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  #1  
Old October 7th, 2014, 10:55 AM
KLCatLover KLCatLover is offline
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Legal rights if someone is stealing my cat

I recently moved out of my ex-boyfriend's house and back into my house, which is only 3 minutes walk from his. My ex keeps letting my 1.5 year old cat back into his house, and feeding him. My question is, do I have any legal rights in Canada, to prevent my ex from doing that?

Some background to the situation:
My cat was raised his first 6 months at my house, but then has spent a year at my ex-boyfriends, and has made that area his territory. There are cat doors at both houses. My cat is very strongly an outdoor cat. Locking my cat indoors at my house is not a good option, in this instance, because my cat is violently opposed to being locked in, he loves the outdoors, and if I lock him into my new place I think when he does get out, he'll never want to come here again. I put a GPS tracker on him, so I can find him when he wanders, but the key problem here is that he feels safe and well adjusted in his old territory, and is having to fight other cats in his new territory.

My ex wants to swap cats - I keep his cat, and he keeps mine. This is not what I want. Although I am fond of my ex's cat, my cat is the baby I raised, to be the type of cat I wanted. He is fit, energetic, super healthy, a real roamer, very independent and happily entertains himself in the outdoors if I'm away, but loves my company when I'm home. We play chase games in the backyard. He is very affectionate and is tremendously fond of me (much more than he is of my ex, although my ex is giving him a lot more attention than usual lately, so as to win cat-approval during this cat-custody battle).

It's just that the other stressors in the environment around my house (fighting other cats), plus some unfortunate un-avoidable things going on lately inside my new house that he really hated, meant he's really stressed about the new location. I got feliway diffuser in my house, am putting out his favourite foods, coaxing him into the car rather than forcing him, when I bring him to the new location, got a GPS tracking collar on him, etc etc. Not sure what else to try. I don't think anythings going to work as long as my ex keeps letting him in and feeding him. I paid to install a magnetic cat door at my ex's, within 24 hours he'd figured out how to bust through it anyway.

Any suggestions are very welcome as I am at my wit's end to the extent that it's starting to affect my health and my job. Mainly I am wondering what are my legal rights in a cat-custody situation like this? I'm guessing enforcing them might be very difficult, but stating the legal position might be enough to get my ex to behave. He's not a complete ass - he's just having his own hissing match - i.e. trying to prop up his sense of self-worth by getting my cat to select him over me. If I give up the fight and hand over ownership to him, my cat will not be treated with the love, attention, and kindness that I treat him with.
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  #2  
Old October 7th, 2014, 01:43 PM
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Loki Love Loki Love is offline
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Beyond keeping your cat indoors, or when at the very least when outdoors, on a leash and harness - you aren't going to stop your cat from roaming back to familiar territory.

You can ensure your cat is microchipped with your name and also be sure all vet records are in your name - that should hold up in court should there ever be a custody issue.

Good luck!
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Old October 8th, 2014, 08:11 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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I'm not sure it's possible, legally, for someone to be said to be stealing something that keeps reappearing in their own yard. I sympathize with your cat's need to be outdoors. Ours are all feral or dumped and once they've made a success of living outside on their own it is very hard to satisfy them with the inside.

The only surefire thing I can think of is a very large outdoor pen for your cat. More like a aviary than a dog pen as your cat is probably like most other cats and want to climb up high. What? You have tons of money to spare, don't you? Yeah, probably a lot of money.

This is so hard, I'm sorry you and your cat are faced with this.
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Old October 8th, 2014, 09:12 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longblades View Post
I'm not sure it's possible, legally, for someone to be said to be stealing something that keeps reappearing in their own yard. I sympathize with your cat's need to be outdoors. Ours are all feral or dumped and once they've made a success of living outside on their own it is very hard to satisfy them with the inside.

The only surefire thing I can think of is a very large outdoor pen for your cat. More like a aviary than a dog pen as your cat is probably like most other cats and want to climb up high. What? You have tons of money to spare, don't you? Yeah, probably a lot of money.

This is so hard, I'm sorry you and your cat are faced with this.
That would be great to build for the cat , I am thinking if the b/f did more he would take cat with him. The cat lived in the b/f house longer so that could be in his favor .
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  #5  
Old October 9th, 2014, 10:22 AM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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You are not allowed to have your cat wonder off your property unless it is leashed in Calgary (I'm assuming that's where you are based on your profile).

Also, in Canada, animals are considered property and will therefore have to take you ex to court should he decide to keep the cat inside his home and not return him to you.

http://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/ABS/Pages...hip-bylaw.aspx


Quote:
Under the bylaw, both cat and dog owners are responsible for licensing their pets at three months of age and for ensuring the pets remain on the owner's property. Cats are not allowed to roam and must be restricted to their owner’s property. When off their owner’s property, dogs must be under their owner's control. All areas in Calgary are on-leash except for off-leash areas that are designated by signs.
The Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw makes it possible for Animal & Bylaw Services to:
Impound cats and dogs roaming or at large in the community, in violation of the bylaw. This is for the protection and safety of pets and the public.
Feed, shelter and provide veterinary care for the cats and dogs impounded and under our protection and care at the Animal Services Centre.
Adopt out cats and dogs that have not been claimed by their owners after a wait period as set out by the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw.
Oh, and there are other valuable tips on the website for responsible pet ownership . What a great city Calgary is, all others should follow in their footsteps.
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Old October 9th, 2014, 11:40 AM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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That's is interesting , cats are not allowed to wander around free , I know some cities are trying pass a law like too as a way to make more $$$ .
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Old October 10th, 2014, 11:30 AM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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Originally Posted by Barkingdog View Post
That's is interesting , cats are not allowed to wander around free , I know some cities are trying pass a law like too as a way to make more $$$ .
That's the norm here in Canada.
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Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

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Old October 10th, 2014, 11:42 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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What's the norm in Canada? That they are allowed to wander free? Or they are not?

