Responsible cat management is critical in protecting the safety of our small native animals and ensuring that our neighbourhoods are not disturbed by roaming cats. This is the reasoning behind a push by Sunshine Coast Council to approve mandatory cat registration and wanting to reward cat owners who microchip and desex their cats.
Community Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said Council recognised cat registration played an important role in responsible cat ownership on the Sunshine Coast.
“Council is committed to encouraging and promoting responsible pet ownership on the Sunshine Coast and registration of cats and dogs is a critical component of this,” Cr McKay said.
“We will also introduce a lifetime registration option for cat owners who have a desexed and microchipped cat of a $75 one-off fee or continuing with an annual registration of $12.90.
“The structure of the fees has been designed to drive responsible pet ownership by rewarding owners who desexed and microchip their pets. This has a flow on effect to encouraging responsible adoption – if people adopt their animal from a shelter, such as RSPCA, SCAR, 4PAWS, the animals are desexed and microchipped at point of adoption.
“If you have a non desexed cat, and it lives for 15 years you are looking at a cost of $1,869 for registration based on the current fees.
“However if you invest money at time of adoption and desex and microchip your cat you may have to spend $170 – $265 to become a responsible pet owner, but you will save yourself $1,794 over the life of the cat.
“Add to this you could be saving millions of unwanted kittens from being dumped.
“A cat which is not desexed can produce two or more litters a year with up to 11 kittens. As an example if a female cat was to have 11 offspring, and half these offspring are female, these offspring could produce 5.5 million kittens in nine years.”
Cr McKay said when making their decision, Council considered a number of factors as well as hearing feedback from the community.
“In September 2013, the Queensland Government removed cat registration as a mandatory requirement from the Animal Management (Cats & Dogs) Act 2008 and referred the power to local government via local laws,” she said.
“Following an extensive review of a number of key factors including impound statistics and risks from discontinuing registration, as well as considering feedback from the community, Council approved the continuation of mandatory cat registration.
“While the majority of feedback submissions supported mandatory cat registration, an important issue expressed by many concerned roaming cats across the region.
“The inclusion of mandatory cat registration in our local laws forms an integral part of Council’s approach to responsible pet ownership across our region including managing such issues as roaming cats and dumped cats as a result of unwanted litters.”