Cats and dogs

The department is responsible for administering the Cat Act 2011 (the Cat Act) and the Dog Act 1976 (the Dog Act). The acts and associated regulations apply throughout Western Australia.

Cats

The Cat Act requires the identification, registration and sterilisation of domestic cats, and gives local governments the power to administer and enforce the legislation. The legislation, which took full effect in November 2013, provides for better management of the unwanted impacts of cats on the community and the environment, and encourages responsible cat ownership. Local governments enforce and administer the Dog Act and the Cat Act. Members of the public with queries about registration, microchipping, sterilisation, dangerous dogs and barking dogs should contact their local government.

The department is responsible for ensuring that the Cat Act is up to date and fit for purpose. The Cat Act requires the identification, registration and sterilisation of domestic cats, and gives local governments the power to administer and enforce the legislation.

Local laws

Local governments enact local laws and are responsible for enforcing the Cat Act. Local laws enacted by a local government apply only to the area administered by that local government and are not statewide laws. Information about local laws relating to cats can be obtained from the relevant local government along with information about microchipping, sterilisation, registration and stray cats.

Dogs

The Dog Act contains a range of measures to improve community safety, encourage responsible dog ownership, enable nuisance behaviour to be more effectively dealt with and to recognise assistance dogs.  Recent amendments to the Dog Act require that by 1 November 2015 all dogs must be microchipped. The Dog Act recognises assistance dogs that are commonly used by people with a disability. The department has responsibility for approving assistance dogs that have not been trained by a recognised organisation. The department also approves applications to become an independent Public Access Test Assessor. 

The legal rights and responsibilities of dog owners are outlined in the Dog Act, the Dog Regulations 2013 and in local government local laws Collectively, these laws provide for the registration, ownership and control of dogs in Western Australia.

Pensioner dog registration fees and refunds for sterilisations
Registration period
Fee (sterilised)
Fee (unsterilised)
Refund (year 1)
Refund (year 2)
Refund (year 3)
 1 year
 $10.00
 $25.00  $15.00  Not applicable
 Not applicable
 3 year  $21.25  $60.00  $38.75  $25.83  $12.92
 Lifetime  $50.00  $125.00
 $75.00  $50.00  $25.00

Standard registration fees and refunds
Registration period
Fee (sterilised)
Fee (unsterilised)
Refund (year 1)
Refund (year 2)
Refund (year 3)
 1 year
 $20.00
 $50.00  $30.00  Not applicable
 Not applicable
 3 year  $42.50  $120.00  $77.5  $51.67  $25.83
 Lifetime  $100.00  $250.00
 $150.00  $100.00  $50.00

Assistance dogs

People with assistance dogs trained by accredited organisations are automatically granted public access rights under the Dog Act 1976 regulations. Public access rights for other assistance dogs may be granted on application to the department. The applicant must be able to demonstrate that there is a need for an assistance dog and that the dog meets the specified training criteria.

Local laws

Local governments enact local laws and are responsible for enforcement of the Dog Act. Local laws enacted by a local government apply only to the area administered by that local government and are not State-wide laws. Information about local laws relating to dogs can be obtained from the relevant local government, as well as information about registration, microchipping, sterilisation, dangerous dogs, barking dogs, and exercise areas.

Page reviewed 22 July 2019