It’s not that it’s a bad idea. Matter of fact there is some pretty sound reasoning for licensing cats in Ladysmith.
Sure, they are known to kill birds and other small mammals, that is a blood trait that proves very difficult to shake. And nobody likes to find poop in their garden. That argument is pretty locktight, except for those who employ natural fertilizers.
But the cons and questions continue to make cat licensing a scratch.
Unlike other domesticated pets, they are hard to contain. Fences are negotiable with a single leap and hedges offer not only passage to neighbours’ yards, but also refuge from neighbours dogs.
For cats that want to be outdoors, slapping a tag around their neck is not going to dial them in to the fact they are not supposed to leave their yard. In fact, for those worried about avian well-being, instituting a bell-for-every-feline approach would be much more cost effective and, well, effective.
What cat licensing would create is more an administrative and enforcement nightmare than anything. Not to mention the even deeper frustration cat licensing might cause already frustrated neighbours who might be expecting such policies to solve the problem.
Complaint calls could skyrocket and force further bylaw enforcement. And no matter what happens with enforcement it is sure to break some neighbourly bonds around town between cat owners and the neighbour who calls the town when Boots crosses that imaginary property line.
One argument that must be completely shut out is those who believe cats should just be locked inside and out of trouble.
OK, they may live longer indoors as some have stated, but locking up any animal, including people, without access to the outside is cruel.
In all, cat licensing is climbing up the wrong post.