Is it allowed to feed stray cats?

Luc from Le Mans wonders if it’s allowed to “put bowls on the pavement to feed stray cats”.

Hello Luke. The answer to this question is not as simple as it seems: if you want to feed a cat that roams your neighborhood, you need to determine whether it counts. walker or for free. The difference? The Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA) states this on its website: identified and neutered cats roaming your neighborhood are petsEven if they roam freely around your house. Feeding of free-ranging cats is permitted, provided it does not cause any nuisance that may cause neighborhood problems Explains SPA.

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An annoyance to the neighborhood

On the other hand, it is not the same when it comes to stray cats. Their feeding is subject to the health regulations of the department. Article 120 of the Sarthe RSD is very clear: It is prohibited to throw or store seeds or food in any public place to attract stray wild animals, especially cats or pigeons; the same prohibition applies to private driveways, yards, or other parts of a building when the practice creates a neighborhood nuisance or attracts rodents.

Therefore, do not put litter boxes on the sidewalk for stray cats. The fine imposed is of the third degree (maximum 450 euros).

The reason is very simple, feeding unsterilized cats can lead to overcrowding and many difficulties. The proliferation of stray animals can only lead to dramatic consequences: the transmission of infectious diseases, fights, etc. explains the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, which leads sterilization campaigns. According to the association, there are 11 million stray cats in France. In cities such as Sarthe, Sable-sur-Sarthe or Saint-Pavace, operations are regularly carried out to capture and sterilize these animals.

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How to distinguish a stray cat from a “free” cat?

The SPA offers several tips: If the cat is not too wild, look for the presence of a tattoo on its ears. If not, it may break. You can take the cat to the vet or shelter to find out.

In Le Mans, stray dogs and cats can be caught and directed to the animal pound. The city reminds “Any unknown cat found more than 200 meters from a residential area or more than 1,000 meters from the owner’s home or not under the immediate control of the owner is considered a stray, as well as any cat whose owner is unknown and caught on a public road or on the property of others. Rarely, only 6% of cats identified by microchip or tattoo are adopted by their owners.

You can ask your questions about all local and national issues of interest, as well as practical questions (highway code, regulations, etc.) to the editorial staff of Maine Libre. Journalists will do their best to answer you.

You can also send us your questions by post (letter from readers, Le Maine Libre, 28, place de l’Éperon, 72000 Le Mans), by email: and on social networks (Facebook and Twitter). With the hashtag #LeMaineLibreVousRepond.

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