Greater Bendigo’s 24-hour cat containment to start on July 1

The City of Greater Bendigo’s new cat containment rules will commence on July 1, 2024. From this date cat owners must contain cats to their property 24 hours a day.

City of Greater Bendigo Local Laws and Animal Services Coordinator Sam Johnston said for many years Greater Bendigo has had an order in place that required cats to be securely confined to their owner’s property from sunset to sunrise.

“From July 1 this will change to 24 hour per day confinement following the adoption of the City’s Domestic Animal Management Plan 2021-2025 in November 2021,” Mr Johnston said.

“While the City understands the new 24-hour cat containment will be a significant change for some cats and their owners there are also many benefits.

“Cat containment reduces the risk of cats suffering traumatic injuries from cars and other animals, contracting common cat diseases such as cat flu, ringworm and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, accidental poisoning by toxic plants and pesticides, snake and spider bites and getting lost and being exposed to extreme weather.

“Just like dogs, cats can still go outside, as long as they remain on your property. They can also leave your property if they are under effective control in a securely fitted harness, in a cat carrier, or on a leash.

“Cats love to move around and keep watch over their territory and there are plenty of ways your cats can still enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of your own property.

“There is some great information available about cat proof fencing, cat enclosures that are attached to an existing structure, the house, veranda or a shed or free standing cat enclosures available from the Animal Welfare Victoria website.

“By creating your own cat enclosure you can tailor it exactly to the needs of your cat. There is also a range of both budget and higher end enclosure products available from local pet stores and hardware shops.

“Cats need a warm dry bed and somewhere to laze in the sun. They love the variety that these types of enclosures provide, especially if it is linked to the family home through a cat door.”

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