Bay City, Michigan is debating a new ordinance which will restrict each household to a maximum of three cats.
The reason for the possible introduction of this ordinance is to reduce the number of stray cats wandering around Bay City. City councillors say the city is teeming with stray cats and there is a need to do something about it. However, will limiting the number of cats per home reduce the number of stray cats outside the home, on the streets? What is the thinking behind this?
There are many responsible cat caretakers who care for more than three cats. They will be “punished”, it is said. I don’t see it that way but some people will disagree with me. No doubt the ordinance will allow many years for the law to be gradually phased in to avoid people having to relinquish cats in order to meet the three cat limit.
The president of the local Humane Society, Wolicki-Nichols, disagrees with the ordinance. She says, “that is absolutely absurd to me.” She loves cats and cares for more than three.
Her argument is that “we’re adding to the number that are looking for homes,” which I suppose means that the ordinance will mean less homes becoming available for homeless cats.
In the short-term she is correct. In the long-term she might well be incorrect. This is because if there are less cats in a home there is less opportunity for one of the cats to breed or escape and wander to become a stray cat – the sort of cat that the councillors want to limit. That is the goal.
A reasonable number of cat owners spay their female cats after the age at which she becomes sexually active. They may become pregnant. Some cat owners believe that a female cat needs to give birth to a litter once before being spayed to create a better personality. This is incorrect and it leaves the door open to the procreation of more cats.
What the Bay City leaders are thinking is that if there are less cats in homes there will be a reduced chance of (a) procreation and (b) cats who go AWOL from their homes.
Do you agree? Don’t forget there is a street cat problem across the USA, we are led to believe (some believe this isn’t a problem). Many Americans believe there are too many cats in the US – too many ferals and strays which equal the number of domestic cats at about 90m.