Wellington councillors have voted to pass a revised animal bylaw that requires cats to be micro-chipped. The Environment Committee passed the bylaw today.
It will then be recommended to a full council meeting later in August when a final vote will be made.
New Zealand Veterinary Association head of services Callum Irvine said micro-chipping cats was the best way to protect wildlife.
"In order for any management strategy to work it's imperative every cat has an owner, it's cared for appropriately and it has a microchip."
Irvine said there were benefits to micro-chipping like reuniting lost cats with owners and saving family pets from being euthanized through feral cat schemes.
He said eventually cats should be micro-chipped when they are brought in to be de-sexed.
Wellington cat owner Kent Duston said he was disappointed the committee had pushed through the proposed bylaw.
He said the council had failed to give specific examples micro-chipping was the best option.
"The council is yet to provide any evidence that even if they did microchip every cat in Wellington, that it would somehow reduce cats predating on wildlife."
Duston said he had sought legal advice from top lawyer Mai Chen and it was his understanding the council does not have a legal right to protect wildlife.
"Until it is given that power it really has no ability to regulate in this area."
Other changes to the bylaw include reducing the number of chickens allowed on a property and banning people from feeding pigeons in the CBD.