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Legislative control of cats
Article Index
Legislative control of cats
Killing unowned cats
Registration
Identification
Compulsory desexing
Confinement and night curfew
Cat-free zones
References
All Pages

Registration and limits on cat numbers

Registration has been introduced in Victoria and has been linked to a limit on cat numbers. So, all owned cats must be registered, but each household can only register 2 cats. There are a number of problems with this approach:
    • The limit fails to take into account the owner's facilities. For example, each unit in a block of 6 flats can have 2 cats, making a total of 12 cats, whereas a person with a large backyard can only have 2 cats.

    • Registration does not make irresponsible owners into responsible ones. People currently doing the wrong thing by their cats and the neighbourhood simply won't register their cats, and nothing will change.

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  • People with more than 2 cats may either hide them, or let them roam, rather than taking them to almost certain death at a shelter. Roaming cats will continue to breed.

  • People who through the kindness of their heart feed stray cats can't get them registered if there are more than 2. Here lies a major problem with this approach: if the cats aren't registered, they won't be taken to the vet to be desexed. So, these cats will continue to breed. People who take pity on strays in the first place are unlikely to send them off to be killed, so the problem of undesexed cats is inevitable under the Victorian legislation.

It is impossible to verify registration and cat numbers. Cat are not like dogs; they are small, they are excellent climbers, they can hide and they don't bark. It would be impossible to prove how many cats live in a house. Identification of registered cats raises further problems (see below).