LA raises household limit on cats to 5

Stock photo by Cora Rónai via Flickr Creative Commons

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to raise the limit on the number of cats allowed in a household to five.

In a 12-0 vote, the council directed city attorneys to draft the ordinance and include any required environmental impact reports.

The previous per-household limit was three. The additional cats would need to be kept indoors.

The new ordinance is the city's latest effort to reduce the number of stray cats and increase pet adoptions.

Past efforts include a 2008 ordinance requiring all cats older than 4 months to be spayed or neutered and a 2013 ordinance prohibiting pet stores from selling any cats they don't get through city shelters or rescue organizations.

The city hopes the higher limit will encourage even more adoptions.

Critics of the proposal have said the higher limit could encourage animal hoarding and nuisance issues.

But in a report to council members, city staff noted that other municipalities, including San Diego, set a much higher limit or no limit at all on the number of cats per household. San Diego animal control officers instead consider individual living conditions over a static, arbitrary limit, according to the report.