New Zealand is beginning to catch up with international moves to support responsible cat ownership.

Cat containment rules remain patchy but, since 2018, six local councils have introduced bylaws requiring that pet cats be microchipped and the chip registered with the New Zealand Companion Animal Register (NZCAR).

As reported by NZCAR, four of the councils also require desexing of pet cats.

NZCAR is operated by Companion Animals New Zealand (CANZ), a registered charity. The register was created to provide a national database of microchipped companion animals (pets), that can be accessed by approved organisations (such as vet clinics and SPCAs), so that the pet can quickly be returned home.

Microchip registration has a one-time fee of $15, and these funds are used to promote animal welfare.