Meet Quilty: The Houston shelter cat that won't be contained

A cat’s escape tricks at a Houston animal shelter may have landed him a home.

HOUSTON – A cat’s escape tricks at a Houston animal shelter may have landed him a home.

For Quilty, a 6-year-old cat at the Friends For Life Animal Rescue and Adoption Shelter, escaping confinement was easy, but how not to get caught by shelter workers would take some skills.

“He has gotten out quite a few times," said shelter employee Beth Brown. “The last straw on the camel’s back was the day he let them out three times in a row, in the middle of the afternoon, with us watching him.”

Brown said the first escape happened while the shelter was closed for the night. Employees returned to the shelter one morning to find 12 cats running amok.

“One cat had peed on the mouse pad," Brown said. "One cat had pooped in the donation bin. Things were on the floor.”

Surveillance video around the shelter gave employees an idea of who was the culprit. Cameras never caught Quilty with dirty paws, but video did show him as the first cat to leave the senior cat room. So, shelter workers tried locking Quilty up in his own kennel. He escaped. They tried several other methods, but each time the crafty cat outsmarted everyone.

“He did not want to be confined. He did not want to be contained," said Lena Lieb, the shelter's development director. "(He) had no shame, and Quilty has such a big personality.”

So how did Quilty do it? Shelter workers suspect he would jump on the door handle and let himself and his fellow felines out. Can you really blame him? Quilty had a taste of freedom before. He was first adopted from the shelter in 2013. In August, his owner returned him to the shelter when she moved.

Quilty’s door opening skills have garnered a large social media following on the shelter’s Facebook page. His Instagram account has more than 32,000 followers. He even has his own apparel, with proceeds from purchases going back to the shelter to help other animals. He's even got his own stickers for sale at the shelter's website.


Quilty will not be contained. And he has no shame. Quilty loves to let cats out of the senior room. Repeatedly. Several...

Posted by Friends For Life Animal Rescue and Adoption Organization - Houston on Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Quilty is currently on a weeklong sleepover with a potential adoptive family.

“As far as I know he hasn’t let the dogs out into the world," Brown joked. "So that’s good. I’m waiting for that call.”