Cat Owner Charged With Two Misdemeanors For Allowing Cat To Sleep On Front Lawn

We’ve heard a lot of crazy cat stories over the years, and this one is no different. For one cat owner out of Utah, she is demanding answers. It was after a neighbor snapped a photo of her cat, Milo, sleeping on her front lawn. In a surprise turn of events, Kate Anderson, the cat’s owner, was slapped with two misdemeanors from the city.

Milo the cat, fugitive at large

The feline normally has access to travel freely outdoors via his cat door. *Yes, we are fully aware this is going to bring up the “indoors vs outdoors” battle unfortunately. 

But until this point, they say it’s never posed a problem or a “danger to society” for Milo “being at large” as the official paperwork stated. Anderson was clearly perturbed and irritated over the audacity of the neighbor and the city. So she went to local news outlets to voice her frustrations:

“This is a cat who is neutered and microchipped and vaccinated, and is not a menace to society.” — Kate Anderson

Anderson sought representation on the matter, and her attorney has filed for a motion to dismiss due to the insignificance of the crime. It is still to be decided, but it is likely that the city does not plan to amend the current law in place.

Kate with Milo

According to Milo’s owner, “I don’t think most people think it is illegal to let your cat outside under any circumstance.”

The ordinance that was the cause for Kate’s two misdemeanors charges dates back to 1963.

It prohibits any animal from being in an area, even on their owner’s property, “without a leash, secured in a yard or confined to a vehicle.”

If an animal is seen doing this, it then considers the animal to be “at large”. This is considered unlawful in accordance with the ordinance, thus charges can be brought against the animal’s owner. In this case, the surprising 2 misdemeanors.

Check out the video below courtesy of Local 12 News

If you were to ask me, I would wonder what would possess a neighbor to do this. Purrhaps she has something against Milo’s owner? Or maybe it’s simply something more to do with animal control and local law enforcement.

When asked, Kate believes: “This just feels like animal control being out of control.”

So, what are your thoughts on the violation? Let us know in the comments section! Do you feel this is right or wrong? Remember, every area is not the same and the hazards present may differ; especially in different countries.


Related Story: Florida Woman Instantly Regrets Feeding Stray Kitten When She Gets Slapped With $50K Hospital BillRelated Story: New California Law Is The First Of Its Kind Banning The Sale Of Animals From Breeders At Pet Stores Statewide

The ads on this site allow us to raise the necessary funds to continue helping cats in need.

Thank you FUR your support!

Check out the Cole & Marmalade store! -- CLICK HERE


  1. There is no way this ordinance would be allowed to stand if challenged. If the animal is unrestrained and leaves your property, sure, you’re at fault if any issues arise. But leashed at all times in your own yard? Asinine.

    I’d be curious to read the ordinance in full. What if she had a leash on the cat, but then just left it outside on its own? Does the presence of a leash satisfy the ordinance or does she have to control it?

  2. The way it is written, you can’t leave your dog unleashed in your BACKyard. When was the last time anyone was fined for that?

  3. Not sure what is so unusual about this … leash laws are everywhere. They are for the safety of the pet and to protect the rights of your neighbors. Any idea how many roaming cats and dogs are hit by cars every day? Build a catio if your cat wants outdoor time … leash train him even and go for a walk with him .. . exercise would not hurt any of us … had a neighbor ticketed for her dog being loose in the neighborhood … when they ask her why she said …”but I told him to stay in the yard”. Maybe we do not need different ordinances … maybe we need brighter and more responsible pet owners.

    • Even when an animal is on a leash they still might get out. Dogs are smart. Besides the cat was just laying in the yard how is that harmful too anyone. I see cats all the time roaming and no-one cares in Texas.

    • The cat was on *private* property – the cat owner’s private property – not at large. Irrespective of other factors, e.g. if the property is fenced in, an animal is on a leash, etc., the law should not stand in this instance as a matter of reasonably and sensibly respecting home ownership and what occurs on private property. One can only wonder about the motivation of the neighbour who complained. The cat posed no threat.

  4. So tell me it’s about protect and serve who ever issued ticket should be ashamed. But it’s all about revenue for that city

  5. This has got to be the most stupid and ridiculous “ordinance” ever made!! This entire episode is wrong, wrong, wrong!!

  6. Weird! Although the city attorney filed a motion to dismiss, according to the channel 12 video, it seems poor Milo will still be a fur-gitive at large every time he goes outside! It’s going to take someone high up in the city getting cited before this law changes!

