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 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 and the animal's owner is known, talk to them and explain your concerns, giving them 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.

Should the issue persist, you can contact Council for advice.

Cat nuisance

The City of Darebin has a cat curfew in place - from 7pm to 7am, cats must be confined within their own property boundary. Want to know more about our cat curfew? See our cat curfew FAQs.

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, at any time. Residents may also trap unwanted cats found on their properties.

We receive 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
  • causing 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

What to do If you have an unwanted visiting cat


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.

What can you do?

  • 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


Suspension of our cat trapping program

Our cat trapping program has been suspended until further notice due to the nationwide cat vaccine shortage. The program will recommence when vaccine supplies begin to return to normal. We are not accepting new requests for cat traps at this time.

Cat vaccine shortage - November 2023

A widespread cat vaccine shortage is currently affecting Australia. The disruptions in the supply chain have been caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While many veterinary clinics may still have some vaccines in stock, they are facing challenges in restocking their supplies from manufacturers and wholesalers. The shortage is expected to persist through early 2024, with limited availability projected later this year.

The simplest and most effective measure to protect your cat during this shortage is to keep them indoors or, for those confident that their property is free from unknown cat visitors, it is safe for their cats to roam their own backyard or enclosure.

How are veterinarians working to keep cats safe?

Veterinarians are taking measures to protect the safety of cats with the current vaccine shortage. The guidance regarding how to use the available vaccine supply to safeguard the Australian cat population is to prioritise kittens and, if possible, delay adult boosters. Kittens, unvaccinated adult cats, and cats in animal shelters are the most vulnerable to infections and, therefore, in greater need of protection. Veterinarians will prioritise these categories of animals for vaccination.

What should I do if my cat is due for vaccinations?

Speak to your vet for advice.

What if my cat needs to go to a cattery?

Traditionally, catteries require all cats to be fully vaccinated before entry. If you plan to board your cat, it's advisable to engage in early discussions with the cattery regarding their specific requirements. Additionally, consult with your veterinarian. In cases where vaccines are unavailable, antibody titer testing may serve as an alternative. Alternatively, consider exploring alternative arrangements such as house-sitters or in-home care.

How can I help?

Delaying revaccination for your adult cats can help the allocation of available vaccines to protect more vulnerable kittens.

How will the Wat Djerring Animal Facility be affected, and will adoptions continue?

Some services at the Wat Djerring Animal Facility are being impacted. At this point:

  • animal adoptions are proceeding as usual and all cats and kittens available for adoption are fully vaccinated
  • the facility is only accepting surrendered cats if they have been fully vaccinated
  • the acceptance of stray cats is still ongoing; however, this is being monitored and is subject to change
  • the cat trapping program across the City of Darebin, Whittlesea and Merri-bek has been temporarily paused until we can confirm our next vaccine delivery

Stray and surrendered animals

Unregistered cats and dogs and those without owner identification are taken to the Wat Djerring Animal Facility.

Wat Djerring Animal Facility
(previously known as Epping Animal Welfare Facility)
Address: 20 Companion Place, Epping VIC 3076
Phone: 03 8401 6200
Website: www.whittlesea.vic.gov.au/animalfacility
Email: AnimalFacility@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

More information

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