Activists outraged about Memphis-based cat recycling company


(WMC-TV) - A cat service website is sparking outrage from animal rights supporters, but is it real or fake?

The website is for a Memphis-based company, Fresh Cat, which claims to ship kittens to customers as a subscription service. After a year lapses, subscribers can then ship the cat back in exchange for a new kitten.

Alexis Amorose at the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County was outraged Thursday by Fresh Cat's philosophy: Everyone loves a kitten until a year later, when the animals become lazy and boring.

"I'm in absolute shock and a lot of horror at the thought something like this might even possibly be real," she said.

Fresh Cat claims to offer annual replacements in the color of your choice.

"You try to match the decor in your home with a kitten, and then you ship it back like it's a used toy," Amorose said.

The website also offers a catalog of items apparently available for purchase, including kitty press on nails and even a kitten size massage table. It also claims to sell handguns and rifles that display the Fresh Cat logo, and fur coats.

"It's the classic Memphis story, and it's been told hundreds of times, every time another business opens here because of the late drop off time for FedEx," Fresh Cat president John Behnke said in a press release. "Someone can order a kitten as late as 10:30 p.m., and have it at their front door the next morning."

Thursday, Action News 5 was unable to reach Behnke to see if Fresh Cat is a hoax, but it would seem so, since no local freight companies will overnight a household pet.

"The risk of mortality for that animal, it couldn't be higher, and we feel that's it's putting animals at risk, and it's just inhumane," Amorose said.

The Humane Society suggests that people who prefer kittens foster the animals through their organization until they are old enough to adopt-out.

"We're absolutely hoping that this is someone's sick idea of a joke, and that's exactly what it would be," Amorose said. "True or fake, this is a sick idea."

Fresh Cat claims to ship the returned cats to China. The Humane Society is promising an investigation to make sure nothing cruel is happening to animals.

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