Cape Town wants you to register most – but not all – of your pets, by law

Cape Town wants you to register most – but not all – of your pets, by law

  • Though often unheeded, Cape Town has had compulsory registration of dogs and horses in place since 2011.
  • Cats, and some other small animals, could now be included.
  • Just where that line is draw remains to be seen.
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Although this may be news to most Capetonian pet owners, a Cape Town bylaw has required the registration of dogs and horses for nearly 10 years.

Now the days of special rules applying to cats and other small animal owners could be coming to an end, if a proposed animal-keeping policy becomes law.

The policy isn’t specific about what constitutes other “small” animals, so lizard, spider, and hamster owners will have to wait for the outcome of the consultation process to find out if their pets will fall into the group.

The City of Cape Town is updating its Animal Keeping Policy, in an effort to “provide guidance” to pet owners in terms of their duties as animal keepers. The policy is an effort to beef up the City’s animal safety approach and has been endorsed by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

The City is currently accepting comments on a Draft Animal Keeping Policy, which, if passed, would mean virtually all pet owners will need to register their animals.  

According to the City’s current animal policy, all dogs and horses have to be registered with the City by the owner of the property, and there are limits on the number of animals generally, allowed on different kinds of premises. But cats do not have to be registered, unless the owners want to own more than the regulated number.

But under the proposed new policy, pet owners will need to register “all small and large animals, including dogs, cats and horses” with the City of Cape Town. Comments opened on 17 April and close on 17 May.

Registration takes place either online or at one of the City’s offices.

Registration of all pets, the City says, will help it to monitor animal populations, as well as gather data on pet keeping. This, in turn, will help the City carry out inspections to ensure that animals are kept responsibly. It will also help the City to reunite lost or stolen animals with their owners.

“The permitting of small and large animals including dogs, cats and horses is compulsory and the City will determine the format and process of registration,” reads the proposed policy.

Unregistered pets could end up being put up for adoption, sold, or euthanised, if their owners can’t be located, and contravening any of the City’s animal bylaws could result in a fine or a prison sentence of up to two years.

The new regulations, if implemented, would see additional, detailed duties placed on animal owners in terms of breeding, sterilisation, animal keeping, and the treatment of impounded animals. They will also place a duty on the City to keep detailed records of animals in Cape Town.

But while the proposed policy may seem overly stringent, it’s worth taking into account that the City of Cape Town already doesn’t allow its residents to keep any dog which causes a nuisance by chasing dogs, poultry, or even pigeons outside the property where it is kept, according to the existing bylaws.

It’s also frowned upon, legislatively-speaking, to keep a dog which “barks, yelps, howls or whines for more than six accumulated minutes in an hour”, according to the animal keeping bylaw, in its current form.

Cape Town’s proposed policy isn’t entirely out of step with bylaws in other SA cities, although it is certainly more thorough.

The City of Johannesburg, like its Western Cape counterpart, limits the number of dogs and cats to be kept at a single dwelling unit to two, although the number of dogs and cats allowed increases with the size of the property. A permit is only required if you want to keep more dogs than the regulated number.

In Durban, the city council won’t trouble you too much if you own domesticated animals, provided they don’t pose a public health risk. You’ll only need a permit to keep animals which could cause a public health problem, like sheep or pigs, in your home.

Belinda Abrahams, communications manager for the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, says pet registration has been a requirement since the Animal Bylaw was published, in August 2011.

“Registration allows for effective management of the process of rehoming of lost and stray animals, and the Cape of Good Hope supports this process,” she said.

Abrahams said the Cape of Good Hope SPCA commends the City for “driving change in the interests of improving the welfare of animals via a collaborative policy process. This is a step in the right direction.”

Source: Business Insider



The importance of cat’s play

The importance of cat's play

Our furry felines get a bad rap for being lazy, sleeping the day away, and generally turning their noses up at most things. This is thanks to the likes of famous kitties like Garfield and Grumpy Cat. And while many cats are quite content to sit on a windowsill all day long, taking naps and watching the world go by, this doesn’t mean cats don’t need or enjoy playing games.

