Cat Curfew & Registration By South Australian Council

Updated July 23, 2022

Adelaide, and Australia in general are slowly moving towards cat curfew and registration. In this article you can look up the current laws in your local Adelaide council area.

This article will be updated regularly so please let me know if you hear of any changes before I do. Absolute accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

Cat Registration & Curfews By Council Area

CouncilRego?Curfew?Max no.
Adelaide HillsNo24h from 1/1/222
Adelaide PlainsNoNo
Barunga WestNoNo2
Berri BarmeraNo10pm-6am2
CampbelltownNo?*9pm – 7am (24h from 1/1/24)??*2
Charles SturtNoNo2
Claire & GilbertNoNo
Coober PedyNoNo2
Copper CoastNoNo2
Flinders RangesYes*9pm – 7am2
Franklin HarbourNoNo
Holdfast BayNoNo2
Kangaroo IslandYes?2
Lower EyreNoNo2
Loxton WaikerieNoNo
MarionNo9pm to 7am*2
Mid MurrayNoNo2
Mount BarkerYes8pm to 7am2
Mount RemarkableNoNo2
Murray BridgeNoNo
Naracoorte LucindaleNoNo
Northern AreasNoNo
Norwood Payneham St PetersNoNo
Orroroo CarrietonNoNo2
Port Adelaide EnfieldNoNo
Port AugustaNoNo2
Port LincolnNoNo
Port PirieNoNo2
Renmark ParingaNoNo2
Roxby DownsYesNo2
Southern MalleeNoNo
Streaky BayYesNo2
Tea Tree GullyNoNo
Tumby BayNoNo
Victor HarborYesNo2
Wattle rangeNoNo
West TorrensNoNo
WhyallaYes10pm to 6am2
Yorke PeninsulaYesNo2
* See Christine Pierson’s comment at the end of this article

Please note that on Kangaroo Island the maximum of 2 appears to be for dogs and cats combined, and there is a future intention to remove cats completely by 2030. The question mark refers to the fact that I can find no regulation to keep cats confined, but expect that it is required.

Please also note that regardless of the actual curfew, almost all councils have the following written in their bylaws:

“An owner or occupier of premises is guilty of an offence if a cat (or cats) kept or allowed to remain on the premises causes a nuisance by reason of: 

  • noise or odour created by the cat or cats; or
  • wandering from the premises; or
  • the aggressive nature of the cat or cats.”

Regarding registration, it’s important to point out that in fact all cats in SA are required to be registered with the Dog and Cat Management Board. I have only included councils where there is a separate bylaw and generally where a fee is also levied.

What To Do With Roaming Cats

If you find a cat roaming in a council with curfew laws, please do not trap them unless as a last resort. First you should door knock the neighbours or attach a note to the collar. Next, look at improving your fencing . Finally, try gentle methods like smelly deterrents, water or loud noises.

If a cat is identified by a collar with owner contact details attached or has the letter M tattooed in its ear do not trap it. You are breaking the law if it is not released from the trap immediately.

Issues with owned cats causing nuisance must be dealt with through a formal council complaint, not via trapping.

Now read: What You’re Not Told About Cat Curfews

Have something to add? Comments (if open) will appear within 24 hours.
By Andrew Spanner BVSc(Hons) MVetStud, a vet in Adelaide, Australia. Meet his team here.

6 Replies to “Cat Curfew & Registration By South Australian Council”

  1. Please I live on my own with my tiny dog .
    My back neighbour has a free roaming cat
    This cat is in my garden doing its business and peeing on my front door walking around my home on the fence causing my dog to bark all the time the same cat makes itself comfortable on my outdoor setting all night leaving fur on my cushions.
    The list can go on .
    What I’m saying now if this was my dog doing these things how do you think the owners of the cat would react

  2. This lady is not seeing both sides of the problem as she is obviously a cat person and owner. I came home on dusk one night and counted six cats roaming around close to my house, with two defecating in my front garden. I don’t own any animals but am forced to put up with cat crap, cat noise, cats on my roof, cats spraying on my porch, while my neighborhood cat owners blissfully ignore what their animals are doing. I also regularly see these same cats stalking native birds. I used to have blue tongued lizards in my yard. They are now all gone thanks to straying domestic cats belonging to irresponsible owners.

