Responsible cat owners not only look after their pet’s health and wellness, they also make sure their pet is a positive addition to the community.
There are a few responsibilities you have as a cat owner to be considerate of your neighbors and protect your pet.
Cat licensing is mandatory in the Town of St. Paul. Contact 780-645-4522 to purchase your annual license.
Sadly, majority of cats brought to the animal shelter have no form of identification making it extremely difficult to reunite them with their families. For most shelters, only 3-5% of stray cats brought in are reclaimed by their owners.
A valid cat license can greatly increase the chances of being contacted if your cat is missing. Yearly pet licenses should be worn at all times. Even an indoor cat can easily slip out of open windows or doors.
A microchip or a tattoo is also good way to make sure we can reach you, but they are not a substitute for a license.
“Fixing” your pet prevents not only prevents unwanted litters, but it also healthier for your cat. Spaying or neutering your cat reduces or eliminated howling, crying and spraying by males. Spay or neuter surgery also greatly reduces the risk of disease, infection and cancer of reproductive systems.
Cats can live healthy, happy lives indoors. In fact, indoor cats tend to live longer, healthier lives. While indoor cats can live up to 20 years, the average life span for an outdoor cat is two to five years.
Allowing your cat to freely roam is dangerous for them and can lead to conflict with your neighbors. If you choose to let your cat roam, attach something to its collar that indicates it is an outdoor cat.
If you plan on having your cat outdoors, here are just a few things to consider.
Provide a Screened Porch or "Catio"
A screened porch or 'catio' is a great way for your cat to experience the outdoors safely while staying in your yard. As a regular fence may not prevent other animals from entering your yard, you should always be present when you allow your cat outside in your yard.
Offer an Enriching Environment
Provide a perch in a sunny spot and a shelter to get out of the rain or in the shade on hot days. Offer an outdoor litter box and plant some catnip will also provide additional comfort. Finally, consider adding a water fountain or large pot where your cat can lie down.
Be sure to cat-proof the yard by checking that your fence has no escape routes and by making toxic plants, garden chemicals and other dangerous objects inaccessible.
Teach your Cat to Walk on a Leash
If you live in a peaceful neighborhood in which you can walk without encountering loose dogs, consider buying a harness and training your cat to walk on a leash. This training takes time and patience, for both you and the cat, and it's easiest when your cat is young.
Some cats can even be harnessed and tied to a stationary object to enjoy the outdoors while you are gardening nearby (but be sure to never leave your cat alone while they are tethered).