We've developed the following guidelines about managing cats, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Waikato SPCA.
The MOU allows us to provide ongoing support to the Hamilton community around specific cats while they remain on the Waikato SPCA’s books.
Helping our community with stray and vulnerable cats is new to us and we’re doing what we can to provide as much support as possible within our current capacity.
These guidelines are a quick reference for people dealing with cats to know what to do in each situation. There are many different types of cats and they all have their own way of being managed.
If you’re unsure about what to do with a cat at or near your property, call Animal Education and Control and we’ll be able to help give you some advice. Alternatively, you can contact a local rescue organisation (there are many) who also work with cats.
Recommendation for cat owners
If you're a cat owner, we recommend to try and keep you cat indoors at night (around 7pm to 7am) to minimise them going over to other people's properties. Desexing and microchipping pet cats are also recommended as it can stop them from roaming, creating extra unwanted kittens and can be easily identified by Animal Education and Control (or a vet) if found.
The Council's Animal Nuisance Bylaw means we follow up any nuisance complaints, including companion, stray and feral cats. If the cat is microchipped, or its owner can be identified, the cat can be returned, and we will work with them to eliminate the nuisance. Unidentified cats will go on petsonthenet.co.nz and held at Animal Education and Control for seven days.
Click here to view the Animal Nuisance Bylaw which details the definition of a nuisance, the Council's enforcement abilities and what the penalties can be.
There are different kinds of stray cats which can be managed in a different way: healthy/friendly cats, kittens or litters that are vulnerable or injured, and feral cats.
Healthy/friendly strays and companion cats
We recommend not giving them food for a week as they're often someone's pet (companion cat) just looking for an extra meal. These cats are often friendly and don't mind if you walk up to them or pat them. If they continue to come back after that week, if you can, add a paper collar to the cat which could be seen by the owner when they go home. Click here to download the collar template or pick one up from the Animal Education and Control office. Following adding a paper collar, you can hire a cat trap then bring it into Animal Education and Control who will look after the cat until it's transferred to the Waikato SPCA.
Litters or vulnerable cats
If you come across a vulnerable litter or injured cat/kitten, if you bring them into Animal Education and Control we will organise them to be transferred to the Waikato SPCA for further care.
If a cat is feral (you can normally tell as they act very scared around people) you can hire a trap and bring them into Animal Education and Control.
Click here for more information about feral cats and traps.
Click here for more information about feral cats from the Waikato Regional Council and their Regional Pest Management Strategy.
Cats needing welfare support
If a cat has been ill-treated or requires welfare support, take them straight to the Waikato SPCA (07 847 4868).
If a cat has been abandoned (eg neighbour moved but left their cat behind) then call the Waikato SPCA (07 847 4868).
Animal control is unable to take unwanted cats. If cat owners decide they don't want their cat anymore, they need to arrange a new home for the cat themselves.
Below is a table for easy reference about what types of cats can be taken to each organisation:
||| Animal Education and Control|| Waikato SPCA|
|Healthy/friendly strays and companion cats||Yes||Yes|
|Litters or vulnerable cats||Yes||Yes|
|Cats needing welfare support||No||Yes|
Animal Education and Control is located at 217 Ellis St in Frankton and is open from 12.30pm to 4.30pm every day except public holidays. The Council's customer service centre is available 24/7 on 07 838 6699.