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Clayton to try to leash cats

If the Clayton Town Council votes to amend an ordinance Monday evening, cats will be a little more like dogs – banned from roaming freely outside in the town.

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CLAYTON, N.C. — Clayton Town Councilman Alex Harding posed the question: "How come cats run at large and dogs can't?"

A town ordinance exempts cats from a ban on dogs and all other domesticated animals from being allowed to roam freely. An amendment, which the town council is expected to pass Monday, would scratch out that exception.

"By taking out this exemption, it means all animals are subject to this," Harding said.

Pet owner Louise Fitzgerald said she thinks that leashing, tethering or fencing in cats is good for them.

"As a cat owner, I didn't let my cats run free," Fitzgerald said. "I see lots of dead cats on the side of the road, and that upsets me."

Other cat owners said they agreed with the requirement but believed it would be difficult to get their cats to comply.

Michael Fox, with Cat Angel Pet Adoptions, said it can be hard to get a cat used to a leash or fenced yard.

"It takes effort. It's a process," said Fox, who helps rescue more than 150 cats a year.

He urged people to keep their cats indoors. "Cats do not need to go outside. They can be happy and healthy inside," Fox said.

Most surrounding municipalities, including Raleigh and Cary, require cats to be leashed or fenced-in while outside.


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