spraying or disrupting other domestic or native animals may provoke anger from neighbours or risk being picked up by Council officers.

Keeping your cat indoors, or in an enclosed area outside will prevent it preying on native animals. Putting bells or reflective mirrors on your cat's collar may also be effective.

Sometimes cats do get lost. Many end up in animal shelters and may be euthanised because their owner cannot be identified. You can help prevent this by ensuring your cat is microchipped and always wears a collar and identification tag with your contact details.

Microchipping is a lifelong solution to identifying your cat if it becomes lost.

Nuisance cats

If a neighbourhood domestic cat is causing a nuisance, your best option is to talk to the cat's owner and try to resolve it with their help. Domestic cats causing an ongoing nuisance can be reported to Council.

Cat population control and breeding cats

Council aims to eliminate the problem of unwanted cats and promote responsible cat ownership by:

  • ensuring residents comply with the Animals Local law 2017
  • using trapping programs to reduce or eliminate non-domestic cat colonies in wildlife habitats and commercial areas.

Council does not trap pet cats on private premises in response to disputes between residents.

28 September 2018