Trapping Domestic Cats

Trapping Domestic Cats

by Michael

In the United States, can someone who is not officially authorised to trap cats, do it without any consequences? It seems that the answer is, yes, if the cat is on their property. The SPCA say that people can set traps on their property. If the trap is not rented from the SPCA and has been bought by the homeowner, they don’t have to tell anyone. They can just put the trap down, catch a fully domesticated cat that happens to be outside, take him or her to the SPCA center, whereupon the cat will be killed if the human caretaker does not turn up to collect him within a certain time. This sounds odd and dangerous because of the following reason.

If there are a group of people living in a large complex, in say flats and houses and all the properties are leasehold, then the common parts include the grounds, the gardens around the properties. The grounds can be quite extensive and the grounds are owned by the leaseholders (homeowners) communally. Under these circumstances a cat guardian who lets their cat out to the communal grounds risks losing their cat to “euthanasia” at a rescue centre. That must be wrong. On a common sense basis it looks like criminal damage to me. A person who traps a cat and takes the cat to a place where he may be killed is participating in an act of criminal damage (on the basis that the cat is a possession under the law) if no notice is given that traps will be put down. It may also be an act of theft although theft requires that the person intends to permanently deprive the owner of the item and that would appear not to apply here.

It would seem that the law needs to be tightened up and made more specific. The scenario outlined above occurred at the gated Cobblestone Estates I housing development in Visalia, California, USA. Charlene Johnson let her tabby cat, Mickey, out and he was trapped and taken to the SPCA centre. Charlene says that there are only domestic cats on the estate. Charlene admits that she didn’t license or microchip her cat (perhaps that is a requirement at the place where she lives).

Charlene and Mickey were luckily reunited because Charlene got to Mickey before he was killed.

The SPCA manager says that of the 7,215 feral and domestic cats and kittens brought to the SCPA shelter in 2010, 672 were adopted “but most of the rest were euthanized”. It is a killing establishment and the manager seems to have an unsuitable attitude towards cats. Feral cats are killed in two days and domestic cats are killed within 6-8 days unless someone turns up to claim them. This though is commonplace.

Yes, there are lots of cats and yes better cat caretaking needs to be enforced but this seems an inappropriate way of dealing with the problem because decent people and domestic cats get hurt.

Trapping domestic cats needs to be carefully managed. Common sense dictates that if a neighbour traps another neighbours cat (which is the case here), a greater effort should be made to tell the cat’s “owner” about the trapping and to reunite the two. It would appear that there is a bit of warfare going on at this estate between people who like and keep cats and those who dislike them. Was it not always thus?

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Comments for
Trapping Domestic Cats

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Nov 25, 2011 Rude, entitled neighbors
by: Disgusted Homeowner

Our neighbor has two cats. They brag about all the wildlife they kill, including song birds. They (the cats) use parts of my property as their bathroom. We have asked the neighbor to keep their cats indoors, but they refuse to comply. I suppose I could go to the police even though the city has an ordinance regarding cats. The police have better things to do. I am not interested in starting a range war.

I have trapped both cats on separate occasions. I have let them go, but if I trap them again, I will let them go 30 miles from the house. Just as Cesar Millan says there are no bad dogs, but bad dog owners, I imagine there may be no bad cats but there are certainly (in my neighborhood) bad cat owners.


Sep 19, 2011 Awful!
by: Leah England

Why oh why are cats treated so awfully in America and Canada? Why you treat domestic cats worse than we treat vermin here in the UK!!

Recently here a guy was prosecuted for drowning a squirrel and rightly so!!

All Gods creatures deserve to live a life without fear, this is so wrong, after all we domesticated cats for our own purposes!!

I used to think that Americans and Canadians were very similar to the UK in ethics and morals especially where animals were concerned but believe me I’ve certainly changed my opinion in the past 18 months since I learned about de-clawing, trapping, gassing and all the other disgusting acts of cruelty.

Its utterly sickening.


Sep 13, 2011 Aghast
by: Michael

I am just as shocked as you, Rudolph. It seems very uncivilised to me to slaughter companion animals and feral animals in such large numbers and treat it as a routine event with making real efforts to stop it.


Sep 12, 2011 Trapping Domestic Cats.
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

Thanks to “Pictures of Cats” i have personally got to know about the “Pet animal Laws” in the developed First World country’s, most prominent being U.K and U.S.A. I am aghast to read the statistics that a total of 7215 cats were taken into S.P C.A animal shelters of which only 672 cats were adopted, the rest all euthanized. Horrible statistics of cat deaths.In a developing economy like India, cats seem to lead a priviledged life where no cats are euthanized, feral cats being totally ignored and allowed to exist in the “Survival of the fittest syndrome ” on the streets and markets.
Now i understand the reason that i didn’t see a single stray cat on my entire tour of a few capital European city’s including London in 2010.


Sep 12, 2011 Terrible !
by: Ruth

That is terrible !
Cats in the USA seem to be the victims of many harsh and cruel laws.
It astounds me that such a civilised country are so inhumane towards cats.
It must be horrible for those people there who truly do love cats and care about their welfare.
I grumble about our country at times but at least our animal laws are fair and their abusers are punished.
I’d be interested to know if wandering dogs are treated the same way.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth



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