Scammer Flips Free Kitties For Profit

A Park Slope woman who gave away her kittens on Craigslist was later shocked and aghast – a common affliction among Park Slope residents – to see the buyer posting an ad trying to sell the very same kittens, even though her ad said that if the buyer wasn’t going to keep the kittens themselves, they were to return them to her. Turns out the woman she gave them to is a serial “cat flipper.”

These are folks scoop up “free to a good home” cats posted on classified sections and then turn around and sell them for a profit.

When confronted, the buyer wrote the seller back, “I just decide to find them homes…You still gave them away to me for free, no contract, once in my hand their [sic] initially mines. That means if I wanted to give them to my nieces, stranger walking the street, dad, or grandmother thats initially on me. … I’m not gonna sit here going back and fourth with you, then get excited and have an asthma attack.”

Rescue organizations recommend charging an adoption fee to deter cat flippers and to have an adoption agreement in writing.

Slope woman gets a cat scam as free felines are later sold! [The Brooklyn Paper]


Edit Your Comment

  1. shepd says:

    Or, you could go the software route, and attach a license agreement that says the buyer has to transfer the cat to the next person for free as well. :-D

  2. Buckus says:

    I don’t see how this is a scam. The seller has found a low-price source for his goods, people who willingly give up their cats for free. If he can find a family willing to give the cat a good home and willing to pay for it, I still don’t see the issue. It’s not like he’s making cat tacos out of them or anything. Or marinating them in the back of his car for being “selfish and greedy.”

    • ChuckECheese says:

      Selfish and greedy they are. Cats deserve all the onions and peppers they can be smothered in.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      It’s loosely a scam, because the flipper lied about their intentions when they adopted the kittens to begin with. It’s like taking freecycled items and reselling them for a profit: you’ve taken the items away from someone who could have used them when free but not when attached to a price tag. The flipper is still taking advantage of someone.

    • unimus says:

      What happens to the excess inventories? Is the flipper decent enough to feed and clean them until she can sell or give them away for free? That’s my only concern.

      • Pax says:

        That would also be a concern to me.

        If, against all odds, I were to have a litter of kittens or puppies or whatever to find homes for, I would draft a contract/agreement that would specify several things:

        (1) The animals(s) are not for resale. If they are given to other people, it must be as GIFTS.
        (2) This same agreement must exist for all future transfers of the animal(s)
        (3) The animal(s), when old enough, will be spayed/neutered by a veterinarian (I might be able to help with the expense, through an arrangement with my own vet.)
        (4) In the event the animal(s) can no longer be cared for, and a new home cannot be found, they are to be returned to me.

        • fantomesq says:

          Your ‘contract’ would be completely unenforceable.

          • Pax says:

            And what makes you say that?

          • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

            What? It’s entirely enforceable through any small claims court I’ve heard of. You could enforce a contract like that for any property- a television for instance. Their is an acceptable remedy in the contract- the return of the animal to the first owner. You’d want more ideal contract language- but there’s nothing I can think of that would prevent such a contract from being enforced. There’s nothing illegal about it.

            • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

              It’s “there” not “their” where it was used incorrectly- it’s late etc.

            • Pax says:

              Indeed, definitely I’d want better wording for any actual contract. Those were just the provisions I’d want the contract to secure, expressed casually, for the purpose of discussing the idea in general.

              I’d probably also charge an adoption fee, and make it refundable upon proof of the animal being spayed/neutered by a licensed veterinarian (within two years of transfer). Most vets will happily furnish adequate proof of this; the local Humane Society has the same sort of program for un-spayed, un-neutered animals (like puppies or kittens) – we got our current two cats from there, as teeny tiny kittens.

              • ames says:

                If possible, you could even have the kittens spayed/neutered prior to adoption. I know there’s a vet clinic in my old city that offered a group rate of sorts, for this kind of situation.

    • GMFish says:

      I agree. Buying low and selling high is the very foundation of our economic system.

    • Pax says:

      When one gives kittens away “to good homes”, the hope is that the person who takes them, WANTS them … permanently.

      To then discover that this person was only looking to make a profit on them, brings into question “just how well are the kittens being cared for?”

      So it might not be a scam per se, but it definitely creates the same emotions of betrayal and hurt.

      • GMFish says:

        the hope is that the person who takes them, WANTS them … permanently

        Hope and five pennies will get you a nickle. In other words, it’s objectively pointless to argue about it.

        The first lady has no reason to be mad. If she wanted to make money off of the kittens she could have. Once she gave them away she has no basis to complain.

        • Pax says:

          The first lady has no reason to be mad. If she wanted to make money off of the kittens she could have. Once she gave them away she has no basis to complain.

          Clearly, you’ve never been much of an animal lover.

          Also clearly, you’re not the sort of person I’d place an animal with.

          It’s not about “the first woman could have made the money and chose not to”. It’s about, the second woman adopted those kittens under false pretenses. And her true motives call into question just how good the care those kittens are receiving, really is. Which leaves the first woman worried about what might happen to the kittens. A worry that would not exist, if the adopter hadn’t intended to resell them all along.

