Wandering dogs and cats

If an animal is wandering in your neighbourhood, or your neighbour's pet entering your property, you can contact us for advice.

If you have found an animal wandering your neighbourhood, or need advice on what to do about your neighbour's dog or cat entering your property contact us for advice.

If you cannot locate the owner of a dog or cat walking around your neighbourhood, please contact us.

Dogs and cats on your property

If a dog or cat enters your property without your permission on more than one occasion you can contact us for advice. Talk to the owner of the animal first, and explain your concerns, and allow the owner the chance to fix the problem.

Keep your gates, doors and windows secure to eliminate opportunities for the wandering animal. Don't leave food outside that might attract other people's pets.

Use products that are designed to keep animals away - seek advice from your local pet shop or nursery.

Cat nuisance

Whilst cats make wonderful companions for many people, not everybody enjoys their company. Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, cats must not trespass on private property without permission. Residents may trap unwanted cats found on their properties.

Council receives several cat nuisance complaints every week. Cats may cause nuisance by:

  • Damaging garden beds and children’s sandpits by toileting in them which can create health concerns
  • Cause unwanted noise and disturbance by mating and fighting with other cats and also leading to dogs barking
  • Breeding
  • Spraying offensively on doors, mats, furniture and other areas
  • Attacking and killing wildlife and domestic animals
  • Causing stress to resident animals
  • Aggravating people’s allergies

Tips to prevent unwanted cat visitors

If the issue is unable to be resolved by speaking to the cat’s owner (if known) or using cat safe deterrents, contact Council on (03) 8470 8888 to speak to one of our Customer Service staff. Council can provide humane cat traps to residents if required.

Unidentifiable or unregistered cats will be taken to the Epping Animal Welfare Facility. Release and registration fees apply. Penalties may also apply for unwanted trespass on private property (after first offence).

Unwanted cats on your property

Many cat owners allow their cats to spend time outside. Cats have a tendency to wander and may often spend their time visiting their neighbours (even in nearby streets), or may be “semi-owned” by more than one household, with no fixed address, being fed by multiple members within the community. However, not everybody enjoys the presence of cats on their property.

What to do If you have an unwanted visiting cat

  • Check to see if it is wearing identification such as collar or tags
  • Ask neighbours if the cat belongs to them.
  • If owner is known, advise them of the issue being caused by their cat visiting your property and ask them respectfully to keep their cat confined. The owner may be unaware of their cat travelling to other properties.

Try using safe deterrents to keep cats off your property. Options include:

  • Citrus, lavender, vinegar or eucalyptus sprays or other specifically formulated cat repellent sprays
  • Motion or timed sprinklers
  • Ultrasonic motion sensors
  • Plant lavender, Pennyroyal or rue (a lot of cats don't like these plants)
  • Scatter citrus peels throughout garden

Remove items that may attract cats to your property. These may include:

  • Food and food bowls from resident animals
  • Ensure your BBQ is cleaned after use
  • Ensure rubbish bins are secure
  • Clear away hard rubbish and clutter
  • Board up holes and block access to garages, garden sheds, under your house etc.
  • Keep bird feeders up high and away from potential access points of cats
  • Clean bird seed off ground
  • Ensure animals pens, such as chicken coops, are secure
  • Cover children's sandpits when not in use
  • Water gardens at night if the cat is digging in your garden. Most cats don't like wet surfaces and muddy paws.

If you have tried these suggestions and cats are still visiting your property and causing disturbance, you can contact us on 03 8470 8888 to lodge a request for assistance with the issue.

To remove the cat from your area, a trap may be required, if the cat's owner cannot be found, or if it has no owner at all.

Under the Domestic Animals Act, it is a requirement that cat owners keep their cats from trespassing on other people's properties. However, further action after removal of a cat from your property can only be taken if a notice of objection form is filled out and given back to us to issue to the cat's owner (if known). These can be obtained from us.

Unregistered cats and those without owner identification are taken to the Epping Animal Welfare Facility to where they can be collected.

Epping Animal Welfare Facility
20 Companion Place 
Epping VIC 3076
Phone: 03 8401 6600
Website: www.rspcavic.org

More information

Customer service
Call: 03 8470 8888
Email: mailbox@darebin.vic.gov.au