'Hiss-teria': Dubai to fine cat lovers for feeding strays
Tenants and homeowners in Dubai's Emirates Living - which includes Emirates Hills, The Springs, The Meadows and The Lakes - were warned by email against leaving food and water for stray cats roaming the area.
Emaar, the community's developer, said those caught feeding cats would be fined up to 500 dirhams ($136), per Dubai Municipality guidelines, and risk being prosecuted.
The community management team justified the warning in the "interest of health and safety of Emirates Living".
In the same email, Dubai Municipality released a statement prohibiting the "feeding of birds such as crows and pigeons and stray animals such as cats and dogs".
"In addition to having a negative effect on the community’s aesthetics and causing bad odour, the said practice is also associated with a number of other concerns," Emaar said in the notice dated 8 September.
"Stray cats from adjacent areas are attracted to the food, which can result in noisy territorial disputes and fights. The leftover food attracts pests such as rodents and crawling/flying insects, counteracting the various pest control efforts carried out."
The circular was met with upset residents who affirmed animals' rights to food and water.