“What many pet parents don’t realise is that when it comes to cats, play isn’t just about fun and games. For cats in the wild, the act of play is a serious business that helps kittens learn important survival skills like stalking, chasing and trapping prey. Even if your cat never ventures outside your home, this basic instinct to hunt can remain strong, which is why it’s important to give our cats the opportunity to express this natural behaviour through play,” explains Marycke Ackhurst, pet behaviour expert from Hill’s Pet Nutrition. 

Kittens and adult cats are both stimulated by the same sort of games, though kittens don’t require a great deal of encouragement to get started.

Here are a few reasons why it’s important to play with your cat on a regular basis, says Ackhurst:

Great exercise – Obesity is the number one health problem faced by pets today. Overweight pets are unhappy and live shorter lives. Some of the top reasons for obesity in cats include overeating and a lack of active play. Healthy cats that spend a lot of time outdoors will get plenty of exercise by hunting, playing, and exploring. Sometimes if a cat spends too much time indoors, they can put on weight due to a lack of exercise, however, exercising your cat is not difficult, along with helping your cat lose weight; it makes a big difference to your pet’s overall, health and happiness.

Keeps stress at bay – Has your cat been excessively scratching furniture, is she a lot more vocal than normal or picking fights with the other pets in the home? If so, she may be exhibiting signs of stress. Just like humans, stressed cats may act out and  be perceived as mischievous or naughty. To keep your cat from getting stressed ensure that she has an ample opportunity for mental and physical stimulation, especially those that serve as an outlet for their hunting instinct. Engage her with play. Any toy will do, even makeshift homemade ones i.e., a piece of string tied on an empty toilet roll. 

Healthy joints – Cats over the age of nine can suffer from arthritis in their joints, however regular play can help your cat maintain muscle tone to prevent this painful condition. As they age, you may need to change the play activities, but make sure to keep your cat engaged. Older cats may like floor play that is a little slower or easier interactive cat toys, like an ice cube tray with their regular food in it. 

Educational for kittens – Play teaches kittens several things, including important hunting and predator skills, and helps to develop coordination. If you have more than one kitten, playing with each other can help them acquire social skills and learn boundaries. 

Bond building – Playing with your cat on a consistent basis helps to build and strengthen your bond. Plus, watching the excitement in your cat’s body language as they ‘hunt’ for their toy mouse or jump in the air to catch a piece of string will emit happy hormones for both you and your furry feline. 

When it comes to how often your cat should play, Ackhurst explains that two play sessions a day would be fantastic for both you and your cat. You might find having a playtime just before bed (or even adding a third one) will help settle down a cat that gets into trouble at night. If your cat doesn’t feel like playing the first time, don’t get discouraged. Keep trying and you’ll start to work out how and when your cat enjoys playtime. Just like kids not all cats like the same type of games. Together try and figure out the games that awake the leopard in them.

Hill’s knows how important the mental and physical enrichment of your cat is, that’s why pet parents get a free cat toy * with every bag of Hill’s Feline purchased, 1.5kg and bigger. The promotion is running at selected participating vet outlets around the country, while stocks last.  

*Ts & Cs apply 

Visit the Hill’s website for more information

The importance of cat's play


Cape Flats cat owners warned of rise in incurable Feline Leukaemia Virus

FeLV only affects cats and cannot be transmitted to people, dogs, or other animals. File picture: Shelley Kjonstad/African News Agency(ANA)

FeLV only affects cats and cannot be transmitted to people, dogs, or other animals. File picture: Shelley Kjonstad/African News Agency(ANA)

THE Animal Welfare Society of SA has issued a warning to cat owners that they have noticed a worrying rise in the number of unvaccinated cats testing positive for Feline Leukaemia Virus.