        • Pax says:

          Also, from the original article:

          There was just one requirement: “I gave very clear instructions that if she changed her mind and didn’t want the kittens, I wanted them back,” said Holmes, who lives in Park Slope.

          Now, that may not be enforceable, but it clearly indicates that the woman took the kittens under false pretenses.

        • biggieshorty says:

          Yes! Because it’s all about the money!
          Way to be a fucking person.

          • Anonymously says:

            Here’s the rub:

            If you assume the cat-flipper will sell the cats to a bad home, YOU gave your cats away to a bad home. You’re no better at finding a good home for your cats than a cat-flipper is. The cat flipper, through random chance, might actually do a better job than you.

            • Pax says:

              I am only assuming the flipper cares more anout the $$ than the cats.

              As evidenced by the dishonest means she employed to ACQUIRE said cats.

      • Wolfbird says:

        If you are truly concerned about the welfare of an unwanted pet, it wouldn’t be unwanted in the first place. In this case, it appears OP likes cute little kittens just fine but does not want them enough to keep them as adult cats.

        inb4 “u dont no her situation!!”– I don’t have to. It’s very easy to keep dicks out of your ovulating female animals if you truly want to.

        • 5seconds says:

          But apparently not out of The Consumerist comments section?

        • Pax says:

          If you are truly concerned about the welfare of an unwanted pet, it wouldn’t be unwanted in the first place.

          Who says she didn’t WANT them?

          Maybe she cannot AFFORD them? Or maybe, her residence does not PERMIT that many cats at once?

          There can be many reasons for giving up kittens, puppies, and so on other than not wanting them.

          It’s very easy to keep dicks out of your ovulating female animals if you truly want to.

          And god forbid someone should, say, adopt a stray – only to discover it had gotten itself impregnated just before you adopted her.

        • Conformist138 says:

          Was it my fault that I was stuck with a litter of kittens when a roommate got herself a cat, never had her fixed, and then abandoned her with us when she left?

          Sometimes, what you see is a kind person cleaning up the mess left by others.

    • Alexk says:

      It’s a scam because the slimeball took the kittens under false pretenses. She agreed to bring them back if she, personally, didn’t want to keep them.

      • common_sense84 says:

        You need to get over it. This is not a scam. The person took free unwanted cats, is taking care of them, and is doing extra work to find buyers of them.

        A shelter does less work and charges more.

        • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

          SRSLY? Maybe you should spend at least one day volunteering at a shelter . . .

        • Fidget says:

          Really? You think he’s doing background checks on the adopters, making sure their landlord actually allows pets, taking care of spay/neuters and first-round vaccines? She was a moron for giving the cats away, yes, but if he’s selling single kittens to people who “want a pet for their incredibly young child” or something that would be a warning flag to anyone at a shelter with half a brain…
          Scam or not is immaterial. If you think animals are property like any other property, that would be the way to phrase things. I’m just thinking of the lovely lesson she would’ve learned had the cats been scooped up by someone using them as dog-fighting bait. Seriously, she didn’t think anything was going on when someone offers to take all your kittens off your hands?

        • allknowingtomato says:

          I don’t think she should be praised as “doing extra work to find them homes” if she got the kittens from other CL ads, stopping those people from initially placing their kittens for free in a loving home. Her priority is clearly the money, and not the animal (otherwise she would not have intercepted all these free kittens trying to find good homes and instead would have let them go to said good homes in the first place.)

          By the flipper’s own attitude, it doesn’t appear that this is some unsung hero situation. “they’re my cats now i can do whatever i want even give them to strangers on the street because you gave them to me for free hahaha” (paraphrased but that’s the gist of the quote to me) does not sound like a person who is doing this for the sake of the kittens.

          I got my cat on CL. Paid a $10 rehoming fee, the lady got a little teary when she brought the kitten, and she helped me make sure my home was kitten-proof. It was a positive experience, and for the time/effort/care the lady put into finding my home, vetting it, and delivering to me a well-fed and -adjusted cat, the $10 would not have turned a profit. I shudder to think how little effort a person would put into caring for cats and placing them to turn a profit on CL.

        • mythago says:

          “Get over it” is one of those phrases in an argument that lets you know the other person doesn’t have much to say, but figures telling you to STFU might substitute for having a point.

      • Pax says:

        It is a scam. From the actual article, as related by the original owner:

        There was just one requirement: “I gave very clear instructions that if she changed her mind and didn’t want the kittens, I wanted them back,” said Holmes, who lives in Park Slope.

        That’s “taking under false pretenses”, which is … wait for it … a scam.

        • The Marionette says:

          eh, because the person giving them away didn’t get a profit from it, it’s now a “scam”.

          • Pax says:

            No, because the person getting them for free, did so under false pretenses.

            Go back up, and read the bit I put in italics. The woman who sold the kittens, violated that term of the exchange.

        • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

          But she did want them, so she could sell them. So, it isn’t a scam at all.

        • classic10 says:

          After you part form something it isn’t yours anymore.

          Since we are talking about living breathing creatures as long they are not mistreated it is his property he can sell it or give it away as he wishes.

          • Pax says:

            If I offer you a thing, with conditions, and you accept – you accept the conditions as well as the thing.

            Should you violate those conditions … the offer is rendered null and void, and it becomes MY thing again, not yours.

            That’s the way contracts work: all or nothing. You cannot choose, after the fact, which parts of a contract to honor, and which parts to ignore.

    • Griking says:

      I agree. As long as he isn’t abusing the cats while he looks for a new home for them then more power to him.

      • DariusC says:

        WRONG! I just had a convo with a breeder a while ago and I used my supreme logic to ram his head up his ass.

        If you do not care about the animals, you should not treat them like objects. These people are looking at animals as money and in the meanwhile when they have them, they don’t feed them at all or very little so they can have a low “adoption fee” of 50 dollars and trick people into thinking they are just looking to recoup the cost of food and it is impossible to tell otherwise.

        This is unethical, wrong, and I know that soon, people will need a license to own a dog or cat. That is the right thing to do to stop abuse of animals. Couple that with a breeding ban and we have a better world for everyone.

    • whylime says:

      But that’s the problem isn’t it? There’s no reason to believe the flipper is looking for a “good” home for the kittens. The mere fact that she is a “flipper” and had “several postings” selling different cats indicates that she’s not bothering to screen buyers and is just handing these kittens off to the first person with the cash.

      This woman’s concern isn’t about money. She’s not mad that the flipper is making money off of the kittens. What she cares about is ensuring that these kittens find a good home where they will be cared for.

      • Sian says:

        with all the free kittens out there, anyone willing to actually pay for them is generally on the up and up.

      • Anonymously says:

        The flipper can’t do much worse than the woman originally did. Might even get lucky and find them a better home.

  3. Cicadymn says:

    I’m eager to get a kitten of my own. But I’m not eager to pay the 300 bucks my apartment wants to have one.

    I mean PS3 Vs Kitten.

    I really can’t decide

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      kitten. because then you can submit adorable pictures of it to the consumerist flickr pool and people will ooooh and aaaaah over your kitten when it’s the header for top posts of the week/open thread.
      also kittens are cuddlier.

    • EricBetts says:

      Thank you for the 1 free internet

    • howie_in_az says:

      I have a cat.

      Get the PS3.

    • Cindymiles says:

      Adopt an older cat. Preferably declawed. I had 2 and they were cuddle bunnies and don’t tear your stuff up. Ps3 is way overrated : )

      • djshinyo says:

        Declawed? That’s not cool.

        • clickable says:

          It is (sort of) if that’s the condition they were in when they were adopted. Sometimes when I look too closely at the rug my two managed to deface beyond recognition, I kinda sorta kinda drift off into a fantasy where I go to the shelter to adopt and lo and behold they happen to have two kitties who were cruelly declawed by their previous owner.

          Till that fantasy comes true, my two varmints have learned to tolerate sporadic manicures.

    • Kingeryck says:

      That fee might actually be illegal. Check your local and state laws. I’m going through that with my landlord.

    • dorianh49 says:

      A haiku:

      Kittens are so cute
      They’re fun to electrocute
      Taste better than dogs

    • Intheknow says:

      I want a kitty. I need a kitty. Phooey on landlords who would charge $300 just to have one. I mean, really, how much damage do they think a cat can do to a rental?

      • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

        I had a diabetic cat. Trust me, they can easily do $300 worth of damage. Ever had to replace a carpet?

        • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

          Psh. The reason apartments/rental units have carpets in the first place is because they are *meant* to be replaced after every few tenants due to simple wear-and-tear. It is apparently cheaper to replace carpets than it is to repair badly-neglected hardwood flooring.

          Though it is true, cats are murder on carpets, even if they never harf somewhere or “miss” their litter box. I have owned three cats, each separated by more than a year, who had an alarming tendency to tear up the carpet from underneath doors, trying to “dig” their way into a closed room.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        A lot. They can’t trust everyone who walks through the door and you might be normal at first but if you let your cat go nuts, the apartment complex would have to spend a lot of money to replace carpet, patch walls, etc.

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      If you’re a good tenet, ask nicely. I had my fee waived without my even asking. I walked in to do some business, told them I got a new cat and asked whether that meant I needed to do something. They said there was a $300 fee, but that in my case they didn’t care.

    • MaxPower says:

      I have both.. watch out for when kitteh sits on your lap when playing PS3… very difficult to beat Zeus under those circumstances.

  4. Im Just Saying says:

    Cats are evil, vile creatures and they hate you. If you have cats, just know that they spend their days plotting the overthrow of your apartheid empire.

  5. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    While the attached image is cute, the image in the link proper is hilarious. Worth the click.

    • Im Just Saying says:

      Thank you for pointing that out. I wouldn’t have otherwise followed the link and my day would be unknowingly incomplete.

