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)

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

Victoria police are asking for help locating Izabel Villeneuve, 14, who was last seen Jan. 19. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating missing 14-year-old

Izabel Villeneuve was last seen in the morning of Jan. 19

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria says sale of the planned subdivision will increase the club’s ability to provide services and support. (Courtesy of Association for the Protection of Rural Metchosin)
Victoria Boys and Girls Club says youth would benefit from Metchosin land sale

Club says sale will guarantee supports and programs at time when demand high

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us – maybe

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Vancouver Island this weekend

Snow on Malahat to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Most Read