The organisation said that Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) is one of the leading causes of death in cats and over the past few weeks they’ve noticed the increase of cases on the Cape Flats.

“There is sadly no cure for FeLV, but this can be preventable. FeLV only affects cats and cannot be transmitted to people, dogs, or other animals.

“It is passed from one cat to another through saliva, blood, and to some extent, urine and faeces and kittens can contract the disease in utero or through an infected mother’s milk,” they said.

“To minimise the risk of healthy felines contracting this highly contagious and potentially fatal disease, cat owners must not skimp on vaccinating and treating their pets for parasites and ideally take their pets to their veterinarian for annual check-ups.”

Cats or kittens who exhibit any of the following symptoms should be tested for FeLV as soon as possible.

  • Pale gums
  • Jaundiced colour in the mouth and whites of eyes
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Bladder, skin, or upper respiratory infections
  • Weight loss and/or loss of appetite
  • Poor coat condition
  • Progressive lethargy
  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Stomatitis – An oral disease

To have your cat or kitten tested at the Animal Welfare Society of SA (based in Philippi) costs R270.00 per test.

“The cost of a test compared to the suffering and loss of a beloved pet is minimal and it is quick and painless,” they said.

Source: IOL

Kenya Donkey Keepers Protect Animals from Slaughter for Medicine

Kenya Donkey Keepers Protect Animals from Slaughter for Medicine

In large parts of Africa, including Kenya, the humble donkey has been under threat from poaching for allegedly magic potions. To discourage thieves, Kenya last year banned donkey slaughterhouses and this month is holding its first donkey festival to encourage their protection.

In Magadi, Kenya, donkey keepers are celebrating their animals at a special festival. The donkey, they say, is the workhorse of their community. Pilores Maberi, a resident of Magadi, has been keeping donkeys for a year now.

“A donkey is the Masai people’s car. We carry heavy loads in Magadi. We go to sell feed for our children, carry water. The donkey has a lot of work at home,” she said.

Kenya Donkey Keepers Protect Animals from Slaughter for Medicine

FIEL – A man rides his donkey cart with jerrycans of fresh water in Athi River, on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, April 19, 2018.

Thousands of donkeys, many of them stolen, were slaughtered here to be used in allegedly magic potions sold in China, until the Kenyan government banned donkey abattoirs in February of last year.

Residents like Pilores say they can now keep their donkeys without fear.

“I see we are OK. They are not stealing our donkeys. Those who don’t have, we buy for them, we tell people to buy donkeys because there is no more slaughtering,” she said.

The chairman of the Donkey Owners Association in Magadi, Jackson Kupere, said the number of donkeys is climbing again after so many were lost to the slaughterhouses.

“Donkeys were finished, but they stopped the selling of donkeys for slaughter. Now the donkeys are increasing. If you do the math, the donkeys were just about 100 to 200 in this whole community but now they have increased to about 1,000, they have increased a lot,” he said.

Leaders in this community are teaching residents how to protect their donkeys from thieves. Daniel Lonkoi is the Magadi area senior chief.

“We are meeting with stakeholders — chiefs, village elders and other opinion leaders — so that we as a community, we avoid selling and even slaughtering donkeys,” he said.

Animal welfare organizations in Africa are partnering with donkey keepers on how to be vigilant against donkey abductions. Josiah Ojwang, the program coordinator for Africa Network for Animal Welfare, tells us how.

“We are working with them so that they are able to form scouts, we call them community scouts, so that they are able to track, keep monitoring donkey movement on a daily basis and also report incidents of donkey theft to the authorities. So it’s a program known as community capacity building for resilience on donkey welfare,” he said.

The donkey population in Kenya dropped from 1.8 million to 1.6 million according to a survey by the Kenya agriculture and livestock research organization in 2019.

With protection measures in place, donkey keepers hope to restore the animal’s numbers soon.

Source: VOA News

Cape Town proposes new rule for pets – what you should know

Cape Town proposes new rule for pets – what you should know

The City of Cape Town has asked for public comment on its Animal Keeping Policy, which includes updated regulations around pet ownership.

