St. Catharines Is Regulating Number of Cats that can be Kept in Urban Homes

No More Than Eight Cats Per Home in  Urban Areas of the City is Allowed

Too many cats can also be difficult to care for, cause property damage and may result in health problems for both animals and humans.

News from the City of St. Catharines in Niagara, Ontario

Posted August 2nd, 2019 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines, Ontario – A City by-law regulating the keeping of cats in St. Catharines aims to protect the health and safety of both residents and their feline companions.

Are you saying there are too many of us here?

The by-law allows residents to keep no more than eight cats at their homes in urban areas of St. Catharines. Generally, when cats live in large colonies many behavioural issues can arise, especially when there are too many cats in a home, said Kevin Strooband, president of Niagara Region Animal Services (NRAS).

Too many cats can also be difficult to care for, cause property damage and may result in health problems for both animals and humans.

“There are several issues that can lead to keeping too many cats,” said Strooband. “For many people in these situations, it begins with kindness. However, it can quickly get out of hand.”

Okay, that’s better. Now you and I have more room to play.

When the City and NRAS become aware of too many cats at a property the first step is to encourage the pet owner to voluntarily rehome some of their animals. In cases where the person is unable to care for the animals to the point of neglect or creating a harmful environment the humane society may take custody of the animals and provide them shelter, food, water and care. When someone is unwilling to rehome their animals the City can seek a court order through its by-law regulating the number of cats and rabbits.

Last month, the owners of a York Street property pleaded guilty to a City by-law charge of keeping more than eight cats. The Ontario Court of Justice issued a prohibition order that the number of cats at the home be reduced to eight. The property owners had been keeping approximately 28 cats at their home and stated in court they will work with the NRAS to find new homes for the cats by the end of August.

“Collecting multiple animals creates complex issues with far-reaching effects for the animals, the pet owners, their families and friends and the community,” said Strooband. “We encourage those aware of situations where someone has more than a reasonable number of animals to contact their local humane society or animal service provider for assistance.”

Residents with questions or concerns regarding animal welfare can call the Lincoln County Humane Society at 905.682.0767.

(A Footnote from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper – For anyone out there who may not like the photos with the captions in this piece, don’t blame the City of St. Catharines because they had nothing to do with the choice of photos or the captions. The captions are mine.)

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One response to “St. Catharines Is Regulating Number of Cats that can be Kept in Urban Homes

  1. there are many situations where there have been more than 8 cats in one property and where they were not taken care of properly. Can someone with 9 or 10 cats (or more) care for them – yes; given the time, energy and money for decent vet care, food and general care etc…but few people are committed to clean that much litter, feed them a good quality food and see to the needs of each and every animal as well as annual trips to the vets and illnesses that arise as the group ages. And to my knowledge that by-law has been on the books for some time. The Humane needs to actively root out people who hoard cats and do something about it as soon as they are notified. When the females in these situations are not spayed, (which they often aren’t) – things get quickly out of hand.


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