      “Cats if filmed on location with the real men and women of feline enforcement. All suspects are innocent until proven quilty in a court of law”

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      anony-bars for the kittehs?

    • dohtem says:

      lmao, thanks for the heads up!!

    • MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

      Yeah, the attached is cute but a screenshot of Pig-Eye Jackson juggling (flipping) kittens would have been better.

  6. dreamfish says:

    “cat flippers”

    Conjures up such images.

  7. Skellbasher says:

    Sounds like the script for the next reality show.

    Flip that Cat!

  8. Mike says:

    Cat flippers piss me off because they created a kitten bubble. These flippers come in, trying to make a quick buck, then next thing you know there are a bunch of foreclosed kittens in the neighborhood dragging down the value of my kitten.

    • Cicadymn says:

      I couldn’t help but laugh at that one.

      There’s a kitten name in there somewhere to I know it.

    • Tim says:

      That happened all over in my neighborhood. It got to the point where a bunch of the kittenowners, including myself, owed more food to their kittens than they paid.

      So I just did a strategic default on my kitten.

  9. RayanneGraff says:

    Regardless of the legality of what the scammer is doing… wow, what a fucking bitch.

    “I’m not gonna sit here going back and fourth with you, then get excited and have an asthma attack.”


    • Tim says:

      You’re spot on. A lot of people here are saying that it’s perfectly legal, which it is. But come on.

      • common_sense84 says:

        Why do you care? People who didn’t want the animals essentially unloaded them off on someone who will feed them and take care of them until they can find someone willing to buy them.

        There is nothing wrong here. In fact this is essentially a service a shelter would charge you for. If you gave your cats to a shelter they would want money from you and then they would turn around and demand money from the adopters as well.

        • Bye says:

          The real question is: why do YOU care and why can’t YOU get over it? It’s clear this subject has gotten you very worked up and you feel the need to respond to a bunch of posts in this thread indicating as such.

          You’re going to have an asthma attack if you don’t stop.

        • Pax says:

          Why do you care?

          Animal welfare is important to me.

          People who didn’t want the animals […]

          Assumes facts not in evidence. I have seen people have to give up their much-beloved cat or dog because they had to move, and the new place wouldn’t let them have pets. In fact, one of MY cats was adopted from a friend under exactly those circumstances.

          There is nothing wrong here. In fact this is essentially a service a shelter would charge you for.

          What is wrong, is that this “Unique” woman lied to the original owner. A shelter would not lie.

          If you gave your cats to a shelter they would want money from you and then they would turn around and demand money from the adopters as well.

          Wrong. You can bring a cat to a shelter, and they will take it – no money required. Perhaps you are confusing kennels and catteries, with shelters …?

    • Me - now with more humidity says:

      If she really loved kittehs, she’d have said “HAZ an asthma attack.” Beyotch she is!

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      She has asthma and cats? Gee, talk about work hazards.

  10. nakkypoo says:

    I really don’t see how this is a scam. But I hope the woman had her cat fixed so she doesn’t fall “victim” again.

    • ellemdee says:

      It’s a scam because the flippers often have some convincing story about how they’re going to keep it as their personal pet, even though they have no intention of doing so. Some people do whatever they can to make sure their pet’s going to a good home and will receive proper care, and the flippers often promise this in order to get the free critter, even though they have no intention of keeping it. They often post it right back on craigslist with a $400 “rehoming fee” claiming that they don’t have time for it anymore so they’re doing “what’s right for the animal” and also it’s a purebred show dog/cat but, gee, I just can’t find the papers anywhere and that’s why it’s “only” $400 even though it’s worth sooo much more.

  11. Holybalheadedchrist! says:

    This just sounds like another pragmatic application of capitalist principles. At first I thought this was one of those “pets or meat” kinds of situations.

  12. AstroPig7 says:

    Either the flipper is experiencing some sort of anxiety over the issue or they just don’t about sounding uneducated. My guess is the latter, because this is a scummy thing to do—legal, but scummy.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      And here I fall victim to the law of correcting grammar: the one correcting will invariably make an error.

      • nutbastard says:

        Starting a sentence with “And”? Not capitalizing after a colon?

        Fuck, I just used two sentence fragments. You’re right.

      • rookie says:

        Invariably? Meaning, always? Constantly? Perpetually?
        Surely you meant inevitably…

        I now await my flogging…

  13. TheGreySpectre says:

    I don’t see how this is any different then people who go antiquing looking for good deals to resell.

    • AnonymousCoward says:

      Except that it’s a living being, and the original owner was giving it away for free in hopes of finding it a “good” home, not some nasty bitch that’s reselling it for a profit.

      • common_sense84 says:

        Whoa, whoa.

        Nasty bitch?

        A woman is taking cats someone does not want, is feeding them and taking care of them, and actively trying to sell them off to someone who wants to give them a good home.

        This is actually much better than a shelter, because a shelter would charge you to abandon your cats with them and then charge anyone wanting to adopt them.

