Full Statute Name:  West's Utah Code Annotated, Title 11. Cities, Counties, and Local Taxing Units, Chapter 46. Animal Welfare Act. Part 3. Community Cat Act

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Popular Title:  Community Cat Act Primary Citation:  U.C.A. 1953 § 11-46-301 to 304 Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  February, 2024 Alternate Citation:  UT ST § 11-46-301 to 304 Date Adopted:  2011 Historical: 
Summary: A shelter may release a cat prior to the 5-day holding period to a sponsor operating a community cat program. Such a cat is exempt from licensing requirements and feeding bans.  Community cat sponsors or caretakers do not have custody of any cat, and sterilization and vaccination records must be kept for three years.


§ 11-46-301 . Title

§ 11-46-302 . Definitions

§ 11-46-303 . Community cats

§ 11-46-304 . Permit process for community cat colonies



§ 11-46-301. Title

This part is known as the “Community Cat Act.”


Laws 2011, c. 130, § 12, eff. May 10, 2011.


§ 11-46-302. Definitions

In addition to the definitions in Sections 11-46-102 and 11-46-202, as used in this part:

(1) “Community cat” means a feral or free-roaming cat that is without visibly discernable or microchip owner identification of any kind, and has been sterilized, vaccinated, and ear-tipped.

(2) “Community cat caretaker” means any person other than an owner who provides food, water, or shelter to a community cat or community cat colony.

(3) “Community cat colony” means a group of cats that congregate together. Although not every cat in a colony may be a community cat, any cats owned by individuals that congregate with a colony are considered part of it.

(4) “Community cat program” means a program pursuant to which feral cats are sterilized, vaccinated against rabies, ear-tipped, and returned to the location where they congregate.

(5) “Ear-tipping” means removing approximately a quarter-inch off the tip of a cat's left ear while the cat is anesthetized for sterilization.

(6) “Feral” has the same meaning as in Section 23A-1-101.

(7) “Sponsor” means any person or organization that traps feral cats, sterilizes, vaccinates against rabies, and ear-tips them before returning them to the location where they were trapped. A sponsor may be any animal humane society, non-profit organization, animal rescue, adoption organization, or a designated community cat caretaker that also maintains written records on community cats.

Laws 2011, c. 130, § 13, eff. May 10, 2011; Laws 2023, c. 34, § 14, eff. July 1, 2023.


§ 11-46-303. Community cats

(1) A cat received by a shelter under the provisions of Section 11-46-103 may be released prior to the five-day holding period to a sponsor that operates a community cat program.

(2) A community cat is:

(a) exempt from licensing requirements and feeding bans; and

(b) eligible for release from an animal shelter prior to the mandatory five-day hold period in Section 11-46-103.

(3) Community cat sponsors or caretakers do not have custody, as defined in Section 76-9-301, of any cat in a community cat colony. Cats in a colony that are obviously owned, as evidenced by a collar, tags, microchip, or other discernable owner identification, are not exempt from the provisions of Title 76, Chapter 9, Part 3, Cruelty to Animals.

(4) Sterilization and vaccination records shall be maintained for a minimum of three years and be available to an animal control officer upon request.


Laws 2011, c. 130, § 14, eff. May 10, 2011.


§ 11-46-304. Permit process for community cat colonies

(1) A county or municipality may create a permitting process for community cat colonies.

(2) Any permitting process created by a county or municipality shall provide notice to adjacent property owners by:

(a) mailing notice to the record owner of each parcel within parameters specified by the permitting process; or

(b) posting notice on the property with a sign of sufficient size, durability, print quality, and location that is reasonably calculated to give notice to passers-by.


Laws 2011, c. 130, § 15, eff. May 10, 2011.



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