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

Penticton Search and Rescue respond to six calls in less than a week

Two hikers rescued in early morning search near Greyback Lake latest in series of searches

In photos: Modified, yet traditional graduation gives Penticton graduates a sense of normalcy

Students around Penticton take part in pre-recorded graduation ceremonies

Penticton RCMP arrest man found ‘unlawfully in home’

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them

‘It’s about equality’ says Penticton man rallying for Black Lives Matter

“Canada is not exempt from racism and oppression,” said Geoff Stathers, standing with his #BLM sign

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Police seek help identifying person of interest in Salmon Arm arson investigation

A fire in a garage was extinguished but it is being treated as an arson.

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary rescinds all Grand Forks-area evacuation orders

Evacuation alerts for 1,136 Boundary properties remain in effect as officials monitor forecasts

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Filming to resume safely later in June: Okanagan Film Commission

Film commissioner Jon Summerland said they want to start filming again later in June

Kelowna RCMP investigate woman’s sudden death

Criminality is not suspected at this time, according to RCMP

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

WATCH: Burned out car be gone thanks to Vernon dealership, ski resort

Bannister GM Vernon and SilverStar Mountain Resort team up in road cleanup

‘We either make a difference or we don’t’: Revelstoke teen leads protest in support of BLM

Revelstoke joined cities across the world protesting against racism and police brutality

Most Read