        This sounds like a very good service. Shelters naturally will be against this type of thing, because they would rather make the money off the cats. They do not like competition.

        • AstroPig7 says:

          Actually, we don’t know how the flipper is treating these cats, because that information wasn’t provided in the article.

        • alexmmr says:

          When I worked for a shelter, I believe we invested a minimum of $300 in each animal brought in (standard health tests including FIV, Spay/Neuter services, microchipping, etc). If the animal was adopted the very next day for $80, we lost $220 on that cat. If the cat is with us longer, the bills for food, litter, medical care, etc, increase. I can assure you, no shelter is making a profit.

          And they love competition. Every cat that finds a home without the help of the shelter is one more cat that the shelter can save that wouldn’t otherwise be saved.

          I suspect that this woman takes the kittens and then sells them immediately. Once the kitten is about 6 months old, they become much more difficult to find homes for because the insane cute factor is gone. What does she do with the cats that she can’t find a buyer for? Yeah, getting dumped somewhere.

        • Pax says:

          A woman is taking cats someone does not want, […]

          You don’t know that the original owner didn’t want the kittens, only that she couldn’t keep them.

          And the flipper acquired them by lying.

        • whylime says:

          She wasn’t looking for someone to sell the kittens for her. She was perfectly fine trying to find a good home for the kittens herself. I think the fact that she clearly stated that she wanted the kittens back if the buyer ended up changing their mind shows that she was willing to keep the kittens for as long as it took her to find them a good home.

          You act is if this “Unique” woman was doing her a favor. She’s not. Who knows if she’s looking for a “good” home for these kittens or if she’s just dumping them on the first person who’ll give her the $50. She may be selling them off to animal testing facilities for all we know.

    • Pax says:


      That’s what makes it different.

      The flipper lied to the first woman, in order to convince her to part with the cats. The flippr presented herself as someone who wanted pets, who wanted the kittens for herself.

      And she didn’t. She never had the tiniest faintest glimmer of a shred of any such intent. She intended, all along, to sell them – and didn’t come right out and say “Hey, you know, I sell cats. I could take these guys off your hands, give them good care, and sell them to someone. You can stop paying for them, I can make a profit, and these little guys still get great homes. What do you say?”

      No; she LIED to the original owner, in order to get those kittens.

  14. SweetJustice says:

    Well…she clearly doesn’t know what “initially” means

  15. PhillipSC says:

    sounds like your kittens need a shrink wrap Licence like AutoCAD! … I hope you don’t have to actually wrap them… :p

  16. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    I think this is the first topical cat picture posted here since the “cash for clunker cats” article.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      If the image was truly topical, the Cat would be flipping.

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        Thankfully, being in a state of perpetual drunkenness comes to the rescue.

        I just open my glassy eyes a bit at the cat picture and it just spins and spins. I’m very impressed with the cat’s lateral flipping maneuvers.

  17. Joewithay says:

    Cat flippers disgust me just as much as Cat jugglers.

  18. isidore says:

    This is preposterous. You can’t flip a kitten, they always land on their feet!

  19. PanCake BuTT says:

    What a CATastrophe, I’m up hauled, & I don’t even live in Park Slope !

  20. Disappointed says:

    This is one of many reasons why “pets free to a good home” is a bad idea. There are people who want to sell them for a profit; people who feed the puppies and kittens to other animals, like large snakes; people who sell the puppies and kittens to labs to be experimented upon; etc.

    My recommendation is that, if you find yourself with unwanted pets, give them to a no-kill animal shelter or rescue organization, then get your cat or dog spayed. If you’re low on money, there are plenty of organizations who will spay or neuter your pet for a low cost. Heck, my county’s animal control department will spay or neuter the pet of a person on food stamps FOR FREE! Just Google “low cost neutering”.

    • raphaeladidas says:

      Absolutely. If you care about animals at all never, ever give away one for free.

    • howie_in_az says:

      Don’t just give them to a no-kill shelter, make a donation while you’re there.

      • Pax says:

        And donations don’t have to be cash, either.

        Food, cat litter, even toys may be welcome. Pet carriers, too – if your puppy outgrows his, and you buy a bigger one? Wash the old one out, and donate it.

  21. Pinkbox says:

    Honestly, the kittens might end up in better homes since the flipper is asking for a fee, whereas the original owner didn’t.

    At least, I’m hoping.

    • Michaela says:

      I thought the same thing. The first thing I learned about getting rid of baby pets was to always charge a fee (this usually attracts honest, good potential owners, and the fee can be dropped if you feel sure the situation is safe for the kitten or puppy). I know some people pick out puppies and kittens to use in the training of hunting dogs.

      • Pax says:

        I know some people pick out puppies and kittens to use in the training of hunting dogs.

        I did not want to know that.

        • zibby says:

          Whaa….? What kind of hunting dogs are we talking about here? What is the proposed game these dogs will be hunting? What is the proposed benefit of including a puppy or kitten in this training? Perhaps you meant fighting dogs?

