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All cat owners in South Australia are required to microchip and desex their cats. Adelaide Hills Council has also established a by-law that requires all cats to be kept at home at all times in an effort to reduce impacts on the local environment.

Cat in a bed

Register your animal through Dogs and Cats Online.

Cat registration

All cats residing in the Adelaide Hills Council must be registered once they reach three months of age. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that their cat(s) are registered each year.

Cat registrations are due every year between 1 July and 31 August. Registrations are due within this time regardless of when you initially registered your pet. Late fees will apply after 31 August if cat registrations are not renewed.

You will receive your registration renewal in July each year via email, post or SMS. The contact you receive depends on your preferred contact method you noted in your initial registration with Dogs and Cats Online (DACO).

Before you start your registration, make sure you have your cat's desexing certificate and microchip details on hand as substantial registration rebates apply for cats that are microchipped and desexed.

Cat registration fees 2023–24

Category Fee
Non-standard cat $108.00
Standard cat (desexed and microchipped) $32.00
Concession non-standard cat $54.00
Concession standard cat (desexed and microchipped) $16.00

Cat By-law and keeping your cat at home

Since 1 January 2022, Adelaide Hills Council's Cat By-law has required all domestic cats to be kept at home at all times (unless on a leash or similar). This change helps to promote responsible cat ownership, allows Council staff and volunteers to separate out feral cat populations and reduces the incidence of public and environmental nuisance caused by cats.

What is the penalty for those in violation of the By-law?

Cat owners will be fined $312.50 for any breach of the Council by-law, including when their cat is found off their property.

More information

For more information about registering your cat on DACO or owning a cat in the Adelaide Hills, please contact Council.

You can also share ideas for happy cats at home with other cat owners in the hills at our Hills Cattery.


Council's Cat By-law specifies that residents must not, without Council's permission, keep more than two cats on any premises. It also contains controls to prevent cats being a nuisance in the district.

Under this By-law, from 1 January 2022, cats must be confined to their resident's premises unless under effective control by a leash or similar restraint.

Council's By-law No. 6, Cats By-law 2018, is designed to control and manage cats In the Council's area. Its objective are to promote responsible cat ownership, reduce the incidence of public and environmental nuisance caused by cats, and protect the comfort and safety of the public.

Under South Australian law, all cats must be microchipped by twelve weeks of age, and all cats born after 1 July 2018 must be desexed by six months of age (exemptions apply for registered breeders).

Since 1 January 2022, all cats In the Adelaide Hills Council district must be confined to your property unless on a leash or similar restraint.

Cats are required to be registered, please visit Dogs and Cats Online (DACO).

RSPCA South Australia offers three main ways to keep your cat at home:

The easiest and cheapest way is to keep them indoors at all times. You make look to install cat-proof fly screens so that your pet can benefit from outdoor sights, smells and sounds without escaping. The RSPCA notes, however, that this will work best with a new kitten, as the sudden confinement of an older cat used to roaming may cause stress.

A second option, and one that eases your cat into confinement, is to keep your cat indoors, but with access to an outdoor enclosure or run, giving them the choice of where they want to spend their time. You can create an escape-proof enclosure on an existing balcony or veranda.

The final option is to fit your property with escape-proof fencing, so that you cat can roam your property without being able to flee. The RSPCA recommends a fence at least two metres high, with rolling cylinders and smooth metal or plastic sheeting on top that make It Impossible for cats to get a good grip for climbing.

There are benefits to both your cat and your community when cats are confined to their properties.

RSCPA South Australia cat expert, Jacky Barrett, explains the benefits of keeping your cat indoors that including: avoiding fights with other cats and the risk of infectious diseases, and being safe from poisons or traps.

The wider community also benefits from cat confinement because cats are no longer able to defecate and urinate in other people's yards, and they are less likely to upset the native wildlife in the district.

Both feral and domestic cats impact significantly on Australia's biodiversity, particularly birds, reptiles, amphibians and small mammals. The combined Impact of cats and feral foxes has led to the extinction of almost 30 native mammals from mainland South Australia, and continues to threaten more.

Native species In the Adelaide Hills that are impacted by feral and domestic roaming cats include:

  • Birds such as fairy wrens, wagtails, honeyeaters, robins, cuckoos and firetails.
  • Ground-dwelling mammals such as bush rats, Ring-tailed possums, Yellowfooted Antechinus, Pygmy Possums, and the Southern Brown Bandicoot.
  • Amphibians including the Common Eastern Froglet, Marsh Frog, Eastern Pobblebonk, Sleepy Lizards, Blue Tongue Lizards, and Dragon Lizards.

The confinement of domestic cats in the Adelaide Hills will give Council staff and volunteers the opportunity to identify and remove feral cats from the environment through trapping, further reducing the threats to wildlife and community comfort.

All domestic cats are required to be microchipped, and we recommend you further register your cat on Dogs and Cats online to help us reunite you with your cat if it escapes your property.

If a cat is trapped in our district, our Rangers will scan it for a microchip in the same way we do for lost dogs. With up-to-date information on your microchip, we will return the cat to its owner as soon as possible and, if necessary, help you identify ways to prevent future escapes.

If your cat is found to be roaming on a regular basis and causing nuisance in the community, you may be fined for failing to comply with our Cats By-law.

RSPCA South Australia cat expert, Jacky Barrett, says that keeping cats entertained and enriched inside is easier than you might think. It is about having a variety of toys, scratching posts, and climbing spaces available, and regularly playing games with your pet. Your cat will also like places to hide that can be as simple as a cardboard box.

Effective ways to exercise a cat can be as straightforward as using everyday Items such as scrunched up newspapers, balls underneath laundry baskets, and bubble blowers. Games and exercise can be kept as short as five minutes, making it easy to fit into your day.

For a list of enrichment activities that you can explore for your cat, visit the Australian Pet Welfare Foundation website.

It's important to be aware of potential hazards inside your home. When introducing your cat to your house, you should make sure that rodent poisons and insecticides, medications, toxic foods like chocolate, onion and garlics, and common plants like lilies are not within reach.

Dog and Cat Board has some useful information about keeping your cat indoors and cat proofing your property. Visit the Dog and Cat Board website.

RSPCA South Australia also has a great article on keeping your kitty happy indoors. Visit the RSPCA website.

How many cats can I keep on my property?

Subject to By-law 6 (Part 2) a person must not, without Council permission, keep more than two cats on any premises.

To apply to have more than two cats please complete the below application form and submit to Council.

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