Tonight: Antioch City Council Set to Finalize Feral Cat Ordinance



The Antioch City Council will finalize its updated animal ordinance which has not been updated since the early 1980 which includes making it unlawful to feed feral cats on property that is not your own.

The ordinance was originally supposed to be updated in January, however, City Council requested staff to gather more information after multiple people from the public spoke out about different aspects of the proposed updates—specifically feral cats and number of animals.  The ordinance also drew spotlight from National Non-profits such as the Alley Cat Allies who are offering a grant to the City for a Spay and Neuter Program within the City of Antioch.

Here are some highlights out of the 13-page staff report:

The Feeding of Free Roaming Abandoned and Feral Cats
The policy essentially says it is unlawful to feed feral cats off one’s own property—the goal is to cut down on complains from public regarding uncontrolled cats that are trespassing, defecating or otherwise being a nuisance to or on neighboring properties.

Limits on the Number of Pets
At the January 12 meeting, the public spoke out against the idea of the proposed limit of pets in a home. Specifically, there were objections to the limit of 5 cats, 10 fowl, 10 rabbits, and 15 animals total. Staff has now reviewed those limitations and now recommends no overall limit on animals and that the limit on fowl and rabbits provide that a permit can be sought for more than that number, just like the limit on 3 dogs or 5 cats. Ultimately, there is a proposed “no restriction” on the number of pets, but with a permit process to allow additional pets, is a rational approach to protect the public health, welfare and safety of Antioch residents to protect animals from overcrowded and unsanitary conditions.

Trap/Neuter/Release Clinic Costs
Using the formula created by feral cat expert Dr. Julie K. Levy (Maddie’s Professor of Shelter Medicine), the City of Antioch has approximately 17,419 feral cats living here.

For the City to set up a fully-fledged and well maintained TNR program it would require a budget of $324,460. This cost does not include purchasing/construction/remodeling of a building or Animal Services trucks to utilize when trapping.  The facility would be estimated to spaying and neutering 60 cats a week (or 3,120 cats per year).  This would not include treatment for fleas, ear mites, wound care, upper respiratory infections, or any other medical treatment needed at the time of surgery.

Outsourcing Spay/Neuter Surgeries of TNR
For the City to run a TNR program using an outside veterinarian solely for Spay/Neuter surgeries, it would require an estimated budget of $157,533 as well as the current prices for spay/neuter surgeries of feral cats at a local veterinarian. The City took pricing from 6 local vet hospitals with estimated costs ranging from a low of $177,840 to a high of $709,800.

Highlights of the proposed Animal ordinance

  • It’s unlawful to keep more than 5-cats without a permit.
  • It’s unlawful to feed feral cats off one’s own property
  • It’s unlawful to allow a dog to bark unabated
  • It’s unlawful to keep a roster without a permit.
  • Redeeming impounded animals: Animals will now be micro-chipped before release to an owner and now will include a $22 fee.  For a second offense, the dog or cat must be spayed or neutered before release to an owner.
  • Multiple Pets or Kennel Permit: Animal Control will notify adjacent property owners and tenants within 300 feet of the applicant’s property. Adjacent property owners and tenants will now be given 10-days to provide Animal Control with any written/verbal comments regarding any animal nuisances. The applicant may now appeal the Animal Control Supervisors decision to deny a permit.  No more than 10-dogs are allowed.
  • Barking Dog: a dog that barks, bays, cries, howls or makes noise for 30-60 minutes within a 24-hour period may be impounded by Animal Control.
  • Updated the Authority, Entry on Private Property, Procedures, Violations and Remedies for Animal Control and Antioch Police when going onto Private Property.
  • Keeping Animals & Bees
    • Number of dogs – unlawful to keep more than 3-dogs that are required to be licenses
    • Number of cats – It is unlawful for a person to keep more than 5-cats without a permit
    • Number of fowl – its unlawful for a person to keep or maintain more than 10 each of ducks, geese, chickens or other fowl. No person may keep a rooster without a permit under section 6-1.601.
    • Number of rabbits – no more than 10 domesticated rabbits may be kept on any parcel within the city.
    • Bees – Bees may only be kept in an agricultural or open space zoning district and with a permit from the Animal Control Supervisor.

For the full staff report, visit the City of Antioch City Council Agenda

7:00 pm

City Council Chambers
200 H Street
Antioch, CA


  1. What is the legality of shooting feral cats with a .177 pellet or BB on private property? Especially one that’s zoned commercial? The problem has become a epidemic and the cost involved makes it very uneconomical to catch them.

    • OMG really call a rescue program for help and problem solved. Really how can people be so ignorant to these rescue sources available and it wont cost the CITY A DAMN DIME. I cant wait to see what will become of YOUR epidemic of DEAD CATS. THATS MORE TOXIC THEN THEIR POOP

    • same as if you got shot for making a stupid comment like this. If assholes are an epidemic then I guess that question should be asked too right?

  2. This is wonderful but then there is enforcement and we have no police and little chance of getting any according to the staff reports. Also, who is going to clean up this filth. It doesn’t just go away with age.

  3. If you used to live on Lilac Ln. in Antioch, had your cat microchipped, and then something happened, this guy would like a word:[email protected]/13409256214/

    The Tail Wag Inn in Oakley can tell you where he is currently a guest. They are absolute angels, who have helped us so much with these cats who wander off and need help.

    We are not looking for a reward, but we would like to think he was reunited with his people. All efforts so far have been in vain. Please call them and id yourself, they know the rightful owner’s name and have his microchip number as well. You can be sure it’s the same cat.

