There's no protection in law for cats that are on someone else's property. If cat owners don't want their cats to be shot then they should keep them indoors. This myth that if they are wearing a collar then you are committing an act of criminal damage is nonsense. There is no legal obligation to report any vehicle strikes involving cats. If they were viewed as a persons property, in law, then a reporting system, as is in place for dogs, cattle, horses, etc, would be in place. I think you'll find that the act of allowing your cat to roam, unchecked, is wilful abandonment and your rights are diminished due to your duty of care being discharged.
You should listen to Matt.
Just because someone else's property is on your property doesn't mean that it ceases to be their property. You are under an obligation to return it in good condition be it a football or an pet animal such as a cat.
If you fail to return it you commit a criminal act of theft (a dishonest appropriation of property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it) and the civil tort of conversion (where you treat someone else's property as your own - which opens up the way for you to be liable in damages. Conversion does not require theft).
If you damage it you commit criminal damage (A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of an offence). The only lawful excuse here for shooting domestic animals that I'm aware of is dogs with a shotgun to prevent livestock damage and only then as a last resort.
Demanding a payment for the return of someone else's property constitutes blackmail.
I'm guessing your basing your opinion on cats on the positions of deer. But deer are different as they are treated as wild animals and thus no-ones property.
Edited by Alsone, 15 July 2013 - 09:52 am.