Abandoning cats is a form of cruelty to cats if the cats suffer physically as a result. I'd add psychological damage as well but at present there is no way of measuring a cat's mental health.
Two states in the USA (at least) recognize this, namely Arkansas and Arizona. In the UK abandonment is not specifically referred to (as is the case for the animal protection laws of Arkansas and Arizona) but clause 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 covers the position.
Accordingly, the people in the UK (near Warrington in the north and reported by the Warrington Guardian) who abandoned four cats in a box outside the RSPCA, one of which had the address of the people who did the abandoning on a collar, could in theory be prosecuted for animal cruelty. Two more cats were caught making the total 6 abandoned cats. Clearly a defense in this instance is that they appear to have left the cats outside the offices of the RSPCA. But two cats seem to have escaped from the box. This is at the least, if not criminal behavior, very heartless and reckless and indeed cowardly behavior.
The cats were domestic shorthair cats or moggies mixed breed cats. The maximum punishment on conviction for abandoning cats in the UK is quite severe (see penalty).
Abandoning cats to cats and the law
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