Put your cat on a leash — it’s the law

Leashing a cat: WikiHow
Leashing a cat: WikiHow

That’s right—our city has a cat leash law.

I think it’s pretty funny how my neighbor’s cat sits outside our big window every morning, teasing my poor dog — who never fails to bark exhaustively at the sight — and nuzzling up to my leg as I head to my car, a little salt in the wound. It’s all in good fun.

But we received an interesting email from a reader today who takes exception to this sort of feline freedom.

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She wants to remind Dallas residents that liberal cat roaming, while ostensibly socially acceptable, is illegal.

She is totally correct.

The Dallas ordinance regarding cat restraint goes as follows:

All animals, including cats, must be confined at all times. A code amendment states cats must be “restrained at all times in a fenced yard, in an enclosed pen or structure, or by a hand-held leash if in the custody of the owner.”

(There is a feral cat trap, neuter and return program whose participants are exempt.)

So, do with this information as you wish. I won’t be ratting out any of my neighborhood cats, but I can’t speak for everyone.

I can say that while our feline friends probably will evade Animal Control officers, they are less likely to escape coyotes — common to our city — who have an appetite for kitties.

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If you are a stickler for rules and a cat owner, this How To on cat tethering might come in handy.

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