Bylaws in the Victoria mandate that cats need to be in control of owners at all times when out in public, so don’t forget to bring your leash. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Leash your cat or face a $150 fine in Victoria

Current city bylaws mandate that cats must be under their owner’s control in public spaces

Litter, catnip, treats and toys are all important things for cat owners – but don’t forget a leash.

Despite the common sight of a rogue cat in the neighborhood, City of Victoria bylaws actually mandate that cats remain in the owner’s direct control when they’re in a public setting, which means in a kennel or on a lead.

Cats are also banned from trespassing on private property without an occupier’s permission, but since cats don’t care for people’s opinions most of the time that means an outdoor cat also requires a leash.

The bylaws are put forward in part to reduce harm that cats can cause local rodents, birds and pets, and also to prevent unwanted impregnation of other cats.

While the bylaws exist, many people fail to follow them. This prompted local activists to ask Greater Victoria municipalities to add more enforcement measures, such as licensing of outdoor cats.

The Victoria Natural History Society sent letters to 13 municipalities in Greater Victoria asking for tighter regulations.

READ MORE: Victoria Natural History Society asks district to keep cats under control

“Cats that roam free, whether owned, stray or feral, often lead short, traumatic and painful lives,” the letter reads. “They also kills birds and other wildlife, and spread disease to other cats, wildlife and humans.”

The group recommended that domestic cats be licensed, vaccinated against rabies, confined to their owner’s property and physically restrained when off premises. The letter also recommended spaying a neutering of cats over six months of age, unless there are outstanding medical or breeding circumstances. In other words, they asked for the current Victoria bylaws to be spread throughout the Capital Region.

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

According to the Victoria Animal Control Services (VACS), both Oak Bay and Esquimalt also already hold onto these bylaws; the only exception between the three municipalities is that Victoria limits owners to six cats, while Oak Bay and Esquimalt limit five.

In the case of a bylaw infraction, VACS will first issue a letter of warning, and if the offence continues a $150 fine can be given if the owner is known. If it is an unknown cat, VACS will impound the cat and try to identify the rightful owner, supplying any medical attention if necessary.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

Nuclear medicine temporarily suspended at KBRH

Upgrades expected to be in service by end of September

Nine fires burning in West Kootenay

All fires considered to be lightning caused.

West Kootenay afternoon storms spark fires

Lots of thunder and lightning, and little rain, as system moves through region

PLACE NAMES: Rossland neighbourhoods, Part 1

Early Rossland townsite built on top of mining claims

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Most Read