First introduced in 2005, the policy relates to:

  • The principles of animal welfare;
  • Responsibilities of pet owners and the public at large;
  • Complaints relating to animals;
  • Partnerships between the city and pet owners;
  • Animal keepers; and
  • The animal welfare sector, among others.

“The city and animal welfare organisations are increasingly spending huge amounts of budgets on health and safety programmes dedicated to animals,” said chairperson of the city’s Safety and Security Portfolio Committee, Mzwakhe Nqavashe.

“We have also seen an increase in the number of complaints around animal welfare, which is placing immense pressure on the SPCA and other organisations in the animal welfare sector, but also the city’s Law Enforcement Department.”

Some of the key changes proposals included in the draft document are outlined in more detail below.

Animal care

The city has outlined a basic duty of care which animal owners will need to follow. This includes:

  • All animals must have sufficient accommodation, food, water and shelter as per the animal keeping by-law and other relevant legislation as determined by the authorised official who may consult with animal welfare inspectors.
  • Any form of animal cruelty, which includes but is not limited, animal-fighting, neglect, frightening an animal, torture or violence towards an animal and neglect of animals must be prohibited.
  • An important aspect of developing an environment that is conducive to animal care is the provision of public spaces where animals can be exercised, such as free run public spaces for dogs and public spaces where horses are permitted to be ridden. These public spaces should be clearly sign posted and must form part of the urban landscape.
  • The locations of these public spaces should be communicated on a regular basis via the city’s communication channels to the public.
  • Dogs are otherwise required to be on leashes or under the control of owners, who are 18 years and above, in public places to avoid causing nuisance or danger to other residents.


The city said that pet registration is important as it enables it to monitor animal populations and gather important data to improve animal-related interventions, and make sure that inspections can be carried out to ensure the responsible keeping of animals.

It also enables the city to reunite owners and lost pets, or assist when pets have been stolen.

For this reason, the owners of certain pets are required by the city’s by-law to register their pets. This will be qualified in the city’s bylaw relating to the keeping of animals and subsequent administrative instruments such as standard operating procedures.

The permitting of small and large animals including dogs, cats and horses is compulsory and the city will determine the format and process of registration.

Registration may be done online via the city’s website, or by submitting a registration form to a city office or as a part of a registration drive which is run by the city from time to time.

“Registration is required to ensure that pets can be reunited with their owners in the case of separation,” the city said.

“In the case of a stray animal, the first step in the process is for the animal to be reunited with his/her owner, this will be done by accessing the registration data by the welfare organization.

“If the pet is not registered and the owner cannot be found, the pet will be put up for adoption.”

Noise and nuisance

While the city does have a responsibility to attend to matters of noise and nuisance, the draft document states that ‘neighbourly living’ can first be applied in cases that are not severe.

In this context, neighbourly living means attempting to resolve issues between residents amicably and through conversation or some form of mediation. It seeks to promote harmonious living environments.

Approaching noise and nuisance complaints from a neighbourly living perspective entails the following:

  •  Noise from barking dogs is a common complaint and may be approached from the perspective of neighbourly living.
  •  In the case of a noise or nuisance complaint regarding an animal, the affected neighbour may approach their pet owner neighbour to resolve the matter as an alternative to enforcement related resolution.
  • If this does not work, the complainant may also approach the street committee, neighbourhood watch or a body corporate.
  • Alternative resolution of the complaint through neighbourly living (communication and or mediation) is preferred. However, the complainant is not precluded from approaching the City for direct enforcement intervention.
  • In cases where neighbourly living attempts have failed and a complaint has been lodged with the City, an authorised official may investigate the nuisance situation and severity of nuisance caused.

In cases where neglect or cruelty is suspected, the city said that  an authorised official may issue a written compliance notice, fine, Section 54 summons or impound the animal.

