Free roaming cats are now outlawed in Edmonds

EDMONDS, Wash. — If your cat roams free and a neighbor complains, it’s no longer just an argument — it’s now a civil violation in the city of Edmonds.

cats“I don’t think any animal should be free to roam around, domesticated animals,” Edmonds resident Robert Bradshaw said Tuesday.

“I think the whole idea of confining a cat is kind of ridiculous,” countered Edmonds resident Wendy Priest.

The City Council voted 6-1 last week to include domesticated cats among the animals that are not allowed to roam free.

“They have different social needs than dogs,” said Edmonds resident  Cheri Zehner. But she added that the issue is not about dogs versus cats.

“They use other people’s yards as their toilets,” said Zehner.

Zehner, a former health inspector, pushed for the new law.

She says cats that are loose have a higher risk of contracting diseases.

“Of course, it’s transmitted from other cats and other animals like rats,” said Zehner.

“That would have to be a feral cat, not a cat taken care of by a homeowner that’s had their checkup,” said Edmonds resident and cat lover Susie Cover.

Cover has two cats she says craves the wild.

“Smelling the plants and playing around,” said Cover.

That freedom is no more.

“Some people are allergic, they may get run over and drivers may stop in the middle of the road for a cat,” said Bradshaw.

“Then you better ban squirrels,” Priest said. “You can find arguments on both sides; I just don’t think cats are a huge issue.”

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