Custody Issue with my Cat - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Custody Issue with my Cat

Back in June a friend from work asked me to watch her apx. 6mo old Spinx cat, because her landlord wanted her to declaw him. I agreed, and took the cat. For a few month she paid for food and litter (the really cheap stuff, a different brand every time... Which was very frustrating because he has a weak stomach). Around September, she told me that she wasn't going to be able to take him back, and was looking for a permanent home. I immediately offered to keep him, and even offered to compensate her part of what she paid for him, since he was less then a year old and she'd only had him for a few months before she gave him to me. She told me not to worry about paying her, so long as she got to come see him sometimes (she had only come to see "her" cat twice in the entire time I'd had him). So I took him to the vet, got him his shots, and set up an appointment to get him neutered. A few days before his vet appointment to get him fixed, she comes to me and asks if he'd been fixed yet. I told her that his appointment was in a few days. She told me to cancel it. Said that her mother wanted the cat, because she wanted to breed him. Don't even get me started on backyard breeding, because I can rant for hours... Now I don't know what to do. Apparently the cat has papers, and she says he's registered in her mother's name, and basically wants to just swoop in and steal my cat. Is there anything I can do?? I love my cat and I don't want to loose him, especially to some lady who just sees a way to make a quick buck....
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 10:25 AM
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if u have the time money and patience u could maybe go to small claims court ?
or simple refuse giving him back plus technically u have the recipe for his shots so just go ahead with the neutering they probably wont want him then

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 02:52 PM
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Unfortunately, if you went to small claims court the cat would legally be handed over to the rightful owner with receipt for the vet bills you paid. I seen enough of these cases on tv court and since there is no proof the rightful owner was being neglectful (awful food does not count) and there was no written consent to have the cat handed to YOU then technically the cat is still hers to give to her mom. The courts also, unfortunately, will not grant you custody based on a breeding plan. They do not care what the new owner intends to do as long as there is no malicious blood-letting plans (such as would be in the case of dog fighting) Since the breed papers are in the name of this persons mother then it is her cat. If she called you and told you to cancel the neuter then you have to comply probably. It depends on when they plan to take it, I think things like this could get sticky and probably end up biting you in the 'behind'. They could have you sued for messing with breeding "stock" and all that other frustrating BS..
Trust me, I am on your side, I HATE the idea of breeding while there are so many in the shelters. It's unnecessary and cruel but unless you can prove (documentation and photo evidence) to back up why the cat should be legally handed to you then you have no real fight.
Maybe try to work out with your friend and explain to her that there is a problem with over population right now and you have grown to love the little guy and all that. Hopefully it works and I wish you the best!!!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 03:23 PM
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You've had the cat since September under the impressions that the cat is yours...and she's just asking for it back now, 3 months later?

That's horrible, I'm so sorry. What about if you tried sitting her down and talking to her about it? If she still insists on taking the cat, tell her she owes you then 3 months worth of cat food, litter, and vet bills. If it's her cat, then she should have been paying for all that all this time. Maybe, if you're lucky, she'll decide that it's easier to just let you keep the cat than to have to pay you for it's care.

Do you have anything in writing that could prove the cat is yours? Phone messages, emails, texts...anything that the old owner might have sent you stating that the cat is yours?

I don't know who you would ask...but I wonder if there is some kind law about ownership since you have had the cat for a few months now. This is a different situation I know, but my sister found a stray dog. The court house in her town told her that if she cared for the dog for 2 weeks and tried to find it's owner, and no one claimed it in that time frame, that she could legally keep the dog. If an owner came forward after the 2 weeks, she wouldn't legally have to return the dog, even if the old owner could prove the dog had originally been theirs.

I would call my town hall or court house and see if you can talk to anyone who knows the specific laws about this type of thing. I would think that if you have any type of proof that she gave you the cat, you would win in a court case. The only thing that might confuse things, is the mothers name being on the cats papers, and it wasn't the mother who gave you the cat. I don't know...but I really really hope that things work out in your favor!


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 03:50 PM
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good luck with this

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 05:21 PM
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Michelle made some good points! I'm always so grim, I think its due to my lack of faith in humans Good luck. I hope you get to keep the lil skipper
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 01:48 PM
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was there ever anything decided about this?


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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She took him... Nothing I could do. Plus, since my boyfriend and I both work with her, he didn't want to cause any drama at work... So he wouldn't let me fight it...
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 05:40 PM
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I'm so sorry. That's horrible that she played with your emotions and the cats as well. So mean to that poor kitty. Not to mention you!

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 01:31 AM
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I'm sorry you and the cat has to go through this


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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 07:31 AM
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if you possessed the cat for 90 days legally he had been yours. at least in some states.


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 10:06 PM
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lovely cat. I like them so much
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 04:11 AM
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Fighting over pet custody has caused many divorce negotiations to come to a screeching halt. After all, pets are more than just mere possessions to be divided in the settlement agreement. They often hold a special place in their owner’s hearts, and the thought of not being able to interact with them on a daily basis can cause a lot of anguish.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 07:19 AM
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What a sad story. Old thread I know. I would have had him neutered before she could blink, then he would have been useless to her and her lousy byb mother. Poor kitty probably lives in a filthy cage somewhere now. Gawd I hate breeding.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 12:34 PM
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While I despise breeding of any animal for fun and profit I must add that some BYB's are not run like mills which is why they are never reported. My sister's cat came from my mom's friend who keeps multiple unfixed cats on hand. She never cages them and claims to love them. She just never walked through the doors of a vet's office and therefore, the cats suffer. Mill-like BYB's are the saddest. But ignorant regular folk who just keep pets irresponsibly are different.
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