I lost my cat in July 2019, and after a few months we assumed it was unfortunately eaten by a coyote.

These days on local Facebook groups I've seen pictures of somebody looking for their lost pets. I was a bit shaken because the cat was absolutely identical in pictures.

My cat had a chip and I have the paperwork.

I have zero proof whatsoever, but I am thinking about the hypothetical case where this "lost cat" seen on Facebook would be actually mine, from a neighbor that had taken custody and care of him when they found him lost.

In this hypothetical situation, what kind of action do I have? Can I request and identification of the cat (I'd have to be in contact of the person that claims it's theirs)? Can I involve authorities?

The cat had its chip implanted in France and I now live in California. The cat was lost in California. I have not registered the chip in the US, I don't know if there a procedure to do so. The cat was lost once (and recovered) in California before, and a shelter was able to read the chip and indicate that it was a French chip. So the chip is compatible, but it may or may be not registered in public databases (I don't even know if there is a worldwide or unique source of chips and database).

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    I think this question is better asked on the Law StackExchange. It is about pets but the legal steps you are able to take are the more important part of the question – SerenaT Dec 18 '20 at 7:34
  • In my opinion, nothing speaks against an message to the new owner, and ask them, if it was a stray before. If they say "N we got it from a breeder" you can decide new. I am not sure, if the cat could get lost in the neighborhood, because they have goof orientation I though. – Allerleirauh Dec 18 '20 at 13:07
  • @Allerleirauh: I sent them a text but they didn't reply. I'll try to call them. But if it was indeed stolen, they won't answer me because they probably don't want to hand him over... – Benoit Duffez Dec 18 '20 at 13:09
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    If I were someone with a cat and someone would say "this is mine" I would not take attention without reasonable proof, especially, if I did an appeal on facebook, where a lots of strange people would write strange things. You could try to proof them the similarity of the cat and that you want to be sure it is not yours. And in case they would not help you, you could (friendly) inform them, that you will take help from official side. Maybe then they would pay attention. (But write all in a friendly manner, like it would be a misunderstanding and nobody should be blamed for it.... – Allerleirauh Dec 18 '20 at 14:50
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    Your post implies that the cat in question isn’t physically available for checking - as the other poster is looking for a “lost cat” again? – Stephie Dec 18 '20 at 15:22

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