People who through cowardice abandon cats anywhere should reach out for help instead

“People who do these kinds of things are cowards. There’s so many rescues out there, there are so many shelters. There’s so many other options, just reach out. Social media has so many open doors, reach out to somebody.” Andrea Palmer, humane officer at All But Furgotten.

Kitten being abandoned at a dumpster
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Kitten being abandoned at a dumpster. Screenshot from video.

There are many stories of adult cats, and often kittens, being abandoned in a variety of places (see some examples at base of page). The place where they are abandoned depends on how cold-hearted the person is. Most instances of cats being abandoned are criminal acts even if they are rarely treated as such by law enforcement.

Sometimes they are abandoned in woods inside crates where they’ll die. That’s the worst. On or near dumpsters (communal rubbish collection areas) are a favourite. It happens quite often. In this instance the cats and kittens are treated as trash. Other times they are abandoned by the side of the road but the best abandonments but perhaps the most cowardly are when cats are left outside animal shelters in sealed boxes at night in the dead of winter.

These people have recognised that they had access to an animal shelter where they could have walked in the front door and explained themselves and handed over the cats. At least it would have improved the chances of the cats surviving but they were too cowardly to face up to what they were doing.

All instances of cat abandonment in places other than animal shelters are cowardly acts. They tell us that the person feels guilt at what they are doing which is why they don’t want to face anyone when giving up their cats.

It is shying away from their responsibilities. This follows on from acting irresponsibly in getting into the situation whereby they have cats they want to get rid of. I understand that it is a very human situation. Sometimes decent people get into a mess with cats and it is hard to be critical of these people. But the bottom line is that the welfare of the cats comes first.

People who are thinking about abandoning (relinquishing) cats should consider how it can be done in a way which minimises the negative impact it will have on the cats’ welfare. They need to put aside their feelings of shame and guilt and fess up to the truth of what has happened and get on with it. They should then reflect on how they got into the situation where they felt pressure to abandon cats and work out how to prevent it happening again.

Example of cat abandonment

There is another typical example of this cowardly act on the online news today from Hempfield Township, PA (Philadelphia), USA. A woman was caught by security cameras abandoning a litter of kittens and their mother at a dumpster in a Greensburg-area shopping complex.

The video was seen on social media and humane officers investigated. The kittens have been rescued while the mother has disappeared. Efforts are taking place to find the woman who dumped them.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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