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LA City Council Panel Mulls Raising Cat Limit Per Household

LOS ANGELES ( — Can cat lovers save the city of Los Angeles from feline overpopulation?

A Los Angeles City Council committee is expected to consider that question Tuesday as part of a motion that would allow city residents to own up to five cats instead of three.

The motion (PDF), which was first introduced by Councilman Paul Koretz on Nov. 8, cites an ordinance that limits the number of cats a person may own as a key barrier to preventing cat adoptions and reducing the number of stray cats citywide.

Only residents who have a kennel permit are currently permitted to have more than three cats, according to Municipal Code Section 53.00.

Koretz told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the measure is aimed at slashing the euthanasia rate among stray cats and getting more cats adopted out of city shelters.

Councilman Paul Koretz

"Certainly the most likely people to adopt are the folks that already have cats in their homes," Koretz said. "Setting up a system for folks that want to have more than five cats in their homes and do it in a sanitary way, we will save lives of more cats and do it in a way that is harmless to everybody else."

Since the motion would only apply to indoor cats, there should be no need for an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), Koretz added.

Public reaction to the proposal has been mixed, with some arguing that the motion should also include stricter spay and neuter requirements and an additional requirement to microchip in homes with three or more cats.

While it was unclear exactly how the city would enforce the measure, Koretz said it would likely start with complaints from neighbors.

"Unless somebody complains, we're not likely to spot people with more than three cats anyway," he said. "It's not that enforceable, so this way it sort of legalizes most people's activities already."

The City Council's Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee was scheduled to take up the motion at its meeting at 3 p.m.

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