How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
Type Your Law Question Here...
James Mather is online now

Hello, After moving into my new business unit, a cat unknown

Customer Question


After moving into my new business unit, a cat unknown to ourselves wandered into the building and set the security alarm off that evening.
There was a call out charge of 90.00 plus vat .
The cat also decided to fall into a small area and the RSPCA were called . They recommended that the wall be broken into to release the cat. This failed and the cat remained for another 4 days and in this time the alarm could not be set. Finally after laying a trap of grout powder we could see that the cat was still in the building and was found the next morning.
My question is , do I have the right to charge the owner for the call out and the 25.00 repairs to the wall.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High
Street practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008.
During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousand's of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in
minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case.

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully.

Do you know who the owner is?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello Yes the owner is from a property nearby and came to our business daily with cat food . On several occasions the mother of the owner asked if she owed us anything and we said we didnt know until the cat had been found.

It wasnt until after the cat was found and returned that the alarm security firm sent through their bill. (they have keys to the property and came out to site to check for intruders )


I have sent a letter to the owner stating the costs incurred and asking for reimbursement and she has replied that a cat is allowed to roam and that she is not liable. I would just like to check.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

sorry to have to tell you that under the 1971 Animals Act, cats became free
spirits. Before that, the owners could be responsible. They are excluded from the
definition of livestock under the Act and therefore they cannot be held guilty
of trespass under civil law and therefore their owners cannot be liable for any
damage done in any damage resulting from any's actions.

If a
cat kills birds in an aviary, there is nothing that the owner can do and
similarly, if it digs up plants, there is nothing the gardener can do.

is also case law of the same effect. The situation is different for a dog but I'm
afraid not from a cat.

sorry, I appreciate that this is not the answer you wanted but there is no
point in me misleading you. I have a duty to advise you truthfully and honestly
even if that answer is unfavourable. For once, the neighbour is right.

Please don't forget to
positively rate my answer service even if it was not what you wanted to hear. You
should now see a series of buttons which enable you to rate my answer service

If you don't rate it positively, then the site keep your deposit and I get 0
for my time. It is imperative that you give my answer a positive rating.

It doesn't give me, "a pat on the head", "good boy" (like ebay), it is my

If in ratings you feel that you expected more or it only helped a little,
please ask.

The thread does remain open for me to answer follow-up questions after rating
my answer service.