  4. Another one of the city council’s experts has overinflated as usual the number of cats in and around Antioch as usual and the dollar amount to take care of the problem to suit their own agenda. There are groups of private citizens and animal groups taking care of the problem at no cost to Antioch. If you stop feeding the cats they will die and create an even bigger problem. I cannot believe there so many cruel people in Antioch and on the city council. There will be a major health problem with dead and dying cats………everything is always over inflated with these people to suit their own needs.. Stop the crime..clean up he city …do something to clean up down town. Cut down on the speeders and people who run stop signs and red lights. Do something good. But please do not kill innocent animals. Animal abusers are usually abusive to people….keep that in mind. You are abusing animals by not feeding them.

  5. There many domestic cats that are free roaming….so if the problem is a cat on someone’s property how can they differentiate between feral and domestic. Also not feeding is now going to stop cats from free roaming. It will however create more of a problem because they will be looking for food. And probably creating a health problem when they die. What people do not realize is that the city council has a list of things that cannot be done but no solution to the feeding problem other than starving he cats and causing them to go without water in the hot summer. They need to have a humane and balanced solution and the animal groups are providing that. Also the over inflated cost by the vets in the area is ludicrous. There vets that spay and neuter for very little money used by animal groups. Again an over inflated cost to promote the city councils agenda.

    • The stats match what I have seen. On the other hand the information given out by HARP and a few others leaves me laughing. We need officers to follow you people around and arrest you for feeding these damn things. In the next month if each female has 5 kittens by my house we will be in real trouble and call the county to go after the city because we are having to live in unsafe conditions. The smell is hard to bear and the kids cannot play in the park. This stuff doesn’t go away with time either. They have to physically clean it up. Toxic waste is what it is called.

      • WELL Julio if you called a rescue program for ferals they would trap the cats, fix the cats and your problem of reproduction would be solved. but its ignorance (lack of knowledge=ignorance) yet again that comes from peoples mouths. I had a problem on my court and within 2 months ALL 12 cats and kittens were TRAPPED/FIXED/SHOTS/ AND RELEASED back into my court and NOW ARE NEVER GOING TO PRODUCE MORE THAN THERE ARE! and mind you it was not even one of my own cats…it was all started from the neighbors cat. But did I whine and cry and point fingers at them. NO I FOUND A SOLUTION TOO A PROBLEM.
        Instead of crying and whinning about a problem try to be a solution. You sound pretty dumb having police arrest those who feed especially in Antioch where crime is so high. MAYBE it will take you to have need of the PD and them be out arresting CAT PEOPLE and not be able to help you before you realize how dumb that was! ALSO just a note on the cat Smell…. I keep a litter box in my garage and am thinking of putting one on the side of the house and YOU KNOW WHY because then they will use that instead. AND yes I do pay for litter and clean it up myself. THATS BECAUSE OF THE PERSON I AM AND WHAT I CAN DO FOR OTHERS.

  6. At the last City Council meeting I attended, not very many animals were making it out of the shelter and there were rescue groups saying they could assist so improve that situation but the organization was blown off by the City Council. I think task should be given to the people who are handling it now. Mayor Harper can’t even get the panhandlers out of the middle of the intersections; they much more annoying than feral cats.

    • GREAT COMMENT PEGGY. I was there also and the council has no clue about the costs nor the resources that are available. Nor do they realize that these organizations are already doing this at NO COST TO THE CITY and would continue if asked. BUT NO THEY HAVE TO PLEASE THOSE WHINERS IN ANTIOCH WHO PROBABLY ARE THE ONES WHO PAY THEIR SALARY. honestly I think its those who can afford to help that are the ones to whine and want the city to take care of things instead of making an effort to help.

  7. How silly is a town when it can’t even fix a feral cat problem?

    If city council can’t get this fixed, how the heck are they supposed to tackle the rest of our problems? Rapists, drug lords, murderers, section 8, prostitution, meth manufacturing, corruption and the like are much tougher cases that F’n cats.


  8. HOW ABOUT THE HOMELESS/PANHANDLERS? Come on really City of Antioch….you have these people bugging people daily and peeing on the streets and talk about them smelling. REALLY. How about we just let them come sleep in the neighborhoods of all those who want rid of ferals and see who thinks what is worse. I tell you it WONT BE THE FERAL CATS. I would rather have cats in my neighborhood I dont have to fear them in any way at all. No cat has ever asked me for money for beer. lotto. drugs nor have I ever been approached late at night by a CAT with fear that I would be harmed…. The most I feared was that I would want to love it and keep it safe!!! I am disgusted with this issue and the City Council Members ignorance (lack of knowledge=ignorance) Its all bout money and in all honesty its will cost this city far more money to try and NOT do anything then it will to do something.

  9. The frightening thing that seems to be happening since the City Council banned the feeding of abandoned animals is that there seems to be open season on cats. Ignorant people seem to think it is okay to kill cats…..several have disappeared and one has been found dead….this is such a cruel and destructive ordinance. Seems like it should have been intelligently evaluated….I do not think a great deal of thought was given to what they were doing.

  10. Sonoma County has Forgotten Felines feral cat spay and neuter program which has been very successful.
    Just remember “the cats did not ask to be homeless.” Taking away food and water is not the answer….it is cruel. Punish the owners
    who abandon the cats, not the cats. Shooting cats is immoral and not a humane option. Cruelty is never an option.
    Make this a win/win outcome with no harm. There are so many resources and people willing to help.
    Please do the humane thing and use the many resources we all have in the SF Bay Area to help those who cannot talk for themselves.

Comments are closed.