    1. Hi Bill. I commiserate and wouldn’t want to be in your position. The only disagreement I might have is whether these cats are in fact owned. It would not surprise me to learn that they are strays. Of course, if someone is putting out food then they should take full responsibility.

      1. Hi Jess. The only way is to keep them indoors. No other methods are effective except an outdoor enclosure.

  3. There are no cat bylaws for Campbelltown Council SA. We fought them tooth and nail and the proposed cat bylaw was disallowed by Parliament.
    We are currently fighting them tooth and nail again and the community has stated that 83% of the respondents do NOT want a cat bylaw.
    Cat laws have undermined good cat management and requests for desexing have dropped to half since the forced microchipping. Undesexed cat numbers have massively increased.
    Please see our Press Release.
    C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc

    PO Box 160 Kensington Park SA 5068

    Catastrophic Campbelltown Council
    cat bylaw quashed by Connie
    South Australia’s Legislative Council’s Hon Connie Bonaros MLC of SA BEST has disallowed the proposed Campbelltown Council cat bylaw.

    “This Motion was successful and the Council has been sent away with its tail between its legs” said Ms Christine Pierson, the President of C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc.

    So too has a similar proposed cat bylaw by the Town of Gawler.

    “This, now quashed, proposed City of Campbelltown cat bylaw was totally and utterly unjustified, extreme in its requirements, unrealistic in its objectives, unsupported by the science of cat behaviour and had detrimental consequences to both the cats, and the owners and carers, with its application!”

    “The draft cat bylaw was dumped because it included, demands for horrendous cruelty of tethering cats by a fixed collar and chain to a post, plus the following massive grievance list against inadequate consultation and overbearing and intimidating demands… “, she added.

