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  

CatsCity of Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BREAKING: Plane crash reported in Saanich

First responders are on scene as more details come in

Two causes to be heard on legislature lawn during B.C. budget unveiling

Demonstrations from forestry workers and Extinction Rebellion planned

Oak Bay looks into boulevard gardens

Legalizing boulevard gardening among working group ideas

Recent arrests skim surface of Victoria’s human trafficking problem

Port city makes desirable place for traffickers flying under the radar

Migration drives Greater Victoria’s population growth

Region surpasses 400,000 population despite seeing more deaths than births

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Forestry convoy headed down Vancouver Island to legislature lawn

Rally to be held Tuesday in Victoria pushing for the protection of ‘working forests’

Woman arrested in Cariboo after fuel stolen, police car rammed

Suspect wanted for crimes allegedly committed in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and 100 Mile House

Two causes to be heard on legislature lawn during B.C. budget unveiling

Demonstrations from forestry workers and Extinction Rebellion planned

No dramatic shifts expected as B.C. government tables new budget today

Finance Minister Carole James has promised to stay the course when she tables the budget in the legislature

AFN national chief calls for calm on Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades

Hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation oppose the natural-gas pipeline

Federal, B.C. ministers seek meeting with Wet’suwet’en in hope of blockade solution

Coastal GasLink signed agreements with all 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route

Most Read