I'm in rural Ontario, free roaming cats are allowed. Barn cats are a necessity on farms, cats still have a job to do. But none of the small cities near me restrict cats from roaming. Some have tried, some do require a license.
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Old October 10th, 2014, 01:38 PM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longblades View Post
What's the norm in Canada? That they are allowed to wander free? Or they are not?

I'm in rural Ontario, free roaming cats are allowed. Barn cats are a necessity on farms, cats still have a job to do. But none of the small cities near me restrict cats from roaming. Some have tried, some do require a license.
It's the norm not to be allowed to roam free.

I am in rural Ontario too and they are not allowed to roam free, or I should say, not allowed off your property.
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Cat maid to:

Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
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  #10  
Old October 11th, 2014, 01:14 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLCatLover View Post
he feels safe and well adjusted in his old territory, and is having to fight other cats in his new territory.
Of course he is, that's how it works in the cat world. They're all about territory, and whether your cat prefers you or your ex is practically irrelevant. My guess is that he would keep going back to the old place even if your ex wasn't there. You really need to find a way to help him feel safe and comfortable at his new home. A cat enclosure is a great idea (that's what I have for my 5 - 2 of which were previously feral), or leash training him so he can get his outside time under supervision.

Also, is your cat licensed with the city? If not, you face a hefty fine if he's ever picked up for roaming. I'm one of those people that will trap cats and turn them over to a rescue organization if I'm worried that they might be homeless. I get extremely frustrated by the number of people in my neighbourhood that think it's okay to let their cats wander willy-nilly, getting in fights and pooping in everyone's gardens. And I'm a cat lover! Imagine how the cat-haters out there feel. Then there are the cars, dogs, coyotes, and random other dangers. Cats need more than just "love, attention and kindness", they also need to be kept safe from harm.

A couple examples of enclosures:

Originally built this one using a portable greenhouse frame and some garden netting from Home Depot, all for less than $200.


Upgraded to a bigger model using recycled materials, this time for less than $100 (biggest cost was the truck rental to transport the metal fencing).


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Old October 11th, 2014, 05:36 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post
Of course he is, that's how it works in the cat world. They're all about territory, and whether your cat prefers you or your ex is practically irrelevant. My guess is that he would keep going back to the old place even if your ex wasn't there. You really need to find a way to help him feel safe and comfortable at his new home. A cat enclosure is a great idea (that's what I have for my 5 - 2 of which were previously feral), or leash training him so he can get his outside time under supervision.

Also, is your cat licensed with the city? If not, you face a hefty fine if he's ever picked up for roaming. I'm one of those people that will trap cats and turn them over to a rescue organization if I'm worried that they might be homeless. I get extremely frustrated by the number of people in my neighbourhood that think it's okay to let their cats wander willy-nilly, getting in fights and pooping in everyone's gardens. And I'm a cat lover! Imagine how the cat-haters out there feel. Then there are the cars, dogs, coyotes, and random other dangers. Cats need more than just "love, attention and kindness", they also need to be kept safe from harm.

A couple examples of enclosures:

Originally built this one using a portable greenhouse frame and some garden netting from Home Depot, all for less than $200.






































Upgraded to a bigger model using recycled materials, this time for less than $100 (biggest cost was the truck rental to transport the metal fencing).


I really like that and wish I could have one for my dog to set up on my deck. I just notice the sign saying "Attack Cats' LOL!

Last edited by Barkingdog; October 12th, 2014 at 12:19 PM.
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Old October 12th, 2014, 12:45 AM
Lynne&Co. Lynne&Co. is offline
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Wow......now that's an awesome enclosure for your kitties SCM!!
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Old October 12th, 2014, 08:40 AM
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Double wow. Thx for posting these SCM - great inspiration for others to try the same!
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Old October 12th, 2014, 12:35 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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In case anyone wants more ideas and inspiration, there's a great initiative out of Portland, Oregon between The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon and The Audubon Society of Portland, where they host an annual "Catio Tour" of people's outdoor cat enclosures. Tons of resources on their website, and if you follow the links, you can check out pics of the variety of enclosure styles. Some as simple as a large dog crate connected to a basement window. Others are huge and elaborate and meant for both cats and people to use. Pretty cool stuff!!

http://feralcats.com/Catio.html
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Old October 12th, 2014, 01:52 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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I love the 'Attack Cat' warning, scm!
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Old October 13th, 2014, 12:13 AM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Originally Posted by hazelrunpack View Post
I love the 'Attack Cat' warning, scm!
Hee hee. A little touch of irony, considering that when anyone comes over, the cats all scatter into the underworld for a while. If it wasn't for the abundance of cat paraphernalia lying around, some people probably wouldn't even know I have cats!
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