It’s your first night in prison, the lights are out, the cell is cold, and you can feel the lumps in your old threadbare mattress.
It’s quiet… Then, suddenly, your cell-mate asks the big question; ‘What are you in for?’
You take a deep breath; muster up the gruffest voice you can and reply: ‘My cat chased a dog up a telephone pole in International Falls, Minnesota’.
That’s one prison gang you won’t be allowed into.
If you think that’s weird – wait ’til you get a load of the rest of these fifteen weirdest cat laws…
No fights between cats and dogs
The legal statute of Barber, North Carolina seeks to alter the very fabric of nature itself, by forbidding fighting between cats and dogs altogether.
Instead, Carolinian canines and felines have to start underground fight clubs to get their fix.
In Cresskill, New Jersey, it’s required by law that all cats venturing outdoors must be adorned with three bells in order to give any birds fair warning that a feline is approaching.
The major flaw in this logic being that birds can’t read human legislature and one would imagine the indigenous New Jersey birds are made of stronger stuff than to run from some tinkling bells.
Any and all black cats living in the area of Indiana’s French Lick Springs are legally required to wear bells on Friday the 13th.
No word on what the punitive charges for breaking this law may be, as nobody wants to run the risk of inadvertently summoning a demon in their garden.
Once again, lawmakers seek to control that which they have no power over: in Columbus, Georgia, it is illegal for any cat to ‘howl’ after 9pm.
This actually sounds like it might be some kind of quiet utopia, where all of the cat owners actually manage to get a decent night’s sleep.
Siskel, Ebert and Lion
We’ve all experienced it: after months of waiting for that hot new movie to hit your local cinema, you rush off and buy your ticket in a frenzy…only to find yourself sitting next to a noisy, obnoxious lion. Again.
Well, all of us except the cinemagoers of Baltimore, Maryland, where it’s illegal to bring a lion to the movies.
Actually, this one might be one of the more logical cat-themed laws on the list. In Reed City, Michigan, you might find yourself on the wrong side of the law if you keep both a pet cat and bird in the same home.
Thankfully, Sylvester and Tweety Pie lived in another, undisclosed state, where this law didn’t apply. Nor did animal abuse laws, apparently.
No feline bakeries
In Duluth, Minnesota, the law states that cats aren’t allowed to sleep in bakeries. Again, you can see where the logic comes from (hygiene) but such black and white legality overlooks cats’ natural proclivity for kneading things with their paws.
A missed opportunity.
Close but no cigar
For the more refined feline, who likes to kick back after a busy day decapitating rodents with a glass of bourbon and a vintage cigar, a residence in Zion, Illinois isn’t going to cut it.
That’s right – it’s genuinely illegal for anybody to hand over a lighted cigar to a cat.
No food or drink
New York might seem like a fantastic melting pot of different cultures, styles, people and foods – but that’s just on the surface, to keep the tourists entertained. Really, the great city has its hands tied with laws to keep interesting culinary experiences off the streets; did you know you’re not even legally allowed to eat a cat in New York?
What next? No bacon? No bread?
Keep all cats on leashes
Although it’s becoming increasingly less bizarre as more and more cat owners take to adopting cat leashes and taking their cats for walks… It still seems like an absurd image to apply to a law.
But, in Lorinci, Hungary, it is indeed illegal to have a cat on the street without a leash!
Sort of the same vein as Hungary’s legislature, in Mississippi both owner and cat can be thrown behind bars if the cat is ‘rowdy’ whilst out on the streets. Here’s the conundrum, though, who do you call with your one phone call?
The number of times I’ve had to phone my kitty to come bail me out of jail… Boy, don’t get me started. Patience of a saint, that cat.
A form of flattery…
You’re going to hate me for telling you this one.
You’ve spent the last few months painstakingly designing this Halloween’s costume, the tail, the ears, the fur, the smell – everything accounted for, but…in Miami, Florida, it’s illegal to imitate a cat (or any animal, as it happens). Sorry.
You got a permit for that?
So, on the one hand we have a state banning cats and dogs from settling their disputes on the battlefield, and on the other hand we have Ventura County in California making it illegal for any cat and dog to, uh… give each other a ‘special hug’ without a permit.
There’s just no winning.
Girls to the front
The third instance of a logical thought pattern creating a strangely skewed kitty law… In Norway, it’s perfectly legal for male cats to be neutered but against the law for females to be spayed.
I know what you’re thinking, men: nor-way! Ha-ha. Get it? Wait, come back! I have one more weird law!
Married by law
Ever noticed your cat staring forlornly out of a rainy window pane, imagining a downbeat pop song playing over the scene and picturing your cat thinking of all of its happy couple cat friends out for feline date night?
Well, move to Switzerland and it’ll become a thing of the past. All pets in Switzerland must, by law, have a companion!