Meet Quilty, The Heroic Shelter Cat Who Loves To Break His Cat Friends Out Of Their Cages

by Angela Andaloro

Cats are known to be a little sneaky. They like to do their own thing, and often that involves some mischief for others.

There’s no better example of a cat’s carefree attitude than Quilty, a shelter cat who found a home at the Friends for Life animal shelter in Houston, Texas.

Quilty is a rambunctious 6-year-old cat who isn’t a fan of containment. He regularly breaks out of his own enclosure, often doing so multiple times a day. If you think that one runaway cat sounds like trouble, you’d be right. It’s not because Quilty is trying to get away and cause trouble throughout the shelter.

Rather, it’s because his heart tells him that his other cat friends would also like to be free. That’s right: Quilty isn’t just an escape artist but a rebel. He gets out to then let the other cats in the room with him out of their own enclosures.

A Houston, Texas, animal shelter found itself with quite the task. Staff there have been caring for a cat who is also a verified escape artist. His name is Quilty, and he was brought to the Friends for Life shelter.

The 6-year-old cat has been driving all the kindhearted people at the shelter insane. He manages to escape his enclosure frequently. Sometimes, he even manages to escape the cat room altogether.

Quilty isn’t selfish in his escapes. When given the opportunity, he’ll also let other cats out of their enclosures. “Quilty will not be contained. And he has no shame. Quilty loves to let cats out of the senior room. Repeatedly. Several times a day,” the shelter shared on its Facebook page.

To keep Quilty from busting his friends out, the room needed to be modified. Quilty hung out in the lobby while the staff worked to “Quilty-proof” the room. “His roommates missed him while he was banished to the lobby. They enjoyed their nighttime escapades around the shelter. The staff, however, did not miss the morning cat wrangling, so we’ll just have to agree to disagree there,” staff shared.

Friends for Life learned that this isn’t a new thing for Quilty. “Apparently this is not a new skill he learned here at the shelter; he used to let his dog sibling in the house at his old home,” staff noted. Quilty just yearns to be free.

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I will not be contained. #freeQuilty

A post shared by Quilty (@free_quilty) on

The Facebook post went viral. Before Quilty knew it, he found himself with a whole fan base. Friends for Life staff then started updating the Quilty fans on his shenanigans. “Update: Quilty’s review with the parole board was denied, so he released himself of his own recognizance today,” they joked on Halloween.

“To reacclimate to the room (and all his roommates), Quilty had to go into the integration kennel in the room (we do this with all the cats when they join the room),” they shared days later. “THE DISPLEASURE! He is being a spicy [expletive] now because he is, once again, contained.”

Quilty has become so popular that Friends for Life now offers Quilty merch. He also has his own hashtag, #FreeQuilty. He even has his own Instagram account, which has amassed more than 50,000 followers.

Of course, they received a lot of inquiries about adopting Quilty. It’s great to see that these animals who are full of personality are also in high demand. For Quilty, his escape antics led to a lot of interest in finding him a forever home.

Quilty went on a week-long sleepover with a person who was interested in giving him a forever home. Quilty’s potential new family sent updates to Friends for Life. Quilty had a blast cuddling with that person and the dogs who live there.

It turns out that Quilty can handle containment in the form of a hug. “He has really taken over the role of King of the house. He loves to be held like a baby and have his tummy rubbed and looks down on his human minions to do his bidding. He has us all wrapped around his paws for sure!” his potential new human shared.

Just three days ago, we learned that Quilty made that home his forever home. “The #freeQuilty movement is about overcoming all the knobs that stand in our way. Some knobs are people and some are policies… advocated by people who… are knobs. Together, we are going after them,” his new human shared.

“Ruthlessly. Relentlessly. On the interwebs. In donning our freeQuilty gear. Because, not to put too fine a point on it, it isn’t the doors that are the problem—it’s the knobs,” Quilty’s human concluded. We couldn’t agree more. Quilty is just one of many crusaders for freedom and comfort for all.

Quilty may have left the shelter, but he’s still thinking about his old buddies. There have been posts boosting other cats who spent time with Quilty. Hopefully, they all overcome the knobs and find their forever homes.