Council rescinds 24-hour cat curfew motion

June 6, 2024 BY

Cats within the City of Greater Geelong boundaries will not need to adhere to a 24-hour cat curfew later this year. Photo: SUPPLIED

THE City of Greater Geelong council has reversed its decision to restrict cats indoors for 24 hours per day, after passing a notice of rescission at last week’s council meeting.

Following a narrow 6-5 vote, the council resolved to maintain the existing cat curfew order that has been in place since July 1, 2009, requiring cats to be confined to their owners’ properties between sunset and sunrise.

Had the vote been in favour of upholding the motion, cats would be confined to premises 24 hours per day from November 1 this year.

Brownbill Ward councillor Melissa Cadwell led the move to rescind the cat confinement order due to the financial burden on cat owners and the lack of detail for renters living with cats.

“The financial cost burden the policy would have imposed upon residents on low fixed incomes may have required them to give up their cat, which in many cases may be their only companion,” Cr Cadwell said.

“That’s not something I could support, particularly in a cost-of-living crisis.

“There was a lack of detail in regard to how this would work for registered cat owners living in rental accommodation, given that there would have been a substantial investment on the part of the tenant to comply with the policy and still allow for their cat to have time outside.”

The 24-hour cat confinement order would have required owners to keep pet cats to their properties at all times, either inside the home, in a safe outdoor area, or in a secure enclosure.

Cats that leave the premises would have had to be restrained or in a cat carrier.

As well as Cr Cadwell, councillors Bruce Harwood, Peter Murrihy, Eddy Kontelj, Anthony Aitken and Sarah Hathway voted in favour, while councillors Trent Sullivan, Jim Mason, Elise Wilkinson, Ron Nelson and Belinda Moloney voted to uphold the 24-hour curfew.

Officers can issue an infringement of between $96 and $385 to a cat owner whose cat is found outside their premises during curfew hours under the Victorian Domestic Animals Act.