My cat is causing a nuisance - what should I do?
The Companion Animals Act 1998 does not require you keep your cat indoors. However, you are encouraged to keep your cat indoors at night, as there are benefits for the cat and the community:
- Fighting and 'cat calling' are more of a problem at night, as the unwanted noise is likely to be intrusive and disturb neighbours' sleep. By keeping your cat indoors at night, you are reducing the likelihood that it will be injured in a fight and/or disturb your neighbours' sleep.
- Many kinds of wildlife are more active at night and therefore more vulnerable to hunting. There is also evidence that cats hunt more during the night than during the day.
- By keeping your cat indoors at night, you can help reduce the number of native animals and birds that are killed in your area (note, that under the Companion Animals Act 1998, cats are prohibited from wildlife protection areas, as well as from public areas where food is prepared or consumed. Wildlife protection areas are designated by the local council and must be signposted).
You are also encouraged to have your cat desexed. This will reduce the likelihood of your cat straying and reduce aggression, fighting and other anti-social behaviour, such as spraying to mark territory.
If you cannot afford to have your cat desexed, talk to your vet or an approved animal welfare organisation, as they may be able to help.