SPARTA-The Sparta Health Department is reminding area pet owners that the municipality's animal control program requires the licensing of cats. In the past few months, municipal officials have received a large number of complaints regarding feral cats. In 2004, Sparta Animal Control answered 288 cat complaints and picked up 44 stray cats. Residents should be aware that Sparta Township has a cat-licensing ordinance for both indoor and outdoor cats, which has been in effect for several years. Last year, 1,291 cats were licensed. Officials estimate that there are at least an equal number of cats not licensed within the municipality. Sparta regulations also requires the control of roaming cats. Any stray cat reported by a resident will be trapped by the Sparta Animal Warden and taken to the shelter. Therefore, it is important to ensure that licensed cats have identification tags or microchips. For more information on local animal ordinances and licensing, contact the Sparta Health Department at 973-729-6174.