Licensing cats


Update: Hamilton city council votes down cat licensing



Hamilton councillors will decide next week whether to license the city’s estimated 130 000 owned cats. Hamilton is not the only municipality debating cat licensing and those that do, say it’s not about the money, it’s about reuniting lost cats with owners and helping control the feral cat population.

The city of Brampton is one of a number of municipalities that require cats to be licensed. For $10 owners can register their cat for its lifetime. Cities like Mississauga and Toronto require annual licencing fees, similar to what the city of Hamilton is considering. In Mississauga owners can pay as much as $45 per cat every year.

“Over 98% of the cats that come into us are not identified in any way shape or form and the owners don’t routinely look for them.” Kathy Duncan Animal Services, Brampton.

Duncan says Brampton generates $80 000 raised from pet licenes goes to support their animal shelter. According to a staff report in Hamilton the city stands to gain about $150 000 to $200 000 if licensing was required for cats. Councillors say passing such a by-law isn’t that simple.

“There are people who would have a tough time affording an annual licensing fee for cats.” Jason Farr, Hamilton councillor.

Hamilton’s licensing proposal includes a $20 annual fee for spayed and neutered cats and $40 for ones that are not. Cat licensing by-laws across southern Ontario vary. St.Catharines recently scrapped a similar proposal to Hamilton’s earlier this year. They don’t plan on reopening the topic until next year