In an attempt to curb the number of cats on the streets, the borough of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie instigated a new cat-control ordinance which limits households to three cats total, with additional fines imposed on those feeding strays.
Serge Fortin, the communication officer for the borough, explained that officials will go through a home inspection if they receive filed complaints from the neighbours, but will not actively seek out offenders. Those in violation will receive a warning, followed by fines that range from $100, plus $45 in court fees, to $300, plus $128 in court fees. The by-law follows similar ones instated in the borough of St. Laurent, and neighbourhoods in Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, and Halifax.
Cities overpopulated with cats are unhealthy for both animals and people. Pathogens found in cat feces can cause swollen lymph nodes or muscle pains.
According to Alanna Devine, acting executive director of the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Montreal (SPCA), while cats are reaching high numbers in individual households, the city should seek solutions alternative to the ordinance.
“We’re really overwhelmed with cats,” Devine said, suggesting the sterilization of feral and domestic cats – which is done at no cost during monthly clinics with Steri-Animal.
Organizations like Alley Cat Rescue, based in Maryland, also take this approach, explaining that sterilization will stop reproduction, whereas limiting the number of household pets will not.
Devine explained that killing off the population of cats is not beneficial.
“Mass murder is not the solution,” she said. “In the U.S., some cities have undertaken this method and have found that not only is the method unethical, it is also ineffective; feral cats from other areas eventually replace the dead cats’ territories.”
Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie is northeast of the Plateau-Mont-Royal area.