Township Implements Cat By-law

Published on 6 November 2019

On October 23, 2019, the Township of South Stormont has passed a Cat By-law to limit the number of cats per dwelling unit in an urban settlement area. Since this by-law was instituted, we have received a number of questions and comments regarding aspects of the by-law that the Township would like to clarify. 

Of particular concern, is section 4 of the Cat By-law which states:

4. No person shall place food designed for or attractive to cats outside of any dwelling unit or in front, rear or side yards

This section of the by-law is in place as a health and safety measure for residents, pets, wildlife, in addition to feral and stray cats. Providing food sources for stray animals has unintentional consequences of attracting vermin such as rats and mice, as well as raccoons, foxes and other wildlife. These animals can be particularly dangerous in urban settlement areas where residents, schools, businesses and seniors homes are centrally located. 

With current provincial regulations regarding animal welfare and the role of organizations such as the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) in transition, the Township does not have the means nor the direction to handle the issue of feral cats or manage stray cat populations. Local regulations such as the newly passed Cat By-law are used in order to protect our residents, pets, local wildlife and stray animal population. 

Residents who find themselves encountering feral or stray cats are encouraged to contact the OSPCA SDG Branch directly, who can provide helpful guidance on how to properly deal with the cat(s). OSPCA officials have indicated that the best way to handle feral cat(s) can vary widely, depending on a number of factors such as the health of the cat(s), number of cats, among others.

The local OSPCA Branch can be reached at:

Ontario SPCA Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Animal Centre
550 Boundary Road
Cornwall, ON
(613) 936-0072 

Additional resources for feral cat support and services provided by the SDG OSPCA can also be found on their website.