Clovis, CA asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: Can I keep my roomate's cat?

I am the property manager of the house I rent. 2 roomates J and R. R is great. J has not been. She's loud during quiet hours and has brought shopping carts onto the property. But the cat situation is the worst part. I helped her rescue Katy Kat when her ex abandoned the cat to spca; J has stayed 7 nights in 2 months, I go weeks without seeing her. I have been paying for the food and litter. R and I care for the cat, groom her (at 1 she had never been brushed) and helped Katy while she had anxiety of basically being abandoned. I have cats here already and Katy gets along well with them, she has 24/7 company. Katy sleeps with R and comes to her whenever she calls for her; they are bonded to each other. J gave her 30 days notice 3/1; I plan on telling J that we are keeping Katy but would like to be within the law, what can I do? If it helps, we have had multiple conversations about her lack of care for the cat and the cat is not on the lease.

1 Lawyer Answer
William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: No, you can't keep somebody's cat because you don't like how they care for it. Paying for food and litter is not ownership. Brushing a cat is not evidence of ownership. Owning several cats does not give you ownership of somebody else's cat. If you want the cat, offer to buy it. If you are concerned about the care provided to the cat, call Animal Control.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.