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Last modified: 27 Jun 2022 10:38pm

close up of a brown cat with a surprised look on its faceAll domestic cats in Selwyn district over the age of four months will have to be microchipped and registered from 1 July 2022. This requirement is part of the Keeping Animals, Poultry and Bees Bylaw which the Council adopted last year.

While most of the rules in the new bylaw for keeping certain domesticated animals (excluding dogs), poultry and bees in urban areas came into force on 1 July last year, the rules for all domestic cats in the district are coming into effect a year later.

The bylaw aims to protect the public from nuisance, and address public health and safety issues. It includes controls previously contained in the Selwyn District Plan. The decision to include the cat microchipping requirement was made following the strong support it received during public consultation. This makes Selwyn the fourth council in the country to require microchipping of cats, along with Palmerston North City Council, Wellington City Council and Whanganui District Council.

“Microchipping your cat is the best way to ensure your lost pet gets home. It is also considered key to being a responsible pet owner,” Council’s Regulatory Manager Susan Atherton says. “A cat may go missing for a number of reasons. Often cats are also presumed to be strays and are taken to shelters by well-meaning people. Microchipping allows veterinarians and animal shelters, such as SPCA, to contact the owner once their cat is found.”

Cat owners are responsible for the one-off cost of microchipping and registration for the life of the cat with the approved microchip registry, the New Zealand Companion Animals Register (NZCAR). Microchipping can be done at any local vet. The registration with NZCAR is most commonly done for the owner by their vet at the time of microchipping, or by SPCA/Rescues at the time of adoption.

“As Selwyn’s population continues to grow, especially in our townships, so does the number of pets and animals we have in and around our homes. Domestic animals are an important part of many households. It’s also important they are looked after in a way that protects the public from nuisance, maintains public health and safety, and protects the welfare of the animal,” Mrs Atherton says.

The Council will take an educational approach to encouraging people to microchip and register their pet.

“We believe most pet owners are already responsible owners who are doing their best to ensure that if their cat ever gets lost it can be returned home safely,” says Mrs Atherton.

If people find a stray cat they should continue to take them to a cat rescue, SPCA or their local vet.

Find more information on the Keeping Animals, Poultry and Bees Bylaw and domestic cats requirements.