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Old October 7th, 2014, 10:55 AM
KLCatLover KLCatLover is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1
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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