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HELP!! My neighbor stole my cat!!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I need help on what I should do.

I have a 12 year old black and white, Wingnut, that is an indoor/outdoor cat. He always comes in at night and does not roam far. We live in a very safe neighborhood without busy streets.

Yesterday afternoon Wingnut went missing. We let him out in the morning and by afternoon we could not find him anywhere. He always comes when called. We searched the nighboorhood calling all evening and eventually reported him missing to the police. Today we went out looking for him again and my mom heard him crying. We followed his cries to our neighbor's house. This is a new neighbor that we don't know and keeps to herself. My mother called the police and told them our cat was in her house and asked if she could let him out if the door was unlocked being that we live in a small community where everyone knows everyone the police said she could let the cat out if the house was unlocked. Miraculously the neighbor's house was not locked and my mother opened the door. Wingnut did not come out and kept crying. My mother looked in and he was in a small cage.
She then went in and took Wingnut and the cage, notifying the police what she had done. Poor wingnut had soiled himself and was clearly distressed. He had bruises on his head from knocking around in the case and his cry was hoarse. We took him home, gave him food and water and waited for our neighbor to come home and give us an explanation.

Hours later the neighboor finally came home and told us her had allowed her friend to stay in the house for a few weeks and the friend had moved out and left her three cats. The cats were out of control so Animal Control gave her cages to catch them, two had been caught. She gave no explanation why she had taken our cat and the trap into her home even if she knew it wasn't the cat she was looking for. And why she kept him overnight without notifying anyone, and keeping him without food or water in a small inhumane cage??

Obviously she has a weak story but will not tell us more. What can we do to prevent this crazy lady from setting traps and catching other neighborhood cats??
post #2 of 15
Oh my, what a psycho, I have no idea...maybe put up warning signs around so people know about her??
post #3 of 15
I'm soo sorry to hear that this happened to your kitty. I would honestly recommend keeping your sweet kitty indoors only from now on, especially since your neighbor has done this. Good luck! And welcome to TCS!!! It is great to have you here- if you need help around the forums, just send me a pm!
post #4 of 15
I was always afraid something similar would happen to me. Back when there were a ton of strays here (before I caught and rehomed them) I would leave my trap out on the back patio everynight. Whenever I caught a cat I would take it in, ask around and begin to care for and rehome it. I was always afraid someone would look outside or be walking by and see their cat in my trap and get mad.

Maybe the woman was in the process of trapping the other cats and caught yours, but maybe she wasn't expecting to and didn't know what to do with him just yet. I don't know, you never know with people sometimes, I don't mean to be defending her. But since she didn't offer a little more explanation I would wonder what her intentions really were.

Could you possibly talk to her? Maybe she is concerned with the stray cats in the area and is trying to help them. Now that she knows this one if yours she probably won't intentionally trap him again. Make sure she knows that if she does trap him, to call you or something.
post #5 of 15
I'm new here, too...but I just had to jump in! Poor kitty! How tramatic for him! I have a 12 year old kitty and I can't imagine him having to go through that. Please keep your kitty inside cuz it sounds like your neighbor is unstable and be sure to warn the other neighbors so they know where to look when their kitties come up missing. Hope poor Wingnut(love the name) is feeling better!!!
post #6 of 15
I can imagine the whole ordeal was very upsetting for you, your family and your kitty- but as Jen mentioned- she could have some very benign reasons for trapping him or any other cat on her property. If she is new though she might not know if the cat is a stray or someone’s pet- most people didn’t allow cats outdoors where I used to live so everyone assumed any outdoor cats were strays. Perhaps it was the same where she used to live? I definitely would try to talk to her about it in a non-confrontational manner to find out her true intentions before labeling her a psycho and telling everyone she “steals†animals. If you aren't comfortable doing that you could always check in with the police if they followed up and see if she went more in depth with them.

Also keep in mind that sometimes people are shy to admit that they don’t want other people’s cats roaming on their property for some very good reasons and don’t want to cause trouble with the owners by bringing it up. If this is the case then I would try to be a good neighbor and either keep your cat indoors or supervised/confined when let out. While this is probably not the response you wanted, it is much easier to do that then risk having your cat harmed or picked up by animal control because it was perceived as a nuisance.
post #7 of 15
I would suggest keeping your cat inside ONLY from now on also.
I'm sorry she took him.
post #8 of 15
Nothing is stopping her or anyone from trapping (or worse) your kitty, please keep Wingnut indoors from now on!!! It's not inhumane, on the contrary, it's the best thing you can do for him! I'm glad you got him back!
post #9 of 15
Originally Posted by menagerie mama View Post
Nothing is stopping her or anyone from trapping (or worse) your kitty, please keep Wingnut indoors from now on!!! It's not inhumane, on the contrary, it's the best thing you can do for him! I'm glad you got him back!
I second that. It's the only way you can protect him. I'm glad you got him back as I know I would have been freaking out too. Obviously, that neighbor has some screws lose to put a cat in a cage with no food or water. I would ask your local Humane Society or SPCA to investigate because this sounds like animal abuse to me. If she did it once, she'll probably do it again. Let us know how everything goes.
post #10 of 15
I just wanted to say that I am glad you got your cat back. and welcome and I hope you get this all worked out
post #11 of 15
I dunno...it's always good to not jump to conclusions, however this woman did not offer an explanation, and kept Wingnut in inhumane conditions. I'd be very suspicious about her motives, and I would tell all the neighbours about the incident. They should be warned. But if she can come up with a better explanation in her defence, then hear her out.
post #12 of 15
I agree with the others that it's best if you can keep Wingnut indoors. However, if he's been an indoor/outdoor kitty all his life it might be really hard for him to adjust to this change. So maybe an outdoor cat enclosure is an option you can consider?
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your help and concern. My father spoke to her and her explanation was that she has friends staying with her and they had left their three cats. She had the traps out becuase she was trying to catch them and turn them over to Animal Control. We are going to call animal control and see if her story checks out.

In the meantime she told us she had caught 2 of the cats already. I'm sure she knew what this third cat looked like so why would she take our cat, who wears a collar I might add, and keep him inside her house for over 24 hours in a trap?

We are keeping Wingnut inside, I have my own cat (Lulu) who I have raised to be an indoor cat, but my parents have always allowed Wingnut out so it's going to be hard to keep him inside now.

Thank you again for your support and suggestions. I'll keep you posted
post #14 of 15
Thanks for the update! I'm glad you have decided to make little Wignut an indoor only kitty now I think that's the safest alternative for you little kitty
post #15 of 15
If you continue to let your cat out, just be sure to get a break-away cat collar and an engraved name tag (available at PetSmart). My cat's name tag has her name and my cell phone number. She has lost the collar twice, but I always get it back because the person that found it has called me.

I prefer using the cell number because I might move and get a different land line number, but I know I will keep my cell #.
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