Controlling Stray and Feral Cats

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.

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,
  • 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

PestSmart Connect - Feral cat (Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre)
Is a toolkit of information and videos on the impact and management options for feral cats in Australia.

Threat Abatement Plan for predation by feral cats (Commonwealth of Australia)
Establishes a national framework to guide and coordinate Australia's response to the impacts of feral cats on biodiversity. Identifies research, management and other actions needed to ensure long-term survival of native species and ecological communities affected by predation by feral cats.

Feral Cats - DPIPWE website

Feral Cats in Tasmania - Fact Sheet (DPIPWE) (281 KB)

For further information about cat management in Tasmania:


Invasive Species Branch
Phone: 03 6165 3777