What constitutes cat ownership

Asked about 1 year ago - Menifee, CA

My mother gave my brother a cat when he was 15, he moved out of the house when he was 17 and joined the military at age 18. It was my mother's wish that I take care of this cat. For the past 7 months I have been taking care of this cat in my apartment (I have not yet paid a pet deposit but will in the next month) , and will continue to for the next 2 years. I have been paying all the expenses and taking very good care of the cat and the cat and I have bonded. Does my brother have any legal right to this cat when he comes home? He keeps saying that he will take him from me.

Any help is much appreciated.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Kelvin P. Green

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I will suggest that you really just need to work it out, unless the cat is some rare exotic breed worth a ton of money, it will be a situation you need to work through because I doubt you will want the hassle, time, or cost to litigate this. The costs you are aging are offset a lot of times by the companionship of the cat and the enjoyment of the animal... Work it out because it jst seems that the law won't be your best way to resolve this.

    This is for general information only. Nothing in this information should be construed as creating an attorney-... more
  2. Gary Ralph Ilmanen

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It appears that your brother abandoned the cat 3 years ago (age 15). I would suggest that you license it and treat it as your own property.

    I am an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of California. Unless we have both signed a... more
  3. Elizabeth Lorraine Elliott

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There is no clear answer to your question. It would be left to a court to decide if you went down that road. If he tries to bring a claim against you asking for return of the cat, you could counter claim for all of your expenses for the care of the cat. Potentially, there is also an abandonment issue, but that is a state specific definition and I do not practice in CA. I would consult a local attorney if you truly want to keep the cat.

    This is not to be construed as legal advice. I do not have an attorney client relationship with you.

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