"We questioned them as to whether they were under the effects of the drugs or they actually saw a tiger", said Sgt. Jason Adlerete, of Houston Police Department's Major Offenders, Livestock Animal Cruelty Unit.
Animal law enforcement nicknamed the big cat "Tyson" in honor of the movie "The Hangover", where the characters found a tiger in their hotel room after a particularly wild night of drinking.
Police also described the cage as "rinky-dink", according to CBS, and said it had been secured with a screwdriver and a nylon strap.
Officials say it could easily open and the tiger could have gone on a "rampage". However, it's illegal to have one in the city of Houston.
While the unexpected human-tiger encounter ended happily, authorities said it could have been much bloodier given the crude nature of the tiger's enclosure.
Manchester City apologise for song played after final whistle of Chelsea drubbing
Liverpool were seven points ahead a few weeks ago, but now City are definitely favourites for the title from what I am seeing. A Sergio Aguero hat trick led City to a massive 6-0 win over Chelsea , handing the Blues their worst loss in league history.
An overweight tiger was found abandoned in a Houston home on Monday. Houston police are investigating who may have owned the animal.
The tiger was taken to a BARC shelter where it will remain until a long-term solution is found.
Neighbor Pablo Briagas told KHOU seeing Tyson was an unsettling experience. "My kids ... the neighbor has kids, so, it's scary".
"A pretty small cage inside basically a garage in a house that didn't look like it was in the best shape".
Officers tranquillised the female tiger and transported it to the city's animal shelter, where she's staying overnight in a cage inside a horse trailer under round-the-clock surveillance, according to Cottingham. If the owner is ever located, she or he faces stiff fines.