Quilty the Cat, Master of Escape, Feline Liberator

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on November 14, 2019

Quilty the cat may seem a naughty cat to some, but to his feline friends, he’s a hero.

Recently, the Friends for Life Animal Shelter in Houston, Texas, found itself embroiled in a mystery. More than once, staff arrived at the shelter to find the senior cats free of their room and roaming the building. “We would come in in the morning and have to collect all 15 of the cats who had had a blast during the night,” said Jennifer Hopkins, communications lead for Friends for Life.

After three nights of cat parties, staff took to surveillance video to discover what was going on at night.

The perpetrator of the repeated escapes turned out to be Quilty, a six-year old tabby cat in residence at Friends for Life.

Courtesy of Friends for Life



Quilty Refused to be Contained

Footage revealed clever Quilty jumping up and grabbing hold of the door handle, easily unlatching it in one swift movement. While totally adorable, the roundup of cats that ensued certainly taxed the staff. To prevent repeat performances, the guilty tabby was moved to what the shelter termed ‘solitary confinement’.



Photos reveal Quilty was more than unhappy with his sentence. While the building experienced a cat-proofing session, Quilty proved himself a master of escape and crashed many a staff meeting. The mischievous cat found himself escorted back to confinement more than a few times.

Once he found the doors secured against his skills, Quilty turned to the windows as an escape route. In a Facebook update, shelter staff wrote, “Quilty now believes he can definitely escape through the windows…While we doubt it, he’s surprised us before.”



Quilty’s antics have created an outpouring of support on social media. In fact, he’s got an Instagram page all his own now, his bio declaring him a ‘door ninja’. Hashtags have cropped up too, demanding freedom for the feline.

#FreeQuilty #QuiltyNotGuilty #NoMoreDoors


Adorable and brilliant Quilty may be, but the shelter asks, “Please. Come meet him. And take him home. Please…”


A Brave Family Stepped Up

An update revealed someone took them up on the offer. Quilty is currently on a ‘sleepover’ session, a one week stay with a family to see if it could be his forever home. Things are looking good. Quilty’s host family took to Instagram, posting, “He is the absolute most affectionate cat I have ever encountered! As I’m writing this, he is snuggled in bed with me.”




Quilty is certainly a happy cat, but let’s hope this family home has escape-proof doors!