Cats now prisoners in their own Oakville homes

Cats now prisoners in their own Oakville homes

Toronto city hall has a reputation—deserved or not—for passing more regulations than its suburban counterparts. But while Hogtown thinks about scrapping its pet licensing requirement to save money, the 905 is cracking down on those vicious, sociopathic animals who butcher fowl and furniture alike: house cats.

The Toronto Star reports:

Oakville has joined neighbours Milton, Burlington and Hamilton in prohibiting cats from roaming free. The town has already banned dogs from running loose, but added cats to the list when it consolidated all animal bylaws last month.

Owners whose loose cats repeatedly end up at the Oakville shelter can be fined $105, plus a $30 town surcharge, a return fee of $25 and $15 for each day the cat stays at the shelter.

Johanne Golder said the mentality that cats are “disposable” pets (unwanted kittens are often abandoned or dumped at shelters) is to blame for the huge feline populations in urban centres.

The more cats, the fewer birds, said McGill University avian expert David Bird [whose name is hilarious, but not a joke—ed.].

So, if an Oakville cat is caught outside, spends one day in the shelter and is returned to its home, it will cost the owner $175 or so. Suddenly, our griping about summer camps doesn’t seem so bad after all. The whole clampdown on cats suddenly makes Toronto look like the wild west of pet regulation—our cats are unlicensed and free as the birds they’re feasting on.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t note that bird kills by domestic cats are actually a serious issue—far more lethal to bird populations than, say, wind turbines. Nothing seems to be as deadly to birds, though, as windows.

• Cats now housebound in Oakville — or owners face fine [Toronto Star]

(Image: Matt MacGillivray)