Man Finds Terrified Ginger Cat Hiding in Closet After Owner 'Moved Out'

A man shared a heart-breaking video of a "scared" cat quivering in a closet, claiming its owner moved out and left him behind.

The man, who describes himself as a "Texas real-estate investor," posted the footage to his TikTok account, Felixjaimes9, earlier this week.

He did a walk-through of a property, claiming the tenant had already moved out, as he filmed what was left behind.

"Let's look at the beauty of renting houses, and when the tenants move out. Approximately, seven, eight months," he said, probably referring to the length of time they stayed there.

As he walked through various rooms, he captured a cracked mirror, some trash in the corner and broken flooring, and in one of the rooms he found a ginger cat.

"They left the pet. He's obviously scared," Felixjaimes9 said, showing the cat, which was backed right into the corner of the closet.

The clip, captioned "tenants moved out and left their cat behind," has been seen 4.5 million times, and can be seen here. It sparked an outpouring of sympathy for the terrified animal.

Chrissy Puckett commented: "I adopted a cat from a shelter that was left behind in a rental. I don't get how someone can do that!"

Toni Jo thought: "Omg that baby looked absolutely terrified."

MrschapmanToYou said: "Oh my heart, that poor kitty."

While Sarah Rose added: "That's what happened to my chihuahua. Almost 10 years later and she won't leave my side if she sees me packing boxes. They never forget it."

And Debbie added: "I'm glad you checked. Working at a mortgage co, I've seen pics of so many dead pets."

After the video went viral, Felixjaimes9 stated the tenant later got in touch, and claimed she hadn't finished moving out—and was coming back for the cat.

In the comments, he said: "The tenant reached out and said she was still moving and did not abandon the cat. I would've never given her the cat back if she had abandoned him."

He shared a follow-up video addressing concerns and the circumstances of finding the animal, explaining the tenant was meant to move out the day before his walk-through, when he planned on changing the locks.

"I thought it was vacant, empty, nobody there," he said, continuing: "So I heard some noise in the other room, and honestly I got scared, I thought someone was in there because the house was pretty much empty."

He added: "I went in there and saw the cat in the corner of the closet, he was obviously scared, my heart broke for it.

"Immediately I thought they left their cat behind, what kind of people do that... I thought they had just abandoned the place since they destroyed it."

After calling and texting, he says eventually the tenant phoned him back, and claimed she hadn't finished moving out, and was coming to collect some things—and the cat.

"She came back and got the cat... When I came back the cat was gone," he confirmed.

And defending the decision, he said: "I know there's a lot of hate comments, there's nothing else I could have done for this cat. I can't tell the owner not to take their cat back, I can't do that."

Moving houses with pets can be stressful for everyone involved, especially cats. Website advises minimizing anxiety by getting cats comfortable in their carrier, keeping to their routine and feeding them a small meal on the morning of the move.

They said: "Cats are not known for their affinity for change. Most cats are highly territorial creatures who prefer to spend their days in a familiar environment and are resistant to new routines.

"By putting in the time and effort to reduce your cat's stress while moving, you can help ease the transition and lessen the likelihood of your feline companion developing fear or anxiety-based behaviors in your new home."

Newsweek reached out to Felixjaimes9 for comment.

File photo of cat in wardrobe.
A file photo of a cat in a wardrobe. A man claims he went to check on a house where the tenant had just "moved out," only to find their cat. Getty Images/Konstantin Aksenov