140,000 Dollar Australian Cat Story

The AU$140,00 Australia Rescue Cat
The AU$140,00 Australia Rescue Cat
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For me, the AU$140,000 dollar Australian cat story is not all that it seems.

You may have read about the AU$140,000 rescue cat who was sold with a large 5 bedroom house as part of the fixtures and fittings! All the newspapers say that the buyer bought the sellers’ cat, whose name is Tiffany, for AU$140,000 because he paid that amount over the reserve price at auction.

I discuss two topics (a) was the cat really sold for AU$140,000 and (b) the ethical stuff.

The House Sale

The property was for sale at auction (unusual in the UK) and the reserve price was AU$2,060,000. The reserve price was not met so the property was not sold at auction but negotiations took place afterwards between seller and buyer as is their right.

One of the buyers negotiated to buy the house. The buyer’s son liked the cat who was seen lounging around the house (as cats do). The sellers, Mr and Mrs Perceval, jokingly said that they would throw their cat into the sale if the buyer bought the house where upon the buyer offered AU$2.2 million to buy the house.

However, some newspapers state that the buyer proposed an offer of AU$2.2 million provided the seller included the cat in the sale while other newspapers say that the seller demanded AU$2.2 million with the cat included in the sale. We don’t know the exact nature of the negotiations. Perhaps the buyer would have bought in any case, with or without cat. Who knows.

The truth the matter is that the buyer and seller were negotiating a price and the cat was a sweetener but when people are negotiating the price of property before signing a deal the numbers are fluid and it just so happens that the final figure in the negotiation was AU$2.2 million which is AU$140,000 over the reserve price at auction (reserve price is not the sellers’ desired price). This does not mean that the buyer bought Tiffany, the cat, for AU$140,000. It is a bit of newspaper hype which is popular when it comes to cats.

Moral Issues

With that argument out of the way there are some interesting moral questions about the whole process.

Let’s say that the sellers did sell their cat with their house at this extraordinary price of AU$140,000; would you do that in order to obtain a house sale and simultaneously grab an extra chunk of money? It is particularly difficult in this instance because the sellers’ son was very fond of Tiffany. That said we are told that the son was going to take a gap year with time away from the family and home and therefore he would not be able to look after Tiffany in any case.

In addition, you could argue that it is better that Tiffany stays in the home that she knows so well – I understand that the sellers had lived at the home for 19 years – with new caretakers rather than moving to a new home with all the hassle that brings to a cat with her familiar caretakers.

This begs the interesting question whether there is a greater negative impact upon a cat if she is moved to a new home that if she has new caretakers. What do you think about that?

A lot of fantastic cat caretakers would say that they would not sell their cat at any price – of course. But if the price is AU$140,000 even the best cat caretaker might think twice.

Think what you could do with that money in terms of cat welfare and cat rescue. I know that sounds very commercial and heartless and it is probably irrelevant to many people but in terms of pure benefit to cats in general it could be argued that it is better to take the money.

It is a moral dilemma. Some newspapers say that the seller of this property was heartless in throwing in the cat with the sale. They are probably correct. It is treating the cat as a fixture and fitting and these are normally fridges and cookers not a living, sentient being with emotions and feelings.

Tiffany the Cat

She was bought at a pet shop. Not good I am afraid. She has a Ragdoll cat appearance. She a pointed longhaired cat with the white spotting gene causing a white blob on her face and probably on the legs or feet too.

15 thoughts on “140,000 Dollar Australian Cat Story”

  1. I love cats, but I’d sell it for this much. Either way the cat would be scared and upset for a while, then adapt to the situation in fact it’d probably struggle more moving house as cats are very territorial. The new buyers seem nice and to want a cat so I’m sure they’d be good parents to it. I think the cat would be as happy in this situation tbh. Also 140K isn’t as much when you have 2 million, maybe then I wouldn’t, idk, but atm when I have, well, considerably less money then it means much more, it’s life changing and i believe would benefit both me and the cat and perhaps even future moral causes.

  2. Thanks for the article and your wise sentences used within the article, Michael <3

    But I will only answer one question.

    "But if the price is AU$140,000 even the best cat caretaker might think twice.

    Think what you could do with that money in terms of cat welfare and cat rescue."

    My answer: I will never sell any of my cat even the price is offered for the wealth of all the countries.
    Reason: I will rather trust in ONE GOD and with full spirit that I will never sell my children.

    Thank you for sharing Michael, I had nothing to share other than this, just I have shared every article of yours on facebook.

    <3 <3 <3

  3. Well I find it Appalling why would anyone sell their Loved Cat even if it did cost 140.000 with their House I sure wouldnt. Even the Son didn’t want this to happen. Its really sad. It will just create a fear thing and look at the sad look on the Cat’s Face. I still don’t understand really why people buy expensive Cats. I mean i know they are beautiful and Pedigree Cats are lovely. I much Prefer Moggies or Domestic Cats. Too many are in Shelters or Killed for just one Pedigree.

  4. Not something that I would ever consider.

    What kind of people toss their cat into a property negotiation?
    The kind of people who shouldn’t keep a cat.

    Tiffany may be better off with new caretakers.

  5. ‘But if the price is AU$140,000 even the best cat caretaker might think twice’
    NO NO NO this cat caretaker wouldn’t sell our cats for ten million pounds, nor for a hundred million, nor for a million million, they are family and you don’t sell your family.
    I hate that money is more important to some people than anything else!

            • Interestingly I am stuck in a place where I must get rid of a cat possibly, who I really like but who can’t get along with my 3. It’s heartbreaking and painful and it’s unsustainable. But i can’t yet convince the previous owner that it’s not selfish but actually better to give her to some place she can be happy, without cats and only humans.

              Sometimes there’s a fine line between being posessive and being selfless. It’s tooo easy to say to oneself ‘she knows me and it would be wrong to give her away she needs me’ when actually it’s that one doesn’t want to give her away rather than it being bad for the cat to give it away. A very fine line.

              Its about the happiness of the cat.

              It’s feasable this cat is better off staying with the house.

              Actually we will not know and can only judge this uninformed.

              • Hi Marc, great to hear from you. You are spot on: the decision is entirely about what is right for the cat. The person is out of the equation entirely in this sort of tough decision because the cat will settle in, in due course.

                In this story I pose the question whether it is better for a cat to stay in a home he knows and get used to a new caretaker. No one asks that question normally but it makes the point about territory versus human companion/caretaker.

  6. As a seller of the house; NO, I would not give up my cat! I’d consider the cat a family member. Would it be ethical to sell a family member? These people might .. in order to sell their house. That’s them .. I would not be like them (not if I truly loved my pet .. it would be morally/ethically wrong). If you’d do that for $$$ you obviously have no heart. What of the feelings of this cat? Do they care? Yes … a cat can adapt to a change in their life (but it takes time); But .. they definitely DON’T like a change of routine.


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