It added that the level of care exercised by the owner for the animal will be assessed by the following evaluation:

  • Whether an accommodation is appropriate for the animal;
  • If there is enough room for the animal to move around comfortably;
  • The quality of water and food offered to the animal is not rancid;
  • That the owner provides required daily care for the animal.

If it is found that the owner is not providing adequately for the animal, the owner may be prosecuted, and the animal may be removed for its own protection.

Once care aspects have been assessed and the authorised official is satisfied that the animal is being cared for, this issue of nuisance is then dealt with.

Dangerous animals

Owners of animals or pets that have been declared dangerous by authorised officials or have a history of injuring or attacking other people and animals, should take all reasonable precautions and comply with any conditions set out in compliance notices

If a cat is known to scratch, bite, injure or attack a person, the cat should not be allowed to roam free outside the premises where they are being kept, or roam onto other properties.

Dogs that have been:

  • Declared dangerous;
  • Have a history of biting or attacking people or other animals;
  • Have previously been the subject of complaints relating to biting or attacking;
  • Where previous compliance notices or fines were issued.

Should also not be allowed to roam freely in public or onto other private premises, even if they are humanely muzzled.

Source: Business Tech

Mother’s Day gifts reduce unwanted litters of puppies and kittens

Mother’s Day gifts reduce unwanted litters of puppies and kittens

On Sunday the 9th of May we celebrate Mother’s Day – a day honoring all mothers and the role they play in their families and society.

This Mother’s Day the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha is using the festive opportunity to reduce the number of unwanted litters of puppies and kittens born into the world without mothers to look after them.

“Mother’s Day is about honouring the hard work mothers do, however, the day has become an extremely commercialised event. Shops spend large amounts of money on promoting gifting ideas and shoppers spend hundreds of rands on chocolates and flowers. This year people can purchase customised e-cards to sponsor a sterilisation in honour of their mom,” says Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Manager.

The cost of one card is R350 which will covers the cost of performing one sterilisation of a dog or cat in Khayelitsha.

“Ordering an e-card for your mom is easy. Simply make a donation of R350 to our organisation. Email the proof of payment to [email protected] along with your mom’s name, your name, a short message you wish to include and your mom’s email. We will send your custom e-card to your mom,” says du Plessis.

Mdzananda aims to sterilise 100 pets through funds raised selling these custom e-cards.

“Working in a community where there is an estimate of 300 000 companion animals, sterilisation is of utmost importance. Research shows that an unsterilised pet and its off-spring can produce over 60 000 lives in 6 years,” says du Plessis.

If you would like to purchase your custom e-card contact [email protected] before 5pm on Saturday the 8th and make your donation to Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Standard Bank, Account number: 075595710, Branch: Rondebosch, Branch Code: 025009, Reference: MDay +Your Name.

Mdzananda would also like to encourage household dogs and cats to send their human mothers e-cards. Being a mom to a fur child requires a lot of love, patience and commitment. They will, however, need a helping human hand to make this possible.

Source: Mdzananda

Whet your pet’s appetite with the new Monty & Me wet food range

Whet your pet’s appetite with the new Monty & Me wet food range

Montego Pet Nutrition has expanded its high-quality, affordable Monty & Me Essential range by launching a wet food, all-breed option for adult dogs and cats.

The lip-smacking Monty & Me Essential Wet food is a complete, balanced, and nutritious meal that will satisfy your pet – without breaking the bank. 

With unique formulations for dogs and cats, the Chicken Meatloaf flavoured wet food is a great source of added moisture and is packed with the essential nutrients that your four-legged friend needs.

“The Monty & Me range is produced to the same high quality you can expect from all Montego products. It has been carefully formulated to provide pets with a balanced and satisfying meal at our most affordable price point yet,” said Wilfred Cawood, Marketing Manager at Montego Pet Nutrition.

Monty & Me Essential Wet food is available in a 420g tin at a RRP of R15.00. 

Visit for more information.