3.9k Share this

Cats will only be allowed outside their homes in Canberra if they are on a leash in new rules to protect Australian native wildlife. 

The new rules are part of a 10 year plan encouraging responsible cat ownership and reduction in the impact of feral cats.

Felines were already banned from going outside in 17 Canberra suburbs, but the ACT Government will expand that rule across the entire city from July 1.

Owners will be fined $300 if their cat is found outside their property without a leash, if they are covered by the rule. 

Under the ACT government's Cat Plan 2021-2031, a citywide cat containment policy will require all new cats to remain indoors from July 1

Under the ACT government's Cat Plan 2021-2031, a citywide cat containment policy will require all new cats to remain indoors from July 1

Under the ACT government’s Cat Plan 2021-2031, a citywide cat containment policy will require all new cats to remain indoors from July 1

The ACT Cat Plan 2021-2031 states the new rules will ‘help cats live longer and healthier lives while better protecting native wildlife’.

Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel explained cats owned before July 1, do not need to be contained if their owners did not live in an existing cat containment suburb.

‘Pet cats are much-loved family members for many Canberrans, and we want to see them live healthy and happy lives,’ he said.

‘Outside of declared suburbs, cat containment will only apply to new cats, because we understand that existing cats and their owners may not be prepared or used to containment.’

The plan, developed with cat owners and environmental groups, has an eight-step strategy addressing cat management beginning with promoting responsible ownership. 

Part of the new policy includes an amendment that allows owners living in a cat containment suburb to walk their cats on a lead or harness

Part of the new policy includes an amendment that allows owners living in a cat containment suburb to walk their cats on a lead or harness

 Part of the new policy includes an amendment that allows owners living in a cat containment suburb to walk their cats on a lead or harness

Owners of a new cat will be required to pay a one-off fee when they first register their pet, and then update their details annually.   

Environment Minister Rebecca Vassarotti said the policy would help minimise the impact of domestic cats on native wildlife and provide a better way of identifying lost pets.

‘Every year, free-roaming but owned Canberra cats are estimated to prey on 61,000 native birds, 2,000 native mammals, 30,000 native reptiles and 6,000 native frogs,’ she said. 

‘The ACT Government wants to minimise the impacts of domestic cats on native wildlife by reducing the number of feral, unowned and semi-owned cats through more de-sexing, improved domestic cat welfare and management practices, better ways to identify lost cats and reunite them with their owners.’ 

Part of the new policy includes an amendment that allows owners living in a cat containment suburb to walk their cats on a lead or harness.   

Sydney-based teacher Anna Kormondi regularly takes Atlas (pictured) out for walks after teaching her furry companion to walk with a harness since she was nine weeks old

Sydney-based teacher Anna Kormondi regularly takes Atlas (pictured) out for walks after teaching her furry companion to walk with a harness since she was nine weeks old

Sydney-based teacher Anna Kormondi regularly takes Atlas (pictured) out for walks after teaching her furry companion to walk with a harness since she was nine weeks old

The idea of popping a leash on a cat might seem strange, but one Australian pet owner swears by it.

Sydney teacher, Anna Kormondi trained her cat to walk with a harness since she was nine weeks old.

Ms Kormondi decided she needed a companion when she was lonely while working from home during Covid lockdowns. 

‘Lockdown was difficult for me as I was away from my family and friends so I bought Atlas [a British short hair cross tabby], during lockdown in December 2020,’ she said. 

‘I was inspired by people on social media posting videos of them taking their cats for a walk and decided to train Atlas the moment I could.

‘Taking Atlas on walks gives her a taste of the outdoors and is great stimulation for an otherwise indoor cat. 

‘It also gives me an opportunity to meet people on our walks and was very good for my mental health during lockdown.’

Ms Kormondi said cat owners need to be well-informed, start early, and put the needs of their feline friends ahead of their own when training them to walk with a harness or on a leash

Ms Kormondi said cat owners need to be well-informed, start early, and put the needs of their feline friends ahead of their own when training them to walk with a harness or on a leash

Ms Kormondi said cat owners need to be well-informed, start early, and put the needs of their feline friends ahead of their own when training them to walk with a harness or on a leash

Ms Kormondi said cat owners needed to be well informed, start early, and put the needs of their feline friends ahead of their own when training them to walk with a harness or on a leash.

‘Atlas was very little and easily trained. Any owner that wants to start walking their cat needs to start early,’ she said.

‘Owners have to be well-informed, observant and respectful of how the animal is responding. Cats are comfortable in different environments and you have to always be conscious of their safety.’ 

Ms Kormondi regularly takes Atlas out for walks to the park down the street from her inner west apartment and believes the new rules would not only benefit cats but their owners too. 

Source: DailyMail

3.9k Share this
You May Also Like

Natalie Mitson’s Pauline Jackson kisses Barney Walsh’s PC Harness on the set of the ITV drama

Pop Larkin’s daughter and the love-cheat policeman (who’s played by Pop’s real-life…

Kmart hack for renters: How to make a kitchen island

The ultimate renter decor: Shopper makes a VERY stylish a kitchen island…

Australian man killed in Ukraine had a ‘heart of gold’

An Australian father who died in Ukraine while providing humanitarian aid had…

French court overturns rule that would have allowed the wearing of burkinis in swimming pools

French court overturns rule that would have allowed the wearing of burkinis…

The Platinum Jubilee Weekend: Your guide to how the Queen’s historic celebrations will play out 

As Her Majesty The Queen celebrates an unprecedented 70 years on the…

Joe Manchin Revives ‘Build Back Better’ Talks with GOP Before Midterms

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Friday revived Build Back Better negotiations with…

Vladimir Putin has ‘three years to live due to his rapidly progressing severe cancer’, FSB claims

Vladimir Putin has reportedly been given warned he has just three to…

JOHNNY DEPP VS. AMBER HEARD TRIAL LIVE: Closing arguments set to begin after six weeks of testimony

LIVE JOHNNY DEPP VS. AMBER HEARD TRIAL LIVE: Closing arguments and jury…