Monday 30 October 2023

Outdoor cats are 'free cats' which you can take (according to Twitter X user)

A Twitter X user, Sophiane (see below), says that outdoor cats are free cats and you can just take them, which is complete baloney. It is complete BS. I have never heard anything more ridiculous it all my life. Is she kidding?

What this woman is saying is absurd. She follows up by saying that it is not legal advice. You could say that! Outdoor cats are often indoor/outdoor cats and in which case they will be owned cats. As they have an owner, they cannot be taken by anybody because that would be theft and a crime.

Outdoor cats are free cats and you can just take them according to Sophiane on Twitter!
Sophiane who said on Twitter X that outdoor cats are free cats that can be taken. Wrong!

A lot of outdoor cats are owned cats. You have to check whether they are owned by scanning for a microchip. If the cat has a microchip containing current details, then you can reunite the cat with their owner if they are lost. But see the last paragraph!

Often, they won't be lost and they will find their way home in any case.

Also, regarding feral cats which are invariably outdoors, you won't just take one back home because that wouldn't work either. Feral cats are unsocialised and therefore they do not fit into a home because they are fearful of humans.

Obviously, there are complexities because some feral cats are semi-feral and they might fit in to a family home and further, you might be able to take that cat as your own if there is no microchip as mentioned.

The point really is that just because a cat is outdoors you cannot assume that it does not have an owner and therefore can 'take it' Sophiane is implying that you can do entirely as you please with respect to an outdoor cat. I am not even sure if she is being serious.

Perhaps she might be joking. That seems possible because what she has said is so outrageous and so obviously incorrect.

There are many types of cat that are outdoors at any one time. Some might be indoor/outdoor cats as mentioned. Some might be 'barn cats' (farm cats) which are outdoors nearly all the time but they are still domesticated and usually owned by the farmer. 

Some might be semi-feral cats which are socialised to a certain extent to humans. Some might be true feral cats which you can't go near because they are entirely fearful of people because they are entirely unsocialised to people. 

And there are community cats which are domestic cats that live outside within a community and which are fed by the community usually shopkeepers et cetera. 

This last kind of arrangement is normally found in Asia such as countries like India and Pakistan where you will see lots of outdoor cats which are actually looked after within the community except, they normally do not take these cats to a veterinary clinic when they need veterinary medical help. 

That's the great weakness of community cats. But no single person usually owns a community cat. They are owned loosely by the community.

So, these various types of outdoor cat create complexities in terms of ownership.

Lastly, a microchip with correct details is not absolute, irrefutable evidence that the person as set out on those details owns the cat. It is good evidence but not complete evidence because things might have happened since the registration of the microchip. The person may have given away the cat to somebody else who did not register their name on the microchip for instance.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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