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Is it okay to trap cats?

Animal Welfare, Humane Education, News, Pets

March 2, 2022

Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan receives many inquiries related to the trapping of cats on private property. The information below provides a brief overview of the responsibilities that fall upon an individual who has trapped a cat.

While it is the legal right of a property owner to trap cats, there may be serious legal ramifications for the person doing the trapping if the animal is harmed in the process.

The moment the cat is trapped, the person who set the trap has the legal responsibility to ensure the health and welfare of that animal. If the cat becomes distressed, the property owner can be charged under The Animal Protection Act, 2018.

Once the cat is trapped, the property owner has only three options:

  • the cat may be released in the hope the experience deters the cat
  • the cat may be returned to the owner, if known
  • the cat may be turned over to the local municipal animal care facility

Cats are not to be relocated (example: moved to farms, across town, abandoned in the country, or destroyed). Abandoning animals is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada, and killing other people’s cats is prohibited under the Criminal Code.

Any traps used must be live traps. The use of leg hold traps for domestic animals is an offence under the Criminal Code.

Traps should only be set in locations where they will be protected from weather (sun, rain, hail) and other potentially hazardous conditions. Traps should not be set in extreme weather such as in the winter, when thunderstorms are expected, or when temperatures are expected to be high. Traps should be monitored and checked at least twice a day.

Traps must only be set on property owned, leased, or rented by the user, or with the permission of the person owning, leasing, or renting the property.

Wildlife must be released in compliance with The Wildlife Act (contact the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment for details).

Source: Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan