Results of our Early Engagement

Thank you to everyone who took the time to contribute to our early engagement. This feedback will be taken into consideration alongside advice from subject matter experts and key stakeholders such as the SPCA.

We expect to formally consult on a draft bylaw later in the year. We encourage everyone to make a submission at that time to let us know whether we have struck the right balance.

We asked which of these requirements for companion cats you would support

We asked which of these requirements for companion cats you would support

If a vet considered a procedure not in the bests interests of the cats wellbeing, they would be exempt. Likewise, desexing would not apply to cats who are registered breeders.

We asked for your views in your own words

Key themes from free text feedback

To see a sample of contributions from a range of perspectives read the summary document.

Pro microchipping 61% Pro registration 47% Pro desexing 38% Conservation 31% Cat containment 26% Cat nuisance 15% Anti cat regulation 13% Cost concern 11% Limit cats per household 8% Subsidies 7% Toxoplasmosis 7% Strain on rescue centres 6%

To see a sample of contributions from a range of perspectives read our summary document.

Cat Owners Survey Results

Is your cat microchipped? Yes 76.89%, No 21.94%, I don't know 1.17%
Is your cat on the nz companion animal register? Yes 53.31%, No 32.88%, I don't know 13.81%
Is your cat desexed? Yes 98.64%, No 1.17%, I don't know 0.19%
Is your cat a registered breeder? Yes 16.67%, No 83.33%

This question was only asked to those who selected 'No' to the question 'Is your cat desexed?'

Paws and Reflect - The background to this proposed bylaw

Cats have long been cherished members of our households, providing us with endless joy and companionship. However, as responsible pet owners, we recognize the need to balance our love for these animals with the well-being of our communities and the valuable work of rescue organizations.

Our proposed bylaw would focus on the mandatory microchipping and registration of cats, a key step in promoting responsible cat ownership. This is different to feral cat management which is dealt with through our Pest Management Plan. Microchipping and registration support cat welfare by quickly reuniting lost cats with their families, while reducing the financial burden on rescue centres. For example, when a lost cat cannot easily be identified and reunited with their family, the rescue centres and vets use valuable resources caring for the cat, trying to track down their owners and if all else fails, rehoming the cat. A quick reunion also places far less stress on a displaced cat.

What would this cost?

If your cat is already microchipped and on the Companion Animal Register there is no further cost.

Costs of microchipping vary and are often discounted when combined with other procedures such as registration or desexing. This is a one-off fee of around $60. This payment goes to your vet. Read more about the benefits of microchipping your pet here:

Advice & welfare: The benefits of microchipping your pet • SPCA New Zealand

Unlike with dog registration, the Companion Animal Register is not operated through Council. This register ensures that when your pet's microchip is scanned you can be contacted by an approved agent such as a vet. A microchip does not automatically mean that your pet is on the Companion Animal Register. Read more about the benefits of registering your pets for a one-off $15 fee here:

Companion Animals Home » Companion Animal Register

Council would not 'clip the ticket' for either of these fees. All fees go to the organisation to cover their costs.

What about desexing?

Several other Councils around the country have already introduced bylaws and policies to support the management and welfare of cats, rescue centres and vet clinics. While our proposed cat bylaw is focused on microchipping and registration, other Councils have also introduced mandatory desexing of non-breeding cats. This is why we are also gathering public feedback on desexing.