Calgary cat owners will likely have to license their feline friends beginning next year.

City council passed the cat section of a new pet bylaw by a single vote Monday – but did not grant approval for third and final reading. That vote, expected next week, is the last hurdle for the bylaw.

Aldermen opposed to the licence argued that responsible cat owners already spay and neuter their cats and keep them indoors and irresponsible owners wouldn't fix or license their cats anyway.

Those in favour, including Madeline King, say a spay and neuter program is the best way to keep the stray cat population down – and she says a cat licence fee is a fair way to pay for such a program.

"I don't think that it would be right for all taxpayers in Calgary to pay for it, so if we're going to have [a program] then the money needs to come from cat licensing."

Owners of spayed or neutered cats would pay $15 a year while cats that aren't fixed would cost $30 to license.

The fees will likely take effect in January.