An Australian Woman Tried To Swap Her Kitten For An iPad Online

You can find all sorts of cool stuff on Gumtree. It's like the Trading Post, really, only if you look hard enough you'll find it's laden with nutbags. Like this lady, who yesterday thought it would be a good idea to put up her kitten for trade. The price? Either an iPad, iPhone 5 or $700. I can has WTF?

According to the Herald Sun, the Victorian woman put up a Gumtree ad yesterday saying that she'd trade her eight-month old Russian Blue purebred — a gorgeous little kitty — for some Apple gadget goodness.

Naturally, the ad was taken down and the RSPCA went ballistic:

We'd encourage her to surrender the kitten and let us give it the second chance it deserves

Damn right. It's heartbreaking to think that this could go on. For shame you disgraceful nutbag.

[Herald Sun]

Russian Blue image via Shutterstock



    Wait. What's the issue here? Is it wrong to sell your pet?

      It's wrong to expect that you can swap a pet for a tablet. It's a living thing...

        I don't know, I personally wouldn't do it, but I don't really see how it's different to selling it and then buying an iPad with the money.

          i got the impression that the seller isnt giving up the cat because she can no longer look after it for a legitimate reason (eg: financial, cant have pets in an apartment, moving overseas etc).

          The seller just wants an iPad & it looking to trade a living creature for it, as if the cat is worthless to her. worth less than a crappy iPad at least.

          I'd take a cat, which is capable of showing affection & giving companionship over a disposable bit of tech any day.

            That's not what the original article says

            She said she was left with no choice after her landlord threatened to evict her. "I'm not being irresponsible, I am trying to find a good home for my kitten," the woman said.

            Sometimes it pays to read the source link.

            Last edited 19/02/13 11:46 am

              fair enough, but in that case, i'd still think the owner would be a bit more tactful about it.

              something like
              'I dont want to give my cat up, but as i have no choice, i reluctantly offer my pet for sale for $X'
              sounds much more compassionate than
              'i'll trade my cat for an iPad'

              I mean, this animal has shown affection & companionship to its owner, so it should be treated in a similar way.

              I dont think theres anything wrong with selling a pet, but treat the poor animal with some respect.

                I guess, but I don't really think you can judge a persons feelings from the language they use in a Gumtree ad.

                The original ad was taken down, so do we even know how it was worded?

                  true, I just know that if I had to get rid of my cat or dog, I'd be far more interested in making sure they get to live with a good family than how much I'd sell them for.

                  Hell, in truth, I'd feel odd taking any money for a pet.

                  Hell, in truth, I'd feel odd taking any money for a pet.

                  Why? Presumably you parted with money for pets in the past. What's so odd about receiving money for a pet? I mean, if you're selling your 14 year old cat or dog, that is a bit odd, but mostly because the animal has already bonded with you so heavily (though that's not such an issue with cats in my experience) and is already so old that it sort of defeats the purpose of pet ownership.
                  But if you have a kitten that's 8 weeks old (about old enough to qualify as a Xmas present, wouldn't you say?), then why not sell it if you don't want it?

                Considering that the original ad was taken down and all we have are news articles featuring it, it is incredibly likely that the story has been dramatic sensationalised to sell better. Honestly ask your self, how many people do you know that would sell a family pet for a piece of tech.

              "Sometimes it pays to read the source link."

              I agree. People get on fora, such as these, and sprout their own form of "religion" without even bothering to READ and UNDERSTAND the entire article.

            To be honest. the only way to remotely find out her motives is to ask the landlord whether the eviction story is true.

        So selling a pet for money, and using that money to buy an iPad is alright but trading a pet directly for an iPad isn't?

        Seems like strange logic to me.

          yea seriously, very strange. what actual difference is there between the 2 outcomes.

          Scenario 1: Kitteh for cash:
          - Party A gets what they want, as does party B.

          Scenario 2: Kitteh for iPad
          - Party A gets what they want, as does party B.

