Controlling Stray and Feral Cats

From 1 July 2012, new cat management laws came into effect in Tasmania. Under the Cat Management Act 2009 cats found in a prohibited, rural or remote area may be trapped, seized or humanely destroyed.

Stray and feral cats pose a risk to Tasmania's wildlife, environment and agriculture. Cats may also act as a vector for diseases that affect wildlife, livestock and humans.

While responsible pet ownership is important to prevent the introduction of more cats into the environment, the existing feral population is believed to be self-sustaining and eradication is not feasible. A Cat Management Strategy is being developed in consultation with key industry, community and research partners to better understand and mitigate these impacts. DPIPWE is also supporting ongoing research into the impact of feral cats by the University of Tasmania.

The Cat Management Act 2009 allows for cat management actions within prohibited areas including Crown Land, private timber reserves, reserved land and land subject to a conservation covenant under the Nature Conservation Act 2002 and State Forests and Reserves. Cats found in these areas may be trapped, seized or humanely destroyed by managers of that land, or people working on their behalf.

The owner of private land, or people working on their behalf, may trap, seize or humanely destroy a cat found:
  • on rural land used for primary production relating to livestock, or
  • on any land further than one km from any residence.

Where a cat is trapped or otherwise seized, the cat should be transferred as soon as practicable to a cat management facility.

All cat management activities must be conducted in accordance with the Cat Management Act 2009 and the Animal Welfare Act 1993. Penalties apply for inhumane activities and other breaches of those Acts.


Further information:

For further information about cat management in Tasmania, contact the Invasive Species Branch on 03 6777 2200.


The following fact sheet is available for download:

Feral Cats in Tasmania - Fact Sheet (281 KB)


Invasive Species Enquiries
Invasive Species Branch
165 Westbury Road
Phone: 03 6777 2200
Fax: 03 6336 5453