WINNIPEG – Winnipeg will become an even greater international destination with the construction of the world’s first off-leash cat park Mayor Brian Bowman announced today.

“An off-leash cat park will not only put Winnipeg on the map, it will also liberate hundreds of Winnipeg cats from the burden of the leash,” said Mayor Bowman. “For years, dogs have been able to enjoy the freedom of off-leash parks, so why not cats?”

A motion proposing amendments to the Responsible Pet Ownership By-law (92/2013) will be introduced at next week’s Executive Policy Committee. The motion will task the Public Service with identifying an appropriate location, design, and amenity options to create a space where cats can exercise and safely socialize with other cats.

Park amenities under consideration include all-weather scratching posts, individualized litter boxes, a giant wall with cascading laser dots, and an automated system that would leverage the Transportation Management Centre’s strategically located video cameras to automatically post funny cat videos to the Internet. Also under consideration is the addition of the world’s largest ball of yarn and a full time cat-herding attendant.

“It’s 2018,” said Mayor Bowman. “I believe cats deserve the same level of access to off-leash options that dogs have. An off-leash cat park allows cats the same freedom as dogs, but in an environment where they won’t fight like cats and dogs.”

Mayor Bowman stressed the importance of cat owners acting responsibly in any future off-leash environment.

“In this day and age, while we need to move forward and allow cats the opportunity to shed their leashes and roam free among other cats, let’s not forget that herding cats is as difficult as herding cats,” said Mayor Bowman.

The April 1st announcement of Winnipeg’s off-leash cat park followed the earlier arrival of Winnipeg’s first downtown, off-leash dog park.