Man's Neighbors Go 'Ballistic' After He Neutered Their Pet Cat Without Their Permission — 'If He's Going To Be Outside, He Needs To Be Fixed'

The population of stray cats is an issue, but did he have the right to take someone else's pet for an irreversible procedure?

cat, man, neuter, owners Dean Drobot / Shutterstock; Reddit 

After a man found a cat roaming through his neighborhood streets, he decided to take the animal to a veterinarian to be neutered. However, the man realized that the cat was clearly someone’s pet since he had a collar tag on him and was well-groomed. 

He ultimately waited until after he had the cat neutered before alerting his owners that he had been found. Afterward, the cat’s owners went ballistic on the man, and he now wonders if he was wrong for having their pet fixed without their permission. 


The cat’s owners were furious that their pet was neutered without their knowledge and accused the man of kidnapping the animal.

Sharing his story to the subreddit, r/AmITheA–-hole, the man revealed that he runs a TNR program for feral cats in his neighborhood. TNR stands for “Trap-Neuter-Return,” and people involved with the programs humanely trap stray cats in their neighborhood, and take them to a veterinarian where they are sterilized and vaccinated for rabies before being returned to where they were found. 

Since the man is an avid cat lover, he often pays for their veterinary costs out of his own pocket before releasing them back outside. “A lot of the cats are not able to be rehomed, so I fix them and release them,” the man explained. 


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Recently, the man was called to an area that was “overrun” by stray orange cats. “They were everywhere and I mostly ended up handing it over to professionals,” the man wrote. “I did, however, manage to grab three very sweet cats. Two were terrified, skinny, and a little beaten up, but overall friendly. The third one was a little gent.” 

According to the man, the third cat was well-groomed, fed, and was clearly someone’s pet, as he had a collar tag. Initially, the man planned on bringing the cat home to his owners with a warning to keep him indoors due to the traps being placed in the neighborhood. 

However, he soon discovered that the cat was not neutered. “The little [expletive] sprayed the inside of my car to the freaking max,” he wrote. 


man gets outdoor cat neutered and neighbors freak outPhoto: SavitSkaya iryna / Shutterstock 

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“I debated taking him home or taking him to get neutered with the rest,” the man added. “He was an indoor-outdoor cat (indicated by his collar tag) and with so many strays I'm certain some were carrying his genetics.” 


The man ultimately decided to bring the cat to the veterinarian to be neutered. Afterward, he called the phone number on the cat’s collar tags to alert his owners that he had been found and when they could pick him up. 

When the cat’s owners arrived and discovered what the man had done, the man claims they went “ballistic.” 

“They were cursing me out… called me a kidnapper, blamed me for their child having nightmares (scared over their cat going missing),” he wrote. “I tried to explain that he needed to be fixed if he was going to be outside but they didn't want to know. They said I should have called immediately regardless.” 

The man talked with his co-worker who believed that he was in the wrong since they did not have the owners’ permission to have their cat undergo the surgical procedure. 


He later apologized to the cat’s owners, who unfortunately did not accept it. “The mom is flaming me on Facebook and DMing people I know,” he shared. He wound up having to block the owners’ phone numbers to keep them from contacting him further. 

The man claims that he “has a duty to stray cats.” “Knowing an unneutered male was roaming free and not doing anything about it was a concern for said stray cats,” he wrote. “I know I crossed a line even if it was for the greater good.” 

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Some people disagreed with the man’s decision considering that the cat was not his pet nor a stray. 

“You knew how to get ahold of the owners from the first moment you grabbed the cat. You kidnapped him and had irreversible surgery done on him,” one Redditor commented. “There is no law against what they [the cat’s owners] did. Against what you did, yes.” 


“You did kidnap their cat and made a (superbly arrogant) decision to have him neutered without the owners’ permission,” another user wrote. “You don't know if they were planning to breed the cat and he just happened to get out.” 

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However, other people branded the cat’s owners as ‘irresponsible’ for allowing their unneutered cat to roam outside among other cats. 

“Pets shouldn’t be outdoor animals and he was creating more cats and adding to the problem. They were irresponsible. You corrected an issue,” one user commented.

“They are irresponsible pet owners and are endangering the community by having an unneutered male cat about. It’s unethical and should be illegal,” another user shared. 


According to PETA, it is estimated that there are between 60 to 100 million cats roaming the streets. Many of them are not sterilized and are uncared for. 

An even bigger stray cat population could lead to issues including disruptions in our ecosystem, an increase in the mistreatment of cats, and the spread of diseases such as rabies and feline immunodeficiency virus. TNR programs can humanely intervene before a group of stray cats quickly becomes a large colony. 

That being said, if you come across a cat with collar tags that is clearly someone’s beloved pet, you should absolutely return them or seek their permission before having their pet undergo a non-reversible operation. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.