You can have as many cats as you want if you live in Sherwood Park.
There are no regulations on the amount of cats you can own and there is no registration fee in Strathcona County.
"Any licensing is a decision made by the political body and elected officials to determine whether or not there's a need for it in the community," said Inspector Chris Narbonne with enforcement services for Strathcona County. "We looked at the number of complaints we were getting for cats vs the costs of the management of cat licensing or a cat bylaw."
In 2010, there were only nine complaints directed at cats.
"The Humane Society has made it clear they will not accept our cats," said Inspector Narbonne. "That would force us to create a mechanism locally to house these animals, maintain them, care for them, look after their health and potentially have to make decisions about euthanasia or adoption."
To create a cat bylaw, the county would need to create the infrastructure needed to manage them. That includes staff, housing and supplies to care for the animals.
"Over 90 percent of dogs are reclaimed. Very few are euthanized because there's an opportunity for individuals to adopt them," said Narbonne. "We're seeing cats up to about 80 per cent that aren't getting claimed."
Property owners may take steps to humanely deter cats from their property:
- Some plants naturally deter cats and can be planted
- Cat repellent and sprays
- Gently spraying or splashing water on cats
- Remove any food sources
- Bury chicken wire in flower beds
You cannot, under law, do anything to harm animals on your property.