Attention cat owners, if your animal is not desexed in the next couple of weeks, you're about to be slugged with an annual $80 permit.
From next month owners of cats not desexed by four months of age will be required to pay the $80 in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee.
It's all part of the state government's plan to make cat owners more responsible for their animal's actions and to limit unwanted cat pregnancies.
One local responsible cat owner is Amanda Kettlestring at Invergowrie, who has had cats all her life.
The most number of cats she has had at one time is 12.
"If I get an adult cat I get it desexed straight away, but if it's a kitten I get it desexed at six months."
Amanda said they should be desexed by that age as that is when they reach sexual maturity.
"Across NSW the RSPCA gets more than 15,000 cats annually through our shelters," chief veterinarian RSPCA NSW, Liz Arnott said.
"That's a lot, and that's just our shelters alone.
"Cats can reach breeding maturity by four months, they average four to six kittens per litter, and they can have two litters per years. Think of the exponential growth.
"So this is about reducing those numbers, which has to be good for the cats' health, good for wildlife, help limit road accidents involving cats when they roam, reduce cat fights and so on. There's no down side."
Improving desexing rates will also ease the burden on pounds and shelters and reduce euthanasia rates.
There are some exemptions.
Those kept for breeding purposes by members of recognised breeding bodies for example, and cats which cannot be de-sexed for medical reasons.
Also from July 1, owners of dogs of a restricted breed or formally declared to be dangerous will be required to pay a $195 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee.
Pet owners will be able to pay for annual permits using the NSW Pet Registry website or through their local council.
Anyone registering a cat on the NSW Pet Registry will be informed that they must pay for an $80 annual permit if their animal is not desexed by four months of age.
Annual permit fees will go directly to the Companion Animals Fund which pays for companion animal management by local councils including pounds/shelters, ranger services, dog recreation areas, and education and awareness programs.
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