Cat curfew

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Three kittens outside

It is an offence for your cat to be outside your house between the hours of sunset and sunrise.

Keeping your cat inside will help:

  • Cat health, safety and longevity – less accidents with cars, cat fights, picking up diseases or pests, or getting lost
  • Better neighbourhood relations – less spraying and howling, causing dogs to bark, fighting with other cats, and defecating in gardens
  • Protect wildlife – cats will instinctively hunt and kill wildlife, even if they are not hungry
  • Compliance with the Council order and laws preventing cats from trespassing onto private property

Roaming cats that are caught between sunset and sunrise will be returned to their owners where possible. If we are unable to contact the owners the cat will be taken to the RSPCA Animal Shelter until their owner collects them.

The cost of a roaming cat

If your cat is held at the RSPCA Animal Shelter, you must pay its boarding costs. An unregistered cat must not be released until it has first been registered with Council. You may be fined for your cat roaming away from your property or being unregistered. Fines also apply for a cat roaming during the Sunset to Sunrise Curfew Order. Go to pet registration.

Removing nuisance cats

If you have a cat nuisance problem you can borrow a cat cage from Council to catch trespassing cats. Once the cat has been trapped it must be returned to the owner or be delivered to the Bendigo RSPCA Animal Shelter within 12 hours of being trapped.

Animal Management Services will pick up the cat during normal business hours Monday – Friday.

To apply to borrow a cage please contact Animal Management Services during business hours on 03 5434 6000.

What time is sunrise and sunset

The Australian Surveying and Land Information Group determines the hours of sunset and sunrise. The Bureau of Meteorology publishes the hours of Sunset and Sunrise daily.

Confining your cat

To confine your cat:

  • Keep your cat inside the house or flat with you
  • Confine your cat at night in the shed or garage
  • Build a cat enclosure for your yard
  • Buy a cat enclosure
  • Build a cat-proof boundary fence around your property

To help your cat adjust to being confined:

  • Skip your cat's morning feed and call it in at the end of the day to be fed
  • Confine your cat in an enclosed, dry and well aired space with a bed, water and kitty litter tray
  • Provide a stimulating environment for your cat – a scratching pole, toys, or an enclosed run via a window, which allows your cat safe access to the garden and re-entry to the house/shed

In a few nights your cat will adjust to its new routine of coming in for the nightly meal and will happily settle in for the evening.

Contact us

For more information about getting help with a roaming cat, please contact us on 03 5434 6000.


More information


Christmas closure


Please note that requests logged online after 5pm Friday December 21, 2018 may not be acted on until our offices re-open on Wednesday January 2, 2019. For urgent assistance please phone 5434 6000.  

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