    “most residents and ratepayers did not know about the proposed cat bylaw and it was done during the time that they were excluded from the public gallery because of the COVID19
    absolute minimum of notification; questionable that even the minimum was carried out during the full stated public consultation period
    little – chance of constituents finding out about the public consultation as most people were trying to stay at home and still many do not have access to the internet and did not know about it in any case
    that it undermines a 30-year, long-term Community/Council C.A.T.S. Cat Management Program as set out in Council’s Animal Management Plan, unanimously supported by previous City of Campbelltown elected members, which has been extremely successful in reducing the cat numbers and cat related problems by, desexing over 5,000 cats and controlling unowned cats, also strongly supported by the wider community
    no demonstrated need for the bylaw as complaints about cats are minimal, and the few pockets where the cats are coming from the Adelaide Hills Council are already being addressed by residents
    minimal substantiated evidence to prove that cats have been a significant threat to wildlife as sightings stated of feathers in the open are obviously attacked by Birds of Prey (stated by the Adelaide Museum) and almost never can complainants prove that cats were responsible for attacks on wildlife when asked to substantiate their claims
    no evidence has been provided that the bylaw would or could save native wildlife in any case, and the mass desexing of both owned and unowned cats and keeping these cats well fed are the best way to minimise such threats, as removal results in new undesexed, hungry cats infiltrating and breeding to excess
    no clear indication of the aims and goals of the proposed cat bylaw as required under the Dog and Cat Management Act
    no details provided of the methods to be used to achieve any assumed goals of the Cat Bylaw as stated as a requirement in the Dog and Cat Management Act
    no evidence provided that the assumed goals could realistically or would ever be achieved
    no details of the costs of the fines were provided in the information to residents
    no details of the fees to be charged for registration of cats or if the fees were going to be charged
    against the wishes of the community who have made it clear that the proposed cat bylaw is not wanted by the majority (62% of respondents to the public consultation opposed the cat bylaw and 83% of respondents opposed the Cat Bylaw in the previous “Roaming Cats Survey” on which the Cat Bylaw was based)
    Council has withheld information of residents’ rights to complain under their democratic right and constituents were not told that they could complain to the Legislative Review Committee and the State Ombudsman about their grievances , when they asked elected members and Council staff whom can they contact with their grievances
    lack of support from Ward Councillors and inadequate representation
    the cat bylaw would cause extreme emotional and financial hardship for those cat owners who cannot comply with the requirements of the bylaw
    extreme stress and difficulties for the many, especially the elderly, infirmed and disabled ratepayers regarding caring for and managing confined cats
    impossible for shift workers to comply with the requirements of the by-law
    almost impossible, even for pet cats to be retrained into the specific, restrictive and unnatural requirements of the bylaw and impossible for most cats to be fully confined, particularly those not accustomed to being kept inside
    Vets are now confirming that cats are becoming obese and their health is being affected by confinement
    cats are becoming depressed and anxious and Vets are having to prescribe anti-depression drugs which is not acceptable
    anxiety caused by confinement is causing aggression and big increases in attacks on owners by confine cats; hospital records prove this
    cats are not like dogs and cannot be managed like dogs
    cats cannot be adequately exercised on leashes ; leashes are not recommended by the RSPCA
    the RSPCA has stated that cat trapping cages should not be provided to the general public
    the unintended consequences of unowned cat numbers increasing rapidly resulting from the confinement of owned, desexed cats being prevented from maintaining their territories; the “Vacuum Effect a scientifically proved phenomenon of nature as noted in the current Campbelltown Council Animal Management Plan as “The management of domestic and feral cats cannot be considered in isolation due to the territorial nature of cats. Even if Council was to be effective in confining pet cats, ‘unprotected spaces’ would be subject to visitation from feral cats.”
    confinement and removal of desexed cats resulting in an influx of new undesexed cats, less likely to be well fed, constitutes a far greater threat to native wildlife
    concerns expressed by residents in adjoining councils that their cats may visit neighbours who live across the boundary and get caught in the traps and injured or killed. Campbelltown Council provides these trapping cages without any supervision as to what happens to the trapped cats
    the by-law defies the science of cat behaviour and is a recipe for an environmental and economic disaster,” Ms Pierson confirmed.

    “C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc, Campbelltown Cat Management and Welfare Group, Cat Protection Society of SA Inc, Cat Support Group of SA, Campbelltown Council constituents. Animals Australia, Animal Justice Party and other organisations and individuals combined to concentrate for the last 12 months on finding sufficient evidence to support having this proposed cat bylaw quashed.”

    “Our heartfelt thanks to Connie Bonaros for her courageous stand to right the wrongs that were threatening upon the constituents and cats of Campbelltown Council.”

    “The City of Campbelltown already has a highly successful mass desexing and good cat management Plan which has been strongly supported by the previous Campbelltown Councils (until mainly new councillors and a new Mayor were elected) which has resulted in an excellent example of amicably managing cats and reducing cat numbers and cat related problems on a large and wide-scale basis, with many thousands of cats being desexed through the Low Priced C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Desexing Scheme.”
    As stated – “This, now quashed, proposed City of Campbelltown cat bylaw was totally and utterly unjustified, extreme in its requirements, unrealistic in its objectives, unsupported by the science of cat behaviour and had detrimental consequences to both the cats, and the owners and carers, with its application!”
    For further information please contact

    Christine Pierson

    C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc
    Cat Behaviourist and Cat Consultant
    Former Councillor Norwood Payneham and St Peters Council
    Former member State Government Cat Consultative Committee to the Dog and Cat Management Board
    Former TAFE instructor in Cat Management to Council staff and the public
    Former teacher Dip KTC
    Recipient of State Government Award for C.A.T.S. for “Service to Councils

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