Cat traps are illegally trapping domestic cats 

We have been working with the RSPCA to improve the notice format and distribution of their guidelines for cat trapping to try and curb indiscrimatory trapping of peoples pets cats. The RSPCA has now distributed this notice to be handed out with all traps that are hired or sold. People using the traps should follow these guidelines whilst using cat traps. If someone is using cat traps without following these guidelines we would like to hear about it.

Notice distributed by the RSPCA

If it becomes necessary to trap a cat then the following procedures should be carefully followed to ensure the cat is treated humanely.

Any ill-treatment of cats may be an offence under the Animal Welfare Act and be subject to prosecution.

1. Use only approved cage traps. Do not use leg-hold or body-grip traps or snares.

2. Ensure the cage is suitably covered to provide any contained cats with protection from the elements.

3. Ensure the cage is regularly checked (at least twice per day) so that caught cats are not caged for extended periods.

4. Check any caught cats for identification and contact the owner.

Note:  Some cats may be identified with a microchip; which can only be read with a scanner – available at most vets and Council / Shire Rangers.

5. If the cat is not identified endeavour to locate the owner by doorknocking / letterbox drops in your local area.

6. If the owner cannot be located then endeavour to rehome the cat (eg. advertise, contact Cat Haven, contact RSPCA, check your local vet).

7. Ensure that any caught cats are provided with sufficient food and water.

8. Any lactating cat caught in a trap should be released, unless the kittens can also be located and removed as well.

9. In the event the cat needs to be destroyed then take it to your local vet for humane euthanasia.

Do not destroy the cat yourself – as techniques such as striking or drowning are unacceptable and may constitute an offence under the Animal Welfare Act.

If in doubt – contact the RSPCA for further advice, on 08-9209 9300


CAA believes that Cat Traps should only be in the hands of Animal welfare groups to be used in cases of emergencies.

Cat Alliance of Australia has commenced a program to eradicate the hiring and selling of cat traps through various outlets through out Perth. Besides vigilantes traps are being used illegally by Pest Control Agents and Hire places with no approved method of disposal of the trapped cat.


Since the beginning of the investigation the number of cat traps being hired in the metro area has climbed to 160 on any given day and this does not include traps brought or hired by councils, pest control groups or hire companies.


We have managed to  take 63 traps from retail outlets to date and are currently working on getting assurances and information out to the Pest control and Hire agents that it is not legal to trap pet cats. Most of the outlets I have spoken to do not know this and have no way of checking if the cat is micro chipped or belongs to someone. To them all cats who were out and about were "fair game" and could be trapped and disposed off however they chose. Some of the methods of disposal were too graphic and horrific to repeat.


They were also not notifiying people abutting the house they were laying traps that they would be trapping in the immediate area and that they should keep their cats inside.


We have had cats dissappearing in cluster area's over a long period of time and this indicates to us that someone has set permanent traps and are killing these cats in an illegal way and will be prosecuted if caught with a possible fine of $10,000 dollars and 5 years jail. We ask you if you are in one of these areas that this is happening in to contact us on 95241398 or email: caa@iinet.net.au we would love to hear from you to help catch the perpetrators of these horrendous crimes.


Click here for more info on local cat laws and the penalties for trapping, harming or mistreating a neighbours pet cat under the 'Animal Welfare Act 2002.


Under the law cats are classed as "possessions" therefore anyone caught trapping and disposing of a pet cat can be dealt with by your local police under state law.  Click here for the WA RSPCA guidelines on the use of cat traps.


Violence Has Many Victims


Psychiatric and criminological research has established a relationship between cruelty to animals and a host of other violent behaviors.


This research suggests that a single violent individual may lash out against multiple defenseless victims, and that any aggressive act—regardless of the identity of the victim—may be a predictor of future violent acts, as well as an indicator of current antisocial behavior. Ongoing research is exploring why people become aggressive and how that violence becomes a pattern of behavior.


Researchers are also investigating the negative consequences of children and adults witnessing acts of violence towards animals and humans, and how and why those witnesses are more likely to become violent themselves.


Listed below is a selection of the research articles published about the link between cruelty to animals and other forms of violence

Ascione, Fred. "Animal Abuse and Youth Violence." US Department of Justice Juvenile Justice Bulletin 1 (2001): 1-15.


Faver, Catherine A., and Elizabeth B. Strand. "To Leave or to Stay?: Battered Women’s Concern for Vulnerable Pets." Journal of Interpersonal Violence 18 (2003): 1367-1377.


Hensley, Christopher, and Suzanne E. Tallichet. “Learning to be Cruel?: Exploring the Onset and Frequency of Animal Cruelty.” International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 49 (2005): 37-47.


Lockwood, Randall, and Frank R. Ascione, eds. 1980. Cruelty to Animals and Interpersonal Violence: Readings in Research and Application. Ashland: PurdueUniversity Press.


Merz-Perez, Linda, Kathleen M. Heide, and Ira J. Silvermann. "Childhood Cruelty to Animals and Subsequent Violence against Humans." International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 45 (2001): 556-573.


 In America it is common to hire a pet detector when ones pet goes missing.

Karin Goin is a licensed private investigator and the President of Pet Detectives, inc. a private investigative agency whose sole mission is the location and recovery of missing pets. By utilizing investigative skills, animal behavior profiling, escape scenario breakdown and environmental influences, she is able to “drill down” to the most likely scenario a missing pet may be experiencing.  When not on the road with her K9 tracking team, she spends most of her time on the phone coaching pet owners in the search for their missing pets.


Karin and her K9s are regularly featured in newspapers, magazines and on television news segments across the country. She is the author of Finding Home… The Pet Owners Guide to Finding a Missing Dog and A Meow at the Door: Effective Techniques for Finding and Recovering a Missing Cat. She is in negotiations for a network TV series scheduled to air in 2008. Go to www.missingpetpi.com or call 918-368-2228 for further information





Traps should always be marked with your name and a way to contact you.  You should use your home address, give a cellphone or pager number. This would allow for cross referring of legal and illegal traps and match the trap hirer to one that has trapped indiscriminately. This is currently the requirement in the USA.

You can kill an animal by neglect in a cage-trap as easily as you can in any other trap that captures an animal alive, and no trap can be guaranteed "humane" in the hands of an unskilled person. When you set a trap of any sort, you are trapper, and must follow responsible trapping guidelines. But it is obvious very few follow the responsible way. So all councils should have their names on the trap along with the name of the person hiring.

Cats, however, may injure themselves attempting to get out of the trap. It is common for cats in uncovered traps, or in traps left too long, to rub fur off their faces and paws, break teeth and claws, etc.






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