As a cat owner, you might not think that you need to familiarize yourself with your town’s laws regarding domestic animals. However, depending upon where you live, you might be surprised to find what you can and cannot do with your cat.

Many towns have laws that prohibit animals from roaming freely. For example, Lorinc, Hungary, which recently passed a law stating that cats may only be on the streets if they are on a leash. Mississippi has a law prohibiting cats from being out on the streets if they are “rowdy.” If a rowdy cat is caught outside, both it and its owner will be placed in jail. Exactly what separates the “rowdy” cats from the regular cats is unclear, but it can be assumed that catcalls and caterwauling is probably involved.

Other towns in the United States are more concerned with what their cats are wearing when they are out. For example, in French Lick, Indiana, the law states that all black cats must wear a bell on Friday the Thirteenth. Rumor has it that the cats are appealing this law on the basis that it is “colorist.” Of course, they don’t have it near as bad as the cats in Cresskill, New Jersey, where all cats are required to wear not one, not two, but three bells in order to warn birds of their presence. Apparently, the birds in New Jersey are a little deaf.

If the bells seem a little excessive, then don’t move to Sterling, Colorado. They have made it illegal for any cat to run loose unless they are wearing a taillight. Makes you wonder exactly how one would attach a taillight to a cat, doesn’t it? Still, any of these laws are nicer than the one in Hibbing, Minnesota, where it is the duty of police officers to kill cats found running loose on any street, alley or public place.

Towns that are not concerned with cats being outside, tend to get concerned with what cats are doing when they are outside. One such town is Columbus, Georgia, where cats are not allowed to yowl after nine at night. Kentucky and Barber, North Carolina, are concerned with catfights. They have made it illegal for cats and dogs to fight with each other. Still, someone should tell them that they are supposed to fight like cats and dogs. Thankfully, it is still legal for cats to fight with each other.

Other areas are concerned with the sex lives of cats. One such place is California, where state law prohibits cats from mating in public if they are within 1,500 feet of a pub, tavern, school or place of worship. If you think that’s bad, Ventura County has imposed even more restrictions on cats living in their county. In order for them to have sex, they have to obtain a permit first. While in Oregon, it is against the law for cats to have sex period if they are within city limits.

Virginia has made it illegal for dogcatchers to bother any cats while on the job. International Falls, Minnesota, is another nice area for cats since dogs there are prohibited from chasing cats up telephone poles. Owners of any dogs that violate this law can be fined.

A couple of towns are more concerned with what you are doing with your cat, both at home and in public. One such area is Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where people are not allowed to get a cat drunk while in a public park. In Zion, Illinois, liquor is legal, but you are not allowed to give your cat a lighted cigar. Either your cat has to learn to light them himself or stick to cigarettes. Of course, it is wiser and safer for cats (and their owners) to avoid drinking and smoking altogether.

Some areas are concerned with the living condition of cats. In Topeka, Kansas, people are only permitted to have five cats at one time. Shorewood, Wisconsin, and San Jose, California, have even stricter laws. They only allow people to have two dogs or two cats. Meanwhile, in Reed City, Michigan, it is illegal to keep a pet cat and a pet bird in the same house. You can have all the cats you want in Madison, Wisconsin, but you had better take them with you if you plan to get a divorce. In Madison, people are allowed to have joint custody of the children, but not their pets. By law, all pets are awarded to the person who has possession at the time of the initial separation.

However, probably the worst ordinance is the one in Arvada, Colorado, which states, “If a stray pet is not claimed within twenty-four hours, the owner will be destroyed.” City officials insist that this was a misprint and that they have not enforced this statute. Of course, the law would probably make pet owners much more responsible for their pets.

Article Written By Darcy Logan


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