    • ellemdee says:

      Flippers don’t care about screening the prospective home and will hand the pet over to the first person who shows up with the cash.

      • Sian says:

        Yeah, but why would a bad owner pay money for kittens when there’s so many out there for free?

        • ellemdee says:

          I see it happen all the time. Same reason people pay $1000 for a puppy from a pet store that likely came from a puppy mill. They somehow think they’re getting a better animal and flippers often make up a back story that makes the dog/cat seem more valuable…AKC registered but, oops, I can’t find the papers right now…it’s worth $1000, but since I can’t find the papers, I’ll let you have it for $400 (what a deal!)…the parents are champion show dogs, you can stud this dog out for a lot of money, etc. There are ads like this on craigslist all the time and, sadly, people buy it.

  22. Billy says:

    Well, if you really want to hit her where it hurts, call the cops. If she’s doing this a lot, she’s acting as an animal dealer/seller. Most likely, she’d need a license of some sort to do that. Check with your local and state prosecutors.

    • Ouze says:

      Really? Call the cops? Yes, I’m sure they’d type a report right up on their invisible typewriter, and then put it right in the Very Important Round File.

      • failurate says:

        We should only report the absolute most serious of crimes. Heck, let’s just toss out the law book for misdemeanors. Drunk driving? Who cares! Beat your wife? Why not! Unlicensed pet mills? Can I get a Hell Yeah!

      • Pax says:


        Call the police. Better yet, call the SPCA. In many cities, their officers are also POLICE OFFICERS, with full powers of arrest.

        Or haven’t you ever watched “Animal Cops” …?

        Oh, and here’s a trick: one of the places this is true? NEW YORK CITY. Meaning, Brooklyn. Where these cats were taken from.

      • Billy says:

        If this doesn’t fall under the purview of the police, they can direct you to who you are supposed to contact.

        Most likely, though, if this woman is carrying on a business without proper licensing, the only real remedy is some sort of police action.

  23. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    I Hate These People. Period.

    They are living beings – Not Property, you bitch.

  24. Wolfbird says:

    >Rescue organizations recommend sterilization for companion animals to reduce pet overpopulation.

    Whoops, fixed that for ya!

    That being said, what’s the problem here? In order for there to be a scam, I’m pretty sure that someone has to be ripped-off. Giving stuff away freely and getting angry that someone else is selling it is not a scam. I’m down with it if the point of the article is “don’t let it happen to you!”, but I don’t think its appropriate to trot out the word scam so much.

  25. backinpgh says:

    I love how she says “initially” she she means “technically.” Dumb people shouldn’t try to use big words.

  26. nutbastard says:

    “I’m not gonna sit here going back and fourth with you, then get excited and have an asthma attack.”

    not very bright, revealing you Achilles heel to your enemy. a little semi-legal harassment might cause some dangerous aggravation of her condition.

    please, dont anybody do that, because that would be wrong.

  27. econobiker says:

    Like any flip on craiglist the flipper should not get caught.

    Many times my wife and I grabbed “FREE!!!”- stuff from clean outs, curb alerts, people moving away, etc. We just figured on that we had several choices:
    trash the items
    keep the items
    repair or clean or store for resale- yardsale or craigslist or maybe ebay

    If the people seemed to be avid craiglist people we might wait sometime before re-listing the item or if we had too much stuff we would pull a fast yardsale to dump at below market prices.

    I do realize that most of this does not apply to kittens since they are live pets but the market is free. The give away person should not crank about the receiver reselling them as pets as the kittens could be received and then fed to a snake in some cases…

  28. n0th1ng says:

    I don’t see how this is a scam. If you are stupid enough to give away for free what you can sell don’t blame anyone but yourself.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      The issue isn’t that the donor is upset about not being able to make money. The issue is that the flipper lied about her intentions and took advantage of a service intended for people who actually wanted to give a kitten a good home. We have no idea what the flipper actually intends to do with the kittens or how she is treating them.

      • n0th1ng says:

        Just be glad she didn’t make them into soup.

      • n0th1ng says:

        I think when you give stuff away it should be just that, give them away and mot worry about peoples intentions. Like when people ask me for change for “food” I just give them if I can, if they want to go get drunk or shoot up oh well.

        • AstroPig7 says:

          With most freebies, I wouldn’t care so much. However, these are living animals we’re talking about. I’d also be indignant if the donor was giving away food to hungry people and some jackass took a portion just to turn around and sell it.

  29. common_sense84 says:

    I fail to see the problem with this.

    You got rid of the cats you did not want, and the person feeds them until they can sell them. What is the the problem?

    • Pax says:

      Why does everyone assume the kittens were unwanted …?

      More often, when I hear of people giving up animals … it’s not because they don’t want to keep them, it’s because they CANNOT keep them.

  30. jiarby says:

    sold…. to people with hungry pythons. Seriously.

  31. Mackinstyle1 says:

    The jerkwad in question has horrible English. Shocking that it’s a less than average intelligence person doing this.

