Microchipping and registering your pet

The Companion Animals Act 1998 requires all cats and dogs be microchipped by 12 weeks of age, and lifetime registered by six months of age. 

The registration fee is a once-only payment, which covers the cat or dog for its lifetime in NSW, regardless of any changes in ownership.

You are encouraged to have your cat or dog desexed before registering it. Having your cat or dog desexed prior to registration helps to reduce straying, fighting and aggression and antisocial behaviour, such as spraying to mark territory. It also helps to reduce the number of unwanted pets born each year. Discounted registration fees apply to desexed dogs.

Registration fees are used by councils for providing animal management related services to the community. These may include ranger services, pound facilities, dog refuse bins, educational and other companion animal-related activities.

If you fail to register your cat or dog when required to do so you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice of $330, or a court may award a maximum penalty of up to $5500 or up to $6,500 if your dog is a restricted dog or a declared dangerous or menacing dog.

Registrations can be completed online via the NSW Pet Registry or via Service NSW. You can also register your pet at Customer Service in the Shellharbour Civic Centre (76 Cygnet Avenue, Shellharbour City Centre).

View microchipping and registration costs.

Selling or giving away your pet

You must have your dog or cat microchipped before rehoming. As the owner, it is your responsibility to notify us that you will be transferring your pet ownership.

Changing your microchip contact details

Owners must ensure their pets' microchip contact details are kept up to date in case their pet goes missing or is stolen. It is important that you notify us within 14 days after any change occurs.

What to do if your pet has died

If your cat or dog has died, please notify us within 28 days by emailing us or by calling 4221 6111. Alternatively, you can mark your pet as deceased on the NSW Pet Registry.

Annual permits for non-desexed cats and dangerous/restricted dogs

The NSW Government is committed to promoting responsible pet ownership and improving animal welfare standards.

From 1 July 2020 the Government will introduce annual permits for owners of non-desexed cats, restricted dog breeds, and dogs declared to be dangerous.
This means that owners of cats not desexed by four months of age will be required to pay an $80 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee.
Owners of dogs of a restricted breed or declared to be dangerous will be required to pay a $195 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee. This applies to dogs that are already registered.
Pet owners will be able to pay for annual permits using the online NSW Pet Registry, or through their local council. Annual permits are not available from Service NSW.

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.

Exemptions will be in place for cats that are registered by 1 July 2020, cats kept for breeding purposes by members of recognised breeding bodies, and cats which cannot be desexed for medical reasons.

Why are annual permits being introduced?
Annual permits will create a stronger incentive to desex cats, which in turn will improve their health and wellbeing, and reduce behaviours such as roaming and aggression.
Improving desexing rates and preventing unwanted litters will also ease the burden on pounds and shelters, reduce euthanasia rates, and help to address concerns about feral and stray cats and their effect on wildlife.
Placing further control measures on dangerous and restricted dogs will serve as a further disincentive to owning high-risk dogs and encourage owners to better manage the behaviour of their animal.

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.

The fund is also used to operate the NSW Pet Registry and carry out responsible pet ownership initiatives.

Last updated : Thu 7 Apr 2022