Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Should Kitten Flipping Be a Crime?

First, we should say that we have received no reports of kitten flipping in the Washington, DC area. So far kitten flipping seems confined to Brooklyn, New York. But it's such an inventive scam that chances are good it will appear here in the Washington, DC area soon, or it's already here and just under the radar.

Oh, what's kitten flipping?

Kitten flipping is when you graciously accept somebody's free kitten and then sell it for a profit. That's exactly what a "serial cat flipper" in Brooklyn has been doing, reports The Brooklyn Paper. This Brooklyn resident, who goes by the name, "Unique," has been collecting free kittens from multiple Craigslist offers and then selling them for $50 each, a tidy profit. When one of the people who was giving away the cats found out, she said, "I saw my three kittens on Craigslist that I had just given away and I became hysterical, crying. I was a mess." According to The Brooklyn Paper, the cat-flipper was unashamed of her business, and responded to one of the cat-giveaway posters, "I just decide to find them homes...I’m not gonna sit here going back and forth with you, then get excited and have an asthma attack."

Flipping things bought or found on Craigslist goes on all the time. In fact, there are how-to articles on how to flip items from Craigslist. If you're creative and persistent, you can even do amazing things by flipping, as one teen did when he flipped a used cellphone into a Porsche, though multiple flips.

Giving away a cat? It's giver beware.


  1. It's unethical, but I wouldn't consider it a crime. I thought when you wrote kitten flipping, I had pictured kids taking cats and 'flipping' them physically somehow. :)
    That would be a horrible crime.

  2. after I saw this, it totally reminded that for example frequent items people sell right here yes on this listerv, involves something they won (a computer) and don't need and even gifts of things like fully boxed stereos that someone sent them and they don't want or need it and they tell you flat out with no qualms whatsoever. I can see a momentary urge to do that, but icky icky icky icky.

  3. People who have cats or dogs that they must give up or sell should not give away or sell them on Craigs List, etc. Who knows what fate the darlings could be exposed too. Please take the animal to a reputable animal shelter in your community. It is the humane action to take. All life is precious.

  4. Okay first of all, isn't it against all Craigslist TOS to have anything to do with live animals on there? FOR GOOD REASON. People who run dog fighting rings are always looking for "Free to good home" animals to use as bait. In light of that, I'm glad the kitten flipper IS making a profit, at least she has the sense not to offer them "free to a good home." People who want bait animals aren't about to pay 50 bucks for one. She's probably saved more than one cat's life doing what she's doing. That said, I think I would feel a lot better about it if I knew she was getting them vetted, but somehow I doubt it.