Cat owners must now keep their pet on a leash in Waconia after the City Council updated an ordinance that, before Monday's vote, only applied to dogs. The City Council ordinance requires cat owners to keep their pets on their property with a fence or a leash and clean up their waste in parks and on other residents' yards.

City Administrator Shane Fineran told Fox 9 the ordinance was a response to "concerns residents have."

The new statute requires cat owners to either microchip or keep identification tags on their feline friends. Cat owners must also clean up their pets' droppings on their own property within seven days.

Violating the cat leash law is a petty misdemeanor under city law.

Alley Cat Allies, a Maryland-based nonprofit that advocates for low-cost spaying and neutering policies, warned Waconia City Council members that the leash law would unfairly target residents who care for strays and other neighborhood cats.

"We want Waconia to know that dogs and cats are very different animals with very different relationships to people and our communities," the organization's leaders wrote. "Cats cannot be slapdash inserted into laws tailored to dog-related concerns."

The group asked the City Council to instead consider a trap-neuter-return operation if its members were concerned about growing populations of cats outdoors. That way, Alley Cat Allies leaders say, the city can head off any unexpected boom in stray cats and more easily control the animals already within its limits.