How Many Cats Can You Own in Australia?

Adding a cat to your home provides you with a great companion. They are independent, sometimes affectionate, and perfect for snuggling up to at the end of a long day. Whether you have the cutest litter of baby kittens or a majestic elderly animal, the benefits of owning a pet are well documented. They can help with depression and loneliness, give you someone to care for, and provide a loyal friend and companion when you feel as though life is getting you down. You’ll even find it amusing when you see your cats groom each other.

For many of us, our pet cats are more than mere animals—they become beloved members of the family. Unlike family members, however, some states have strict laws which restrict the number of cats you can have in your house. Cats are an invasive species within Australia, and as a result, ownership is limited. Read on to find out the rules and restrictions in your state; getting it wrong could cost you a hefty fine!

Own cats in Australia


Brisbane will allow you to keep three cats without a permit. If you intend to exceed this, you will need to apply for a cattery permit.

New South Wales

There are currently no limits as to the number of cats you can own in New South Wales, but incoming legislation is likely to change this in the near future.


There is currently no restriction on the number of pet cats you can keep in your home, but all cats must be desexed and microchipped.


If you are the owner or occupier of land which is equal to or less than 4,000 square meters, Victoria will allow you to keep three cats over the age of 12 weeks on the premises within your private home, as long as they are all desexed. You will need to apply for approval and a permit if you wish to exceed this number.

If the land you own or occupy is greater than 4,000 square meters, but less than 20,000 square meters, you are permitted to keep up to five cats without a permit. If you wish to exceed five, you will be required to apply for a permit.

Once your application is received, you will be contacted by the Council, and they will arrange for a Ranger to inspect your property. This involves checks that the pet will be kept according to the requirements set out in the General Local Law. The focus is on ensuring the health and welfare of all animals, in reducing the number of stray animals, and in limiting any inconvenience to your neighbors.

South Australia

The number of cats you can own depends on local bylaws, but most areas will have a limit of two.

Western Australia

In Western Australia, you must notify the city if you wish to keep more than two cats, but no more than six. There is currently no requirement to apply for a permit, though this may change.

Northern Territory

If you are living in the Northern Territory, you are permitted to keep two cats on your property without issue. If you wish to increase this number, you will be required to apply for a license.



4+ cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, loves to write, not a huge fan of coffee... but LOVES her pets! Read More
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