  7. First of all I have to say that I live in the UK where cats are allowed to roam freely outside.But even if I didn’t I find this hard to comprehend. What kind of menace exactly would a domestic cat peacefully asleep on a private lawn be ? I am lost for words ! I do hope that common sense prevails and the charges are dropped.

  8. This is beyond stupid. Rather put the time and effort into identifying and prosecuting animal abusers

  9. I suppose she could fence in her yard so her cat would be “secured” in it. Still, it’s a ridiculous law.
    It worries me what they may do to strays and ferals who have no owner to secure them.
    Does the neighbor do this to every one or just this woman? Are there no other cats at large in this city?
    I personally think it’s crazy. I do believe the owner is responsible for any damage their cat does to others’ property. Sleeping, and on the owners front lawn at that, is not damaging anything. It’s not even disturbing anything, except a nosey neighbor who wants to complain and be controlling as well.
    I believe the town should drop the ordinance and the neighbor should put that nose into a more constructive and less invasive hobby.

    • I wonder if the lady would be allowed to even fence her own yard. I understand that some cities that don’t allow owners to fence their yards! Why in the word I can’t fence my own yard, huh?

  10. I think it is a wonderful law. I would never let my cat be outside unattended. There are so many things and people that could harm my cat. I also see in my local lost and found pet websites,
    “My cat usually comes home but has been gone now for a week”
    As for the nosey neighbor, I have watched free roaming cats in my neighborhood end up dead in the street.
    I’d rather my cat be safe and alive, inside.

  11. First of all, yes, keep your cat indoors unless you have it on a leash or in a catio or cat tent. It’s for the cat’s own good but give kitty some outside experience in a safe way, too. Secondly, while a cat may not seem to be a “menace,” it could be killing songbirds or fighting with other neighborhood cats. Thirdly; however, it does seem like an extreme law. In a perfect world, all cats would have homes and stay inside but there are ferals and strays and people who don’t get the dangers to cats from dogs, coyotes, cars, crazy people, etc. I think a better “punishment” would be to send this lady to a cat class where she learns about this and can spread the word to others about taking care of your cat as well as adoptions and ferals. Education versus punishment seems more of a pay-it-forward thing to do.

  12. I am an animal control officer and we would not consider that as a “at large”until the animal leaves the property.

  13. Most everywhere I’ve ever lived has had “leash laws.” That said, those applied to dogs, not cats. In fact, animal control in two different cities I’ve lived in, had a policy that said they didn’t bother with cats unless said cat was putting someone else in danger or in obvious distress. I’ve never heard wording of an ordinance that said ‘animal,’ or if it was that way, it was only ever applied to dogs. I’m kind of curious how common this is. I’ve had cats that refused to be strictly indoor cats no matter what I did. Fortunately that isn’t the case currently. While I prefer cats be kept indoors, I get that there’s times that just isn’t possible. I hope she can get this sorted out.

  14. Just be thankful you don’t live in my neck-of-the-woods as any cat outside city limits can be considered “feral” and it’s legal to shoot them in South Dakota.

  15. That city and the neighbor should be ashamed of themselves; how petty they are! We had loose tigers, lions, and bears here one year, in a nearby town. Now THAT was animals “at large”! But a domestic kitty cat? In his own yard?! C’mon people, have some common sense!

    As a cat shelter volunteer, I have put a harness and leash on many cats (to get them out of the cages and walking around the store), and I can tell you that NO cat will keep the harness on if he wants it off! They are fine for a while, but if the leash is pulled taut, or the cat is spooked, or just wants out of the harness, they can wriggle right out of it!

    When I had a condo, my son or I would often sit outside at the patio table and read while giving the cat some time to enjoy the outdoors on a long leash attached to a tie-out cord attached to a stake. It gave the cat a very large diameter to move around in and explore the yard, sniff grass, and eat an occasional bug (ick). Cats are pretty calm when you are sitting out with them, and none of ours tried to get out of the harness (like they might if you took them on a long walk). Most of the cats I have put a harness on were okay with it. A few, like my current cat, Zulu, are just not going to cooperate.

Written by Modi Ramos

Crazy cat lady since birth and lover of all things feline. Owner of CattitudeDaily and former Editor of iHeartCats. Meow!

What do you think?

1 point
Upvote Downvote

The 25 Most “Cat-Friendly” Cities In The United States

Department Of Famous Feline Police Sergeant Recruits Rescued Stray Kitten For Child Abuse Therapy