          The only thing I see is that she is potentially reducing the possibility of finding a suitable party B by looking for a specific item of trade.

          I love kitteh's and i have one myself but i don't see what this storm in a tea cup is about.

            i think its about tact.

            placing a value on an animal in dollars & cents is one thing, but explicitly saying that its worth a (second hand) iPad feels different. Especially when its something as 'disposable' as a tablet that gets a new version every year.

            fine, sell your cat, buy an iPad with the proceeds, but theres no need to say that up front.

              iPads have a potential for greater value though, where local money purely has a monetary value, iPads and other 'objects' can have sentimental value, productivity value etc. Don't underestimate the value of something to someone else.
              Or perhaps she can't afford an iPad for a nephews/niece's birthday present, needs to get rid of the cat, so this would solve her problems.

                Or maybe she is an aspiring app developer who wants an iPad so that she can finally make her dreams come true. The loss of her beloved pet is lessened by her new beginnings.

              No it's just silver lining to cover up the awful truth that we trade living animals freely, all the time. This is just PC brigade gone way over the top. Seriously, harden the f**k up.

              were you dropped on your head as a baby?

                because I have a different opinion regarding putting a value on unquantifiable things like the affection & companionship offered by a pet & how I dont think those things are worth a shitty piece of gimicky technology, you think I have brain damage?

                well done. have yourself a cookie. & grow up.

                  because you think that trading it for $500 is different from trading for a physical good worth $500, yes, you were dropped as a baby.

                  You seem to be implying there is more humanity in money than in gadgets.

              So you believe it's fine to sell the cat for money and you'd feel better not knowing what they did with the money?
              I don't know about you, but I'd feel relieved to know the $700 I gave her for the cat is going towards a piece of technology than drugs, alcohol, or a night out on the pokies. How about you?

                To me, all this sounds very reasonable and from what I've read from the article, she seems very responsible. She was (supposedly) threatened eviction, she had to get rid of the cat. It doesn't matter how you look at it, and it doesn't matter that she wants an iPad or cash for it, the fact remains that she HAS to get rid of the cat. If she can benefit from losing something she loves, if only partly, then that's a bonus. No doubt she realizes she's losing more than what she's gaining, but it's better than NOT gaining anything at all out of her situation.

                @35, grow up.

        'It's wrong to expect that you can swap a pet for money. It's a living thing...'

        Unless you are trying to argue that animals can't be bought and sold, the argument is nonsense.

        nothing wrong here at all, same as selling the Cat. need better articles now

        Money isn't living, yet millions of people swap pets for money every day. Everything and everyone has a monetary value, I know you think you are special, a snow flake that falls on a pine cone in virgin forrest, but it's true. You have a salary, pay taxes, and the state sees you as future expense based on likely hood of you being ill or having an accident. you are then assigned a monetary value. This value is used to work out expendature on services. It may seem inhuman, but humans do this to other humans every day, including you, you special one of a kind princess.

        Last edited 19/02/13 1:55 pm

        Pet shop owner do this all the time! They sell enough cats so they can buy a BMW... People sell their pets all the time, because they can't look after them or are moving or just decided cat shit stinks and takes skill to look after a cat... She's worked out her life would be more efficient with a communications device rather than a cat.

        Cats are vermine... presumably the woman decided she didn't like the company of a leeching parasite that decimates local wild life and felt she may be able to trade it for a piece of tech that didn't put her at risk of contracting Toxoplasma gondii.

        I honestly don't see what you're outraged about here... sure it's a living thing, but we SELL cats to begin with - just like we SELL cattle, sheep, horses, dogs and all manner of other living things. Why shouldn't someone be allowed to trade an animal for an inanimate object? Are you presuming the person on the other end of the trade (the animal recipient) will some how be a cruel monster? And if so, on what basis?

      I'll swap my new iPad for your firstborn.

    Yeah, I don't get what the fuss is? Did she say she was willing to post the cat or something?

