Have you ever considered stealing a cat from a neglectful or abusive owner to keep or rehome?

In other words, have you ever considered stealing someone’s cat because they are lousy cat owners? I’m convinced that any decent, loving and sensitive cat guardian of quality would, without hesitation, “steal” a cat from an abusive owner. Morally, it’s doing the right thing but technically it is the crime of theft.

Legally there are some big question marks about cat ownership. They say you never really own a cat. A cat chooses his owner. And if it went to court a person who did take unilateral action without the consent of the owner to take their cat from them, they might get away with it. This is because they’re doing a service to the cat and if the cat is that badly neglected the owner would be in breach of animal welfare laws. If the breach was sufficient then the neglect would be a crime.

A person “stealing” a cat under these circumstances would be preventing the continuation of a crime through the commission of a technical crime which might be accepted by the authorities.

There are some nice stories on the Quora.com website illustrating the circumstances under which a person might take action unilaterally to provide loving care to a neglected cat.

Whitney’s Story

Whitney's cat Boo

Whitney’s cat Boo

It concerns a lady whose name is Whitney Bravo. She said that she was visiting a friend when she arrived at the house before her friend and while at the front door she heard a rustling in the bushes. A thin, small cat jumped out and, almost, onto her lap.

She noticed the cat was infested with fleas so badly that it shocked her. When her friend got home he told her that his neighbour owned the cat. And, he recommended that she took the cat with her because, “they don’t need a cat!”.

As it happens this neglectful cat owner also had a boy who was also allegedly neglected. There is a point here; if a cat owner is very neglectful about looking after their cat then they probably won’t mind if their cat goes missing permanently. In fact they may be pleased because clearly they have no interest in looking after their cat. However, I am not recommending it as I don’t want to be an accessory to the crime of theft!

I will continue with Whitney’s story. This skinny, wee cat curled up on her lap and purred the whole way home. She named her Boo. She gave birth to kittens on Whitney’s lap! They were all successfully re-homed.

Boo was a starving, flea infested, scared outdoor cat and is now a pampered, loved housecat with the most loving and sweet personality.

Witney admits that she did steal her and she also admits that she would do it again without any doubt. She says that Boo deserved better. And she would do anything to stop animals being mistreated. There appears to have been no fall out in terms of aggravation from the neglectful owner.

I really am thrilled that Boo found a loving home. A truly loving place to put all that fear and discomfort behind her. The wonderful picture of them together snoozing, warm, loving says it all. This is the way it should be.

Shalon’s Story

Another story presents an entirely different scenario but the outcome is the same. A cat had scratched a member of his family so badly that they needed stitches. This lady, Shalon Hutchinson, knew the cat would be put down if taken to a shelter so she begged them to let her take him.

The cat was rake thin, his fur was oily and his back legs, and the backs of his forelegs were completely devoid of fur. As it happens, she learned later that two of his legs had been broken and had healed slightly misaligned. In addition he had been declawed; a bundle of abuses and it was no surprise, therefore, that he acted as if he was feral when Shalon took him home. She struggled with him. It took her a long time and a lot of gentle approaches before he accepted being touched. She found out that he liked to have his ears tweaked.

The people who gave him up said that they had fed him properly but that he was always skinny. I’m afraid they were telling a porky pie. He weighed 7 pounds when she adopted him but now weighs 14 pounds and is a loving boy of around 12-years-of-age.

I Stole a Cat from a Party!

Max a stolen cat!

Max a stolen cat!

This is an interesting and slightly tortuous story. The owner of a Maine Coon cat living in Florida was arrested in Kentucky. His house was taken over by roommates who partied and trashed it. A lady by the name of Brittani attended some of these parties and noticed a cat called Max in the home. He was a Maine Coon, purebred cat. He was 13-years-of-age at the time. He was friendly and outgoing but neglected. His litter tray hadn’t been changed in weeks and his feeding area was badly neglected. There was no food in the home.

To cut a long story short, she decided to abduct Max, which she did while her boyfriend distracted the people in the house. They took Max home, cleaned him up and took care of him.

As a consequence she was threatened on social media and still is by the roommates of the cat’s owner, as I understand it. She and her boyfriend kept Max for a few weeks but he wasn’t getting along with their resident cat. She had to re-home him and an ideal person turned up; her co-worker. She had just moved to a new place and wanted to adopt a cat.

They fell in love as soon as they met.

“Max is still living the dream. People are still bashing me on social media. I don’t let it phase me though. I know what I did. I’ll take a cat’s happiness over a human’s any day.”


I have ‘stolen’ someone’s cat. She was in the basement area of a terraced house in Notting Hill Gate. It was years ago. She looked abandoned but I wasn’t sure. She came to me and the rest is history. I lived with her for many years and she died aged 18. A good life and she brought me countless hours of happiness. I hope I reciprocated.

FB comments (see below)


Have you ever considered stealing a cat from a neglectful or abusive owner to keep or rehome? — 1 Comment

  1. I have stolen a cat before due to the owner never would let it in the house especially during the winter so I waited one day down the block and watched the owner get in their car and leave then I made my move,it took some coaching on my part but the cat was so hungry it threw caution to the wind and allowed me to pet it as it wolfed down it’s food and then I asap put my bird net over the cat which flipped out but then once it was inside my car it stopped fighting the net and once I got home and assessed the cat more thoroughly it actually welcomed my touch and started purring so I gave it a flea bath which shocked the hell out of me because he just sat there,I think it was enjoying the warm water but long story short I cared and mended the cat and soon found it an actual loving home,the new owner got his neutered and chipped and sadly though 7 years later the cat died from renal failure due to the 2007 Pet Food recall and I would do this all over again if I had to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Please try and upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks. Comment rules: (1) respect others (2) threatening, harassing, bullying, insulting and being rude to others is forbidden (3) advocating cat cruelty is forbidden (4) trolls (I know who they are) must use real name and upload a photo of themselves. Enforcement: (1) inappropriate comments are deleted before publication and (2) commenters who demonstrate a desire to flout the rules are banned. Failure to comply with (4) results in non-publication. Lastly, please avoid adding links because spam software regards comments with links as spam and holds them in the spam folder. I delete the spam folder contents daily.