  32. ekd says:

    Another example of why “free to good home” is a bad idea: A 4-H leader in WA was caught taking “free to good home” horses off of Craigslist, and taking them directly to the meat auction. Brought kids out to meet him and told the military guy deploying to Iraq they’d have a “good home”.

    (Horse was bought out of kill pen but ultimately euthanized for medical reasons)

  33. dannod says:

    There are worse things that could be done to a free kitten.

  34. sparc says:

    I’m not a pet owner, but isn’t the simple solution here to spay and neuter your pets? Don’t we already have too many cats in this country without homes?

    I look around in the neighborhood and there’s a few cats that just roam the streets.

    If this person is turning around these cats and giving them a good home, then more power to them.

    • Pax says:

      And who’s to say the mother-cat wasn’t already pregnant when the OP adopted her …? A cat which is a week or two pregnant, won’t look that different from a cat that isn’t pregnant at all. Especially not to an untrained eye!

  35. Master Medic: Now with more Haldol says:

    And yet we didn’t hear about how a sack of dead cats washed up on the east river. Seems like a win in my book..

  36. crb042 says:

    Could be worse. It’s *only* 100% commission. My stock broker sometimes nets more than that based on how he (mis)uses my money.

  37. sven.kirk says:

    People, please spay or neuter your pets please.

  38. sadolakced says:

    Or just spay and neuter your pets, people.

  39. Steve says:

    Isn’t a person who’s willing to pay for the cat more likely to take better care of it than someone who’d pick it up for free? Except for the “flipper’s” bad attitude and terrible grammar, this seems like a self-solving problem.

  40. redheadsrbest says:

    So, I read through the entire story on The Brooklyn Paper website, and I still wondered if this was secretly written for The Onion. Are we seriously giving this much attention to a woman who collects free cats and then sells them? It’s not like she’s drowning them in the river. What’s the big deal? If the initial owner was so terribly concerned about the future of these cats, she should have: A. kept them herself, B. gotten her cat fixed so that there weren’t any kittens to worry about in the first place, C. given them to a friend or neighbor so that she could check on them every day.

  41. UltimateOutsider says:

    It’s not a scam, and you should spay/neuter your pets instead of pumping out kittens/puppies you don’t want to keep. I’ve always been told never to give pets away for this and many more reasons. Just stop creating undesired life, though. It’s cruel and pointless.

    • Pax says:

      Way to make huge, baseless assumptions about hte OP, in order to shift the blame entirely on to her.

      And in the process, show the world what an ass you are.

  42. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    I want to know how this woman is selling kittens on Craigslist in the first place. You are not allowed to sell animals – those posts get pulled very quickly. You are only allowed to charge a reasonable adoption fee.

  43. zekebullseye says:

    “I just decide to find them homes…You still gave them away to me for free, no contract, once in my hand their [sic] initially mines. That means if I wanted to give them to my nieces, stranger walking the street, dad, or grandmother thats initially on me. … I’m not gonna sit here going back and fourth with you, then get excited and have an asthma attack.”

    She sounds stupid. I hope she’s reading this right now, getting excited about how I just insulted her. Go get your inhaler, honey, then sign up for some literacy classes.

    • Alexk says:

      Now, now, just because she’s a dishonest illiterate bitch doesn’t mean she’s stupid.

      It does mean she’s venal.

  44. Cantras says:

    Sometimes i sell stuff in-game in World of Warcraft, and the person who bought it will turn around and try to get a better price for it.

    BFD. I got the price I wanted for whatever I sold. Cat lady got the price she wanted for them (in this case, free). there may be a legality issue with her being a pet dealer and needing a license, as someone else said, but I see nothing legally or ethically wrong with what she’s doing (She”s snarky in her response, but it’d be hard to not be snarky at someone who got butthurt that you sold something that they could have sold but chose to give away instead.)

    • Pax says:

      The problem is not that the flipper made a profit.,

      The problem is that she lied in order to get the kittens in the first place.

  45. Mr.Grieves says:

    As long as the “scammer” isn’t treating the kittens bad while in her possession I don’t see a problem.

    If the giver awayer (lol don’t know what else to call her) doesn’t want to go through the hassle of actually trying to sell them for money that’s her fault, don’t get mad when someone capitalizes and does no harm to the cats.

    • Pax says:

      The problem isn’t that the flipper made a profit.

      The problem is that the flipper lied to the OP, in order to get the kittens in the first place.

  46. MuffinSangria says:

    OMG, is the kitty in the picture available? Soooo cute I could cry.

  47. inelegy says:

    How about this:

    1) Sell next litter of kittens yourself
    2) Use kitten-gained profits to get source-cat fixed
    3) Fixed cat = no more kittens = no more “kitten scammers”
    4) STFU

    • Geekmom says:

      Sometimes cats get pregnant before the vet says they’re old enough to get spayed.

