Cat owners are required to make sure their pet does not wander onto other people’s property without permission. The fine for an at-large cat is $100, but if a cat is licensed it is eligible for one free ride home from the City without a fine every 12 months.
Dealing with an Unwanted Cat on Your Property
If you have an unwanted cat on your property, politely ask your neighbour to keep their cat on their own property. If you do not know who the owner is or if speaking with your neighbour did not solve the problem, you may want to make your property less inviting to the animal.
Another option is to humanely trap the cat and turn it over to the City.
Making Your Property Less Inviting
Cats can be trained not to enter your yard simply by making your property unpleasant.
- Place mesh netting (angled outwards) or PVC pipe at the top of your fence to prevent cats from climbing over
- Place chicken wire just below the surface of your flower beds to discourage digging and cover the bed with bark chips or gravel so it is rough
- Spray the cat with water whenever it enters your yard
- Spread repellents around your property, like vinegar or orange peels
To assist with larger deterrent decisions, Animal Care & Control now offers the rental of cat deterrent kits. These kits allow you to sample various tactics to determine which works best before you buy your own deterrents. The deterrents include humane consumable and non-consumable items, one motion-activated option (water or sound), as well as digging or scent based deterrents. The kit can be borrowed for a maximum of one week from April-October and is provided for a refundable deposit of $50.
Animal Care & Control does not capture stray and at-large cats, but does lend humane traps to residents between April 1 and October 31 (weather dependent). Animal Care & Control Officers will pick up cats trapped in a City trap. All other cats can be brought to the Animal Care & Control Centre by first calling 311 and making an intake appointment.
If you need to rent a City trap, please call 311 to book. Rentals will be aligned with a cat intake appointment. There is a refundable $75 deposit for each trap, payable by VISA, Mastercard, Debit card or cash. Cheques are not accepted.
It is illegal to put an animal in distress, so you will need to check the trap frequently and will have to provide food, water and shelter for the trapped cat until it is turned over to the City. The cat must also not be injured by the method you use to trap and transport it.
Filing a Complaint
You can bring a cat to the Animal Care & Control Centre without filing a complaint against your neighbour by calling 311 and making an intake appointment. If the cat is licensed and has not been at-large in the past 12 months, the owner will not be fined and your name will not be released.
If you do want to file a complaint against your neighbour, you need to fill out a witness statement form. If the owner contests the fine, you will be required to appear in court to testify and the owner will know you filed the complaint.
You do not need to trap a cat on your property to file a complaint, you just have to see the cat, be able to identify it, be able to indicate the address of which it lives and fill out the statement form.