Will cat lovers – let’s go wider and say animal lovers – put aside their differences and collaborate for the betterment of all animals including companion cats?
When things get difficult humankind tends to work together. All the silly little differences look silly all of a sudden. They lose their importance and people can then get on and focus on the real issues, the things that matter and which can improve our world. We can work together.
Cat lovers can be vegetarians. They can sometimes be strict vegetarians. They can hate the idea of meat. But cat lovers can also be meat eaters as long as it is not cat meat. And as long as both parties truly respect the cat then they should work together to improve the welfare of cats. A meat hating cat lover should not be angry at a meat eating cat lover. Each should respect the other for what they have in common.
Bird conservationists tend to criticise the cat for decimating bird life. Some want to kill feral cats. It is not sensible for two groups of people who wish to work on behalf of different species of animal or families of animals to fight each other. The answer to conserving bird species is not to attack people who keep cats or the cats themselves, but to work with people who keep cats in the common goal of preserving cats and birds in an oganised balance.
The cat fancy tends to work disharmoniously as far as I can tell. There is a lack of coordination amongst the cat associations and it appears a lack of agreement within certain cat associations. This can leave the cat exposed to poor breeding practices to the detriment of the purebred cat.
There is much to do in respect of cat welfare. If we are honest with ourselves, we have gone astray in our 10,000 year old relationship with the domestic cat. There are two many downsides – for the cat, not us.
Even in cat rescue we have fundamental differences of opinion and working methods. Some shelters are positively no kill. Cats are not killed – period, full stop. In others the management see no alternative to killing a large percentage of cats brought to them as there is a lack of homes. Why are these views so disparate? Can’t one management team work with another to reduce the killing?
PETA is known to favour killing unwanted cats. It may be a misconception that I have but I read about it all the time. This causes consternation amongst cat lovers. Yet PETA stands for ‘People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’. The basic objectives of cat lovers and PETA management should be the same. Can’t we find common ground and work in a coordinated manner to improve the welfare of cats?
We need to focus on common, primarily causes and put aside secondary differences. We will then be able to make a real impact. There is a great need to make an impact on cat welfare. Taken as a whole I am disappointed at the development of our relationship with the domestic cat over the past 150 years (declawing, devocalising, mass killing of unwanted cats, the ‘feral cat problem’ etc.). It is time to reassess and renew that relationship by working together.