      • webweazel says:

        Animals can be “fixed” at as little as 3-4 months. Even at as little as 6 weeks! Some vets don’t like to do it this early, but others do. Most animals can come into heat at 6 months. Females are always encouraged to be fixed BEFORE their first heat in order to cut down on the risk of breast cancer in the future.
        If you have a vet who won’t do the surgery WAY before the animal is able to become pregnant, you need to find a different vet.

        • Pax says:

          And if you adopt a stray, who – unbeknownst to you – is already pregnant?

          Don’t assume the OP is a horrible person, just because she had kittens she couldn’t keep.

  48. drburk says:

    You should always model cat sales after new home sales and create a contract where you get a paid each time the cat is sold.
    Really, it’s crummy but when you give things away it’s going to happen.

  49. kajillion123 says:

    Slope woman? Wow, what a racist article.

  50. Geekmom says:

    That stuff happens all the time. My neighbor picks up stray dogs and sells them on craigslist.
    She’ll buy a dog off craigslist and keep them 2 weeks to a month then sell them for a profit.
    Since I’ve known her in the past year she’s had 6 dogs, 1 cat, 1 hamster, a guinea pig, and who knows what else. I stopped socializing with her so I don’t know what she’s done in the last 3 months.

  51. SassySoy says:

    cold, but legit. you gave me something for a birthday present. I don’t want it. I sell it. Don’t bitch at me about me not liking it.

    • Pax says:

      The problem isn’t that the flipper made a profit.

      The problem is that the flipper lied to the OP, in order to get the kittens in the first place.

  52. classic10 says:

    I don’t think it is a scam. If someone gives you something for free and you sell it for profit. It may be unethical but it is not a scam.

    • Pax says:

      The problem isn’t that the flipper made a profit.

      The problem is that the flipper lied to the OP, in order to get the kittens in the first place.

  53. gogo8675309 says:

    i absolutely love this headline.

  54. buzz86us says:

    Well at least she wasn’t selling them to the local Chinese restaurant, or worse for cat juggling. Nonetheless this is an evil thing to do.

  55. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    Good Lord – I’ve heard about this – cat flipping! Stop! Stop! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Good. Father, could there be a God that would let this happen?

  56. fsnuffer says:

    Cue the Steve Martin and the cat juggling video

  57. Urgleglurk says:

    Giving up pets free isn’t a good idea, anyway. There are folks known as “bundlers” that gather up free pets and sell them to laboratories. Always put a price on pets rather than give them away to strangers.

    I don’t think the sub really has grounds to complain. She did give them up for free. That means she lost all control over what happens to them afterwards. (FWIW, I’m in rescue myself. We don’t make a profit – We’re lucky if we can break even after vet bills, etc.)

    • Pax says:

      The problem is not that the flipper made a profit.,

      The problem is that she lied in order to get the kittens in the first place.

  58. RandomHookup says:

    Oh, Dunderbeck, Oh, Dunderbeck! How could you be so mean?
    I told you you’d be sorry for inventing that machine.
    For all the neighbor’s dogs and cats will never more be seen;
    They’ll all be ground to sausage meat in Dunderbeck’s machine!

  59. Abradax says:

    Who buys a pet unless they are purebred and have papers?

    My wife and I just picked up a new puppy for our little girls last night from a lady who advertised on Craigslist.

    So far so good.

  60. MrEvil says:

    I don’t see any real difference between what the woman did and others who take “free” calves from a dairy and then re-sell them. Heck, my dad and I have considered doing that (the cows, not kittens). Better those cows get a chance to roam free on the range than be tied up for veal.

  61. damageddude says:

    It is not a scam. The first owner gave the kittens to the second owners. Despite her orally saying (apparently) she wanted them back if the new owner wasn’t going to keep them, those words are worth the paper they are written on. New owner is free to do what she wants to with her kittens (outside of fraud, animal torture laws etc of course). Next time first owner should try selling the kittens herself.

  62. PBallRaven says:

    Could have sworn Craigslist had a “no animal ads” policy…

  63. 4Real says:

    I sold some kittens my cat had for $5. But if you want to get a kitty at a shelter they charge $80 that is insane. They shouldnt charge more then $20 for kitties that way more people could afford the adoption fee.

  64. DanGarion says:

    Scam… no? Shady… maybe. It’s not the resellers fault that the person giving away the kittens was just giving them away.

    • Pax says:

      The problem is not that the flipper made a profit.,

      The problem is that she lied in order to get the kittens in the first place.

  65. bwcbwc says:

    That wouldn’t fly where I live. If you advertise kittens here you have to have a breeder’s license.

  66. CosmicCowgirlKookaburraKiller says:

    I blame the OP. Everybody knows when distributing animals, even if you aren’t after a profit, you must charge some sort off fee to discourage those with less honourable intentions. A good mate of mine breeds rats for the love of it, and the only reason she charges people for them is to ensure they go to good homes and don’t end up as feed. If she knows you personally and is confident that the rats will be loved and taken care of then she will give them away for free, but says the amount of people who get up to shady stuff with animals they get for free just isn’t worth the risk otherwise.