Cat Decides It Has A New Home & A Custody Battle Ensues

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on May 22, 2017

Some people say that cats choose the humans they want to be with. So when a person adopts a cat, but the kitty decides to start spending time in a new home, who’s the rightful owner?

According to The Telegraph, an incident like this recently occurred in Italy and lead two neighbors to court. The 4-year-old black and white cat named Fiocco was living with a woman in Genoa and after two years, it began spending more and more time at a neighbor’s house.

As daily visits turned into overnight excursions, the neighbor re-named the cat Tequila and took full responsibility in caring for it, from meals to vet visits, to hiring pet sitters when she was away. But when the neighbor decided to move and take the cat with her, Tequila’s original owner wanted to reclaim the kitty.

After Fiocco / Tequila moved away, its first owner called the police, saying that her cat  — who did not have a microchip — had been stolen. After hiring a lawyer and having an investigation conducted, the kitty was returned to its previous owner.

But the second owner, who now faced theft charges, was not ready to give up on the cat who’d become part of the family. After hiring a lawyer of their own, the case was brought back to court. With evidence that included photos and vet records, custody of the kitty was given back to the person who it had chosen: the second owner, who’d named it Tequila.

“The court decided the cat should stay with my client because there was no crime committed, no malice, and it was the cat’s choice to stay with my client,” said Fabio La Mattina, the second owner’s lawyer, according to The Telegraph.

The kitty’s human is thrilled that Tequila is legally theirs and the theft charges have been dropped.

We want to know what you think: did the court make the right decision?

Let us know in the comments below!

(h/t: The Telegraph)