    If the woman felt that she was no longer in a position to look after the cat at an appropriate level isn't she within her rights to sell that cat? From a quick Google search $700 seems like a reasonable price for this particular breed. If you want to use that money to buy an iPad/iPhone I don't see the harm in saying that you'll accept a trade.

    I'd take the Kitten for $700. Not entirely easy to find purebred Russians.

    Last edited 19/02/13 11:33 am

    What a stupid thing to get up in arms about. Would you get upset if she sold it for $700, then used the money to purchase an iPad? Probably not.

    So if you read the article Luke, you'd know she's being threatened with an eviction notice because of owning the cat. And if you knew what the price of a purebred Russian Blue was, you'd try and sell it as well rather than giving it away for free, in all likelihood, the owner probably paid for it via a breeder.
    Chances are, someone who's keen to pay $700 for cat would look after it, she's looking for a good home. Yes I realise the real issue here is someone is trading an animal for a piece of technology, but if the current owner was going to buy an iPad afterwards anyway, is it that big of a stretch to eliminate step B and going straight to C?

    I'm agreeing with Jacrench here, do you have a problem with this website too? - Selling animals is nothing new.

    Exactly what is the RSPCA mad about? That she tried to sell her pet instead of giving it to a shelter out of the goodness of her heart? People sell pets all the time. I expect this kind of stupid overreaction from the PETA not them.

    Unless Luke left out some key details from the article.

      I would much rather sell my pet, even if all I could get was a lousy 2nd hand iPad, than surrender it to the RSPCA. I strongly doubt someone willing to pay hundreds of dollars for an animal would then proceed to kill it 4 weeks later.

      Unlike the RSPCA.

    Evidently no one has heard of the barter system...

    It seems the primary issue here is the welfare of the animal, which apparently is in question because of the nature of the trade.

    It's not like she's willing to palm it off for a bag of magic beans. One could easily argue that if you're willing to part with something of high value (regardless of what it is) for another item, you are serious about what you're getting in return.

    $700 cash, or an item worth about as much... someone that makes the trade will very likely be serious about wanting the animal and looking after its welfare.

    Last edited 19/02/13 11:50 am

      Exactly, no one gives someone an iPad, iPhone or $700 so they can gain a cat to neglect/harm.

    This whole story is such a beat up - unless you are appalled by selling a cat at all, why the difference between $700 or an ipad? Good work on getting a Russian Blue for the photo though. They are great cats - I hope it gets to a good home.

    What's wrong with all you people? Even if she's giving up her cat to find it a good home, she's giving it up for a bloody iPad, a piece of technology that she won't use in a couple of years time! A cat is a companion that you'll have for nearly 15 years!

      A companion she can't keep anyway.

      Well then buy an iPad just to trade for the cat then if you think it's such a steal

      Sorry, but that's just nonsense. The cat is 8 weeks old, which puts it in prime xmas present territory. Isn't it fair enough for a person to decide to sell a juvenile animal that they don't want? One which can still bond with another human being? And if they can sell it, then why can't they trade it? Who are you to decide that cash is less reprehensible than a piece of useful tech that another person may not need?

      And anyway, what if the cat was given to her by some silly cat lover who can't understand how anyone couldn't be overjoyed at the thought of a leech bothering them for 15 years? This happened to my father, and he dutifully looked after the thing for years in spite of considering it little more than a pest. In fact he seemed positively relieved when thing passed on. It's worth remembering that cats are a veritable WMD for local wildlife, and there's a quite fair argument to be made for making them illegal for the greater good of biodiversity in this country.

      At the end of the day this is so far from being an example of animal mistreatment it's just ridiculous. The cat doesn't bloody know that it's being traded for an iPad, all it would understand that it was moving to a new environment with a new walking food dispenser; all this outrage is people getting upset of some misplaced nonsense about the symbolism of someone engaging in barter instead of sticking to cash. BLASPHEMY!

