Dealing with stray cats
Cat trapping is not the only solution to keeping stray cats out of your property.
Before you consider borrowing a cat trap from Council, we recommend that you think about what actions you can take to stop the cat coming into your yard.
Dealing with the problem in other ways may just save an animal the trauma of being trapped.
Make your yard unattractive
- If the uninvited cat is using your garden as a litter box, install some garden mesh or chicken wire just under the top layer of soil.
- Scatter orange and lemon peels, cayenne pepper, chilli pepper flakes, coffee grounds, pipe tobacco, lavender oil, lemon grass oil, citronella oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil or mustard oil on the area.
- Install a motion sensor sprinkler that startles them, and move the sprinkler around your yard every few weeks.
- Keep outdoor sandboxes totally covered when your children aren’t playing.
- Soaking several recycled rags in white vinegar and place them on stakes around your veggies.
- STOP feeding strays - you are not just feeding the cat, you are feeding the problem.
Talk to the owner
If you know the owner of the cat, then you can attempt to talk to them tactfully about keeping their cat indoors. However, it is important to keep in mind that people can get extremely defensive when confronted about a pet’s behaviour.
A letter in the owner's letterbox can also be a good way to approach the situation. You express your concern and offer them an opportunity to rectify or discuss solutions to the situation before you contact Council.
For more information, see our Alternatives to cat trapping flyer (DOC 224Kb).
What is a cat trap?
A cat trap is made of wire and looks like a rectangle box with a metal plate on the floor. It does not hurt the cat. The Cat Protection Society, Lost Dogs Home and RSPCA Victoria use the same traps to catch stray cats.
Borrow a cat trap from Council
Borrowing a cat trap is free, but there is a waiting period, usually around four weeks, but this can vary depending on how many people are on the list.
Council delivers the trap to you on Monday. The cat trap is delivered with instructions for setup and use.
You must notify Council immediately when you have trapped the cat. If you contact Council before 12 pm, we can usually collect the cat and trap on the same day. Otherwise, the cat and trap is picked up the following business day. When you call Council for a cat pick-up, let Council know if you need the trap to be replaced.
When you borrow a trap, you agree to look after the cat that you catch until Council collects it. This includes feeding the cat, keeping it warm or out of the sun. If the cat requires shelter, place a towel over the cage. Hurting a trapped cat is considered animal cruelty.
While you wait for Council to pick up the cage, please place a blanket over the cage.
All cat traps are picked up on the Friday, regardless of whether a cat has been caught or not.
Council may decide your property is not suitable for a cat trap.
You cannot borrow a trap from Council to catch possums or any other animal.
To borrow a cat trap contact Council.
What happens to the cat after it is collected?
Council takes the cat to the Epping Animal Welfare Facility.
The staff assess the cat to see if it is suitable for adoption. Cats that are suitable for adoption are microchipped and desexed.
Non-Council cat traps
Unfortunately, Council is not able to collect cats that you have caught in your own cage or put into a cardboard box or other container or trap. This is to ensure the safety of Council staff and to prevent injury to the cat.
Never use a possum trap to catch cats as this causes injury to the cat.