Cat Curfew Proposal

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At its meeting on 17 August 2020, Darebin Council made the decision to formally adopt a dusk till dawn cat curfew (7pm and 7am), which would be effective from 1 January 2021.

This initiative was included in the 2017-2021 Domestic Animal Management Plan for consideration to improve the safety of Darebin’s cat population, to limit the impacts of cats on wildlife and the environment and also to address complaints of cats trespassing and nuisance on private properties.


What’s happened so far?

The feedback process undertaken for the development of the Domestic Animal Management Plan 2017-2021, included a survey question about the “effectiveness of introducing a cat curfew to control cats from roaming at night”.

A total of 269 responses were received with 49% of respondents indicating that a curfew would be very effective. Respondents were requested to rate responses from 1(not at all effective) to 5 (very effective). With nearly half of respondents indicating that a cat curfew would be very effective in controlling roaming cats at night, further consideration of introducing a cat curfew was included in the Domestic Animal Management Plan 2017-2021.

Feedback on a draft proposal of a dusk till dawn cat curfew was sought from 10 July to 7 August.


Community Engagement Summary Report

View the Community Engagement Summary Report on the feedback received for the draft proposal of a dusk till dawn cat curfew.


What’s happening now?

Council will support a community education program prior to the implementation date of the cat curfew. For more information, please stay tuned via our Animal Management page on the Darebin website.

Council has also given approval for the formal gazettal in the Victoria Government Gazette of a dusk till dawn cat curfew (7pm to 7am), to take effect from 1 January 2021.


More information on Cat Curfew

Cats are most active at night, particularly at dusk and dawn. This coincides with the activity periods of many species of native wildlife. Wildlife predation is an important factor when considering the pros and cons of a cat curfew. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) notes that, “Cats and dogs are wonderful companion animals. However, they are also very efficient predators of our native wildlife and kill and injure many wild animals every year. Even well fed and cared for cats and dogs instinctively hunt and chase”.

Keeping cats confined at night-time will help protect our Australian wildlife.

The City of Darebin is home to more than 179 species of significant plants and animals. Council works to protect and enhance remnant local native and indigenous vegetation. We have 39 conservation bushland sites within Darebin, which is 24% of the total open space in the municipality.

The Biological Conservation Journal reports that data compiled from 93 recent studies, estimates that feral cats kill 316 million birds a year and domestic cats kill 61 million birds annually. More than 99% are native.

Confining cats at night not only benefits wildlife. Benefits to cats and the community include:

  • Cats that are kept inside at night generally live much longer than cats that are allowed outside.
  • Around 80% of accidents involving cats occur at night.
  • Wandering cats are vulnerable to disease and attacks from other cats or dogs. Feline Aids, which is ultimately fatal for a cat, is transmitted from cat to cat through fighting.
  • Confining cats would help protect our native wildlife
  • Confining cats at night minimises the risk of injury and prevent it from fighting and wandering onto neighbouring properties.
  • Roaming cats also cause disputes and anxiety between neighbours, by causing dogs to bark, by fighting with other cats, defecating in neighbouring gardens and breeding.

Other municipalities in Victoria that already have a cat curfew in place are:

Yarra Ranges Shire Council

Nillumbik Shire Council

Moonee Valley City Council

Mitchell Shire Council

Knox City Council

Whitehorse City Council

City of Greater Bendigo

Maroondah City Council

City of Greater Geelong

Moorabool Shire Council

Bayside City Council

Wyndham City Council

Baw Baw Shire Council

Monash City Council (from 2020)

Kingston City Council

Cardinia Shire Council

City of Casey

East Gippsland Shire Council

City of Wodonga



At its meeting on 17 August 2020, Darebin Council made the decision to formally adopt a dusk till dawn cat curfew (7pm and 7am), which would be effective from 1 January 2021.

This initiative was included in the 2017-2021 Domestic Animal Management Plan for consideration to improve the safety of Darebin’s cat population, to limit the impacts of cats on wildlife and the environment and also to address complaints of cats trespassing and nuisance on private properties.


What’s happened so far?

The feedback process undertaken for the development of the Domestic Animal Management Plan 2017-2021, included a survey question about the “effectiveness of introducing a cat curfew to control cats from roaming at night”.

A total of 269 responses were received with 49% of respondents indicating that a curfew would be very effective. Respondents were requested to rate responses from 1(not at all effective) to 5 (very effective). With nearly half of respondents indicating that a cat curfew would be very effective in controlling roaming cats at night, further consideration of introducing a cat curfew was included in the Domestic Animal Management Plan 2017-2021.

Feedback on a draft proposal of a dusk till dawn cat curfew was sought from 10 July to 7 August.


Community Engagement Summary Report

View the Community Engagement Summary Report on the feedback received for the draft proposal of a dusk till dawn cat curfew.


What’s happening now?

Council will support a community education program prior to the implementation date of the cat curfew. For more information, please stay tuned via our Animal Management page on the Darebin website.

Council has also given approval for the formal gazettal in the Victoria Government Gazette of a dusk till dawn cat curfew (7pm to 7am), to take effect from 1 January 2021.


More information on Cat Curfew

Cats are most active at night, particularly at dusk and dawn. This coincides with the activity periods of many species of native wildlife. Wildlife predation is an important factor when considering the pros and cons of a cat curfew. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) notes that, “Cats and dogs are wonderful companion animals. However, they are also very efficient predators of our native wildlife and kill and injure many wild animals every year. Even well fed and cared for cats and dogs instinctively hunt and chase”.

Keeping cats confined at night-time will help protect our Australian wildlife.

The City of Darebin is home to more than 179 species of significant plants and animals. Council works to protect and enhance remnant local native and indigenous vegetation. We have 39 conservation bushland sites within Darebin, which is 24% of the total open space in the municipality.

The Biological Conservation Journal reports that data compiled from 93 recent studies, estimates that feral cats kill 316 million birds a year and domestic cats kill 61 million birds annually. More than 99% are native.

Confining cats at night not only benefits wildlife. Benefits to cats and the community include:

  • Cats that are kept inside at night generally live much longer than cats that are allowed outside.
  • Around 80% of accidents involving cats occur at night.
  • Wandering cats are vulnerable to disease and attacks from other cats or dogs. Feline Aids, which is ultimately fatal for a cat, is transmitted from cat to cat through fighting.
  • Confining cats would help protect our native wildlife
  • Confining cats at night minimises the risk of injury and prevent it from fighting and wandering onto neighbouring properties.
  • Roaming cats also cause disputes and anxiety between neighbours, by causing dogs to bark, by fighting with other cats, defecating in neighbouring gardens and breeding.

Other municipalities in Victoria that already have a cat curfew in place are:

Yarra Ranges Shire Council

Nillumbik Shire Council

Moonee Valley City Council

Mitchell Shire Council

Knox City Council

Whitehorse City Council

City of Greater Bendigo

Maroondah City Council

City of Greater Geelong

Moorabool Shire Council

Bayside City Council

Wyndham City Council

Baw Baw Shire Council

Monash City Council (from 2020)

Kingston City Council

Cardinia Shire Council

City of Casey

East Gippsland Shire Council

City of Wodonga