        "Isn't it fair enough for a person to decide to sell a juvenile animal that they don't want? "

        You need to understand that she's selling/trading it NOT because she doesn't want it, but because she HAS to get rid of it or face eviction. There is a big difference between the two.

        Selling the cat because she doesn't give a shit about it is one thing.
        Selling the cat because she'll otherwise be homeless is another.

        Can people please understand the differences between the two before arguing? Thanks.

          You completely missed the point of my comment, but thanks anyway I guess for the clarification on that rather contentious and moot point...

          Look, the reality is that we don't actually know if she really was going to be evicted, she just said the to the papers after the animal rights people got their nickers in a twist. Ultimately it's unimportant whether its true however (and I still think it's more likely the cat was an xmas present given that it's 8 weeks that she's had it), because the point is that she should be free to sell/trade a new pet irrespective of the reason.

    Doses she not know that the landlord has to prove the cat is doing damage to the property before they can evict her...

    Essentially it's the landlord who should be the one in trouble for being cruel to animals.

      I don't think that is true at all. I'm 99% sure most leases have a clause saying you can't have a pet, and presumably she got busted. If she lives in an apartment with certain by-laws, she definitely couldn't have one then either.

      I wish it were otherwise, but I don't think it is.

      no, if the tennant signed a lease that stated no pets, then she is in breach of agreement. this is the most likely cause of concern.

      Most landlords and real estate managers have claimed the use of no pets clauses because of allergen concerns for future tennants, as well as additional upkeep to the premises.

      However, the standard residential tennancy act doesn't not mention pets, so the pets clause is as additional form or paragraph that the tennant has to sign, she would have known moving into the place that she wasn't allowed pets.

    It's not unusual to trade an animal for an object that has value, cash is normally that object. As with others I don't really see what the fuss is about, $700 cash or $700 worth of ipad... It's the same transaction.

    Pretty sure if you don't have a cat on your lease, and you get one, they can kick you out or ask you to get rid of the cat... Common sense there.

    The landlord isn't being cruel to animals. They are enforcing their right to protect the home owners property. It was the lady that made a bad choice getting the cat without getting it added to the lease, and she has the option to move and keep the cat.

    yeah this article completely ridiculous.

    I think you (Luke) should apologise for calling her a 'disgraceful nutbag' unless you can prove any maltreatment to the cat.

    This is a really big topic probably not suited for Gizmodo.

    Unfortunately some people think animals like dogs & cats are materialistic but they are actually living beings.

    Another thing that happens often is "little girl wants dog, begs mum/dad, girl has short enjoyment, dog gets big and now becomes an inconvenience so its now neglected/abused and doesn't get walked, dog gets bored and barks all day, neighbors get frustrated with noise, dog ends up getting put down or traded because it was deemed naughty".

    Some families, take the route of dumping the pet in another location far far away when they go on holiday, little girl asks, "wheres the dog", dad replies "must of run away", girl says "aww.... can we get another one?"

    So what i'm trying to say is acts like these are common, as evident by the people commenting here that are 'ok' with people selling their pet for an iPad.

    If i had it my way, I'd criminalize acts like this, pets are for life people!

      I find it odd that people are more concerned about the welfare of a cat or dog than other people.

      So if you had a pet, and then a child, and that child is allergic to the pet, do you chose the pet over the child? Because pets are for life right?

      Circumstances change, such is life. She's not breaking the law, she's not doing anything different than the sale of a pet from a pet store.

      No one here is arguing that abandoning pets is fine. We're just all in agreement that trading a pet for an item is no different to selling it, and therefore not deemed wrong.
      If you think what she's doing is wrong, then all sales of pets should be outlawed. Good luck dealing with strays then, because you'll find people will be happier abandoning their pets' offspring than going to the effort of finding them a home for free.

      Also, read the original article, she's getting ride of it because she has to. She's just making a buck in the process.

