So, let me get this straight: according the supporters, licensed cats will stick to their own backyards while outside, stop pooping in the neighbours’ peonies, and will no longer be eaten by coyotes, hit by cars, or become lost.
Is there an education program that comes with the licenses? Will the coyotes now see the licenses and realise licensed cats are not edible? Will licensed cats realise they’re too special to leave their own yards? Will they discover that the neighbours’ gardens are no longer suitable places to make deposits? Will speeding vehicles screech to a halt when they spot a licensed cat? Will licensed cats somehow be able to read maps?
I suppose a license is a good idea if one's cat is prone to running away, but mostly, cats know where their food and warm beds are so they normally don't go too far from home.
In the case of a cat eaten by a coyote, which happens a lot here, a license won't help because coyotes can't dial the phone to say "Hey, found your cat and it was delish."
I can see a license helping for cats that are hit by cars, providing someone stops to look at the license and calls it in so the cat's owner can be told their kitty is deceased. In our area, however, the coyotes are faster than the drivers and kitty roadkill is usually dragged off to feed coyote pups.
Mostly what will happen is that disgruntled neighbours will take advantage of the license to report that the next door kitty has left poo in their plants. This city's bylaw officers report that the vast majority of infractions are reported by people who can't stand their neighbours and wish they would move.