EDITORIAL – The time has come for the mandatory licensing of cats

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

SOMETIMES THE MOST seemingly uncontroversial things can become contentious.

The City of Kamloops announced this week a new online process for the purchase of dog licences. It’s quite simple: dog owners can pay by credit card through an online app. Tags are then mailed out.

Which, of course, ignited a flurry of reaction that had little or nothing at all to do with the new process. Because people will find a reason to complain about pretty much everything.

Some of it has to do with dog poo. Has there ever been an issue that has created more outrage than unretrieved dog poo?

One pretty good suggestion was that dog tags be permanent and updated every year instead of new ones being issued all the time.

Another question that’s come up is whether it’s just another tax grab.

Well, yes, dog licences are a tax on dog ownership. They’re a justified tax, because somebody has to pay for the dog catchers, and user fees make sense.

And, the licensing of cats was bound to be brought up. That one’s a question for the ages. Cats are free-spirited, their owners say, and you can’t keep collars and tags on them.

Sorry, but a growing number of cities are licencing cats with bylaws that don’t insist they have collars and tags, just that a mandatory — not voluntary as is the case in Kamloops — fee be paid for owning them.

My guess is there are thousands of feral cats in Kamloops, and a lot of domesticated cats that are unpopular with neighbours who like to garden and get a good night’s sleep.

It’s time to stop kitten around and paws-itively enforce mandatory cat licensing.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8485 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

9 Comments on EDITORIAL – The time has come for the mandatory licensing of cats

  1. Mel Our cat,like yours, runs from one end of the house to the other at full speed. He’s grey with 4 white feet and a white bib.Very furry,doesn’t shed and thinks he,s human. Out in our fenced yard he’s a lion.looking for something to kill. Wants in and out every 5 minutes it seems. A real pain in the butt .Follows you like a dog. Great company Says he doesn,t need any G——-d licence.

  2. Lorraine Winter // December 14, 2018 at 1:24 AM // Reply

    Dear cat lovers.
    Think about our song birds — cats kill between 100 million and 350 million birds per year in Canada, 38% of those by pet cats, and the rest by feral cats.

  3. My cat is an indoor cat and never goes out, why would I have to waist my money on a tag??

  4. So some Kamloopsians think they have a problem.Some folk or folks in Barriere bring cats across theThompson bridge and up Westsyde to our place and dump them. We took 3 adult cats and 15 kittens to the SPCA last year, We still have a black tom down in the green house who was once totally wild but now tamed by my advisor in all things. One must have cats up here to control pack rats which are at times a big problem.

  5. The problem with cats, is not caused by the cats themselves. It is caused by ignorant people that say their cats have to roam ( and refuse to spay/neuter them ) in order to be happy. This is blatantly false. A cat will create it’s own territory out of whatever area you give them to create in. Cats do not like change ( they are very anal this way ), and if you restrict them to your house, they will make that their territory, and be happy. If only there were some way to educate people about this, and have cats indoors, happy, safe, and mostly disease free. If you believe that your cat wants fresh air, then build them a catio that they can access freely, without roaming free. I know that my cat loves her balcony time, and never tries to escape. cats can be trained quite easily if you use the right approach, most people are just too lazy to try, and fall back on the ” independance ” line of BS. In most cases, cats are extremely dependant on their humans, the rest is just a myth.

  6. Cats are the number one invasive species in the world, and the largest killer of birds….lic or get rid of them period!

  7. The numbers of cats increases all the time. Previously being a dog owner, I had to license my dog, keep her on leash on outings, pick up after her and keep my yard fenced so she could not wander. I never had a cat problem while she was alive -as she patrolled the yard. Now cats seem to think my yard is their litter box and breeding zone. They are getting more invasive to point of coming up onto sundeck at night –Nothing seems to keep them away or stop them from digging in your garden I for one feels same rules should apply to cats as dogs!!!

  8. Cynthia Friedman // December 13, 2018 at 4:15 AM // Reply

    I am the biggest cat lover out there, I think. And I totally agree. Other cities have had such requirements in place for years.

    And I have insomnia, too. 🙂

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