      Last edited 19/02/13 1:52 pm

      If i had it my way, I'd criminalize acts like this

      If you criminalised the selling of pets then there would be no pets.

      So what i'm trying to say is acts like these are common, as evident by the people commenting here that are 'ok' with people selling their pet for an iPad.

      I find it deeply offensive that you group people who would sell a pet they could no longer keep with people who abandon or mistreat animals.

        What i meant was criminalize the act of abandoning the pet so easily, this would have to be moderated obviously by say the RSPCA with a darn good reason, such as a reason your new born child is highly allergic to the animal, then this would be acceptable, giving up your pet for an iPad would bring the wrath of the RSPCA down on you, just like what they are saying now.

        I did read the article(some sad comments btw), more than likely her tenant agreement stated "no pets", yet she got one anyway, how irresponsible is that? she now again is irresponsible by abandoning her pet for an iPad.

          Perhaps she's being responsible by trading the cat away to someone more responsible.

      You'd criminalise acts like what, exactly? Selling a pet? So you'd prefer to outlaw commercial breeders who are trained and qualified to breed and raise animals with care, and force anyone who wants a pet of their own to what...only ever pick up strays off the street? Did you even think this through?

    I assume she paid money or the cat in the fist place, so the cat obviously has a monetary value, this woman thinks that value is about the same price as an iPad, which looking online... is about right. This isn't a story at all. Peopl epay money for animals litterally every second of every day, she has just saying it doesn't HAVE to be cash.

    The RSPCA would rather her what? get the thing destroyed or let it free into the wild for it to decimate local fauna? I understand they love animals, you obviouly have to to work for the RSPCA, but let this woman accept payment in anyway she feels fit, iPads, Cash or Freddo Frogs... stay out of her business.

    I think you calling her a nut bag is more insulting than the woman selling the kitten online, no matter what the price. Shame, Luke... Shame.

    Last edited 19/02/13 1:34 pm

    I can't get over how upset everyone is getting about this.

    I really don't see the problem here, if someone is willing to pay $700 for the kitten they will look after it. At the end of the day she is trading the animal for something of value x be it money, gold or an iPad.

    Are people arguing she should give it away for free? Or that she should get money for it and then buy the iPad. What on earth is the difference?

    With the ipad she can look at cat photos on tumblr.

    Seriously who cares? It's a cat not a baby (even though cats are cooler)

    While there is nothing wrong with the idea of trading something for something else of value it still doesn't sit right with me. I would not trade any of my 'pound special' cats for a gadget simply because I love them way too much. Even if I had to get rid of them for some horrendous reason I would be giving them away for free because I can't assign a dollar value to their lives.

    To me it just didn't seem like her heart was in it which makes me question why she had the cat in the first place.

      If you really loved your cats there's no way in hell you'd give them away for free. That's just asking for them to be adopted by irresponsible idiots who couldn't care less about them. Giving away your pets for free is essentially the same thing as saying they're worthless.

      Last edited 19/02/13 4:18 pm

    I don't understand. This is how a Barter system works. Are we now saying you can't barter one item for another item if one is a living thing? Money was partly created to make swapping 1 cow for 40 chickens easier.

    Who cares? Stupid story. Stop bringing Herald Sun rubbish to this website.

    Honestly, I feel like some Giz writers treat this place as their own personal blog sometimes.

    Isn't there an editorial procedure set up?

    Gotta laugh! The original article (on Herald Sun) has half the number of comments compared to here.

    BTW - I got my first dog for an old TV and 50 bucks. I loved him dearly and he was my best mate for 17 years.

    Gizmodo- trolling the internet for fun and profit since 2000-something.

    I'm honestly biggest animal softy ever (I take in several baby magpies each year that need many hours spent on their care, I avoid stepping on ants, I have an elderly pet chook I adore even though she has dementia and attacks me or any other living thing on sight)

    Kitten for iPad? Totally deal. Kittens are free! Anyone who can afford an iPad is probably going to treat that kitten to an extremely good life.

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