Pinpointing and safeguarding the welfare status of domestic cats is problematic, especially in New Zealand where cats are introduced predators with significant impact on indigenous fauna. Usually the identification of welfare status depends on conservational, legal, and public attitudes that are often contrasting. Cats may rapidly transgress definitions placed on them, confounding attempts to categorize them. In 1 generation, cats can move from a human-dependent state (“stray” or “companion”) to wild (“feral”). Often this categorization uses arbitrary behavioral and or situational parameters; consequent treatment and welfare protection for these cats are similarly affected. Terminology used to describe cats is not equitable across research. However, the New Zealand Animal Welfare (Companion Cats) Code of Welfare 2007 seeks to create a new definition of the terms companion, stray, and feral. It distinguishes between cats who live within and without human social constructs. This legislation mandates that cats in human environments or indirectly dependent on humans cannot be classified as feral. Such definitions may prove vital when safeguarding the welfare of free-living domestic cats and cat colonies.