A post urging people to stop ‘adopting random cats’ off the street that seem ‘perfectly fine’ has gone viral on Reddit.
In a post on the online forum, where it got 14,100 upvotes at the time of this writing, said Redditor Mystisc: “Stop ‘adopting’ random cats that look good and try to find the owner. It’s not your cat just because it’s outside and comes to cuddle you.”
Mystisc added, “I can’t believe people condone cat theft.”
speaking to NewsweekFrancien (the original poster) said a lot of people were “sharing pictures of cats they found on the street and people saying they should keep the cat.”
The user said: “I personally live in the Netherlands where people leave cats alone on the streets because we don’t really have any stray cats. But I noticed that a lot of Americans and other countries just take cats off the street that look perfectly fine. They don’t check if the cats are microchipped or neutered.”
The original poster said that it “worries me” to think that someone would kidnap someone else’s cat. “Imagine if you leave your cat out for a midnight walk and it never comes back because someone stole it.”
speaking to Newsweek In May, José Arce, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, said, “If an unknown, collarless cat were to enter your heart and your home, it’s important to remember that someone else could miss this cat.
The first step to take is to check if the animal is “really a stray or just a neighborhood resident going around,” Arce said.
Also check to see if the cat has an ear tip, when the top of an ear is flat instead of pointy. This would indicate that the cat is a community cat, meaning the animal was spayed or neutered through a local community program and has an outdoor home, according to the Humane Society.
Arce also noted that a cat without a collar is not necessarily a stray. “Many cats that have an owner don’t wear collars and need to be left alone. They are usually not lost and will find their own way.”
If you suspect a cat is stray or are concerned about the animal’s welfare, Arce advises taking the following steps:
- Post a message about the chat on your local social networking platform, like Nextdoor.
- Check out any websites that reunite lost pets with their owners, such as Lost.petcolove.org.
- Have the cat scanned for a microchip containing the owner’s information. You can do this at a local veterinary clinic, animal care and control office, or shelter.
Some users disagreed with the original poster’s stance, such as Seagull84, who said, “OP [original poster] is totally wrong. Just because a cat looks well fed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow the general guidelines for getting the collar or microchip checked…if there are no results, it’s the fault of the owner.”
The same user added: “Publish online… post flyers, and if [there is] no response, I guess the cat is yours now…if it’s clear the cat is feral, then do what you need to do to capture it and get it off the street.”
User Amanda30697 said: “If you want people with good intentions to stop ‘stealing’ you have to be part of the solution… OP is shaming people for wanting to help an animal. Definitely flea check if you find an animal that might not belong to someone. It’s not theft until the person knows they took someone’s pet by accident.”
Others supported the view of the original poster.
User 900penguins said: “So many adult cats aren’t adopted from shelters…yet her neighbors choose to steal someone else’s cat. People are weird.”
Leaving user 2morrow wrote: “Instead, adopt a cat straight from a shelter. Someone probably owns a cat that is outside and looks in great shape.” The comment got 987 upvotes.
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