Equality For All Cats

comment-2All cats should be treated equally, including cats that suffer from congenital anomalies (disorders or deformities). If a pedigree cat has a congenital facial deformity that makes him or her ugly she is probably killed at birth, or chucked out, if she is a moggie. If a cat is deformed and, by chance, the deformity makes her look cute she becomes famous and her owners make some dough: Lil Bub or Grumpy Cat. There is a very fine difference between cute deformity and ugly deformity. Is it right and fair that people should treat cats with deformities in such an unequal way?

Deformed ugly: euthanise. Deformed cute: internet stardom

This picture describes what I am writing about. Lil Bub has short legs (dwarf), extra toes (polydactyl) and no teeth, which is why her tongue flops out all the time. There also seems to be a slight anomaly in the muzzle area.

Deformed cats

Deformed cats

Well, we don’t treat deformed humans in this way, today (except occasionally on YouTube). Although it was acceptable a long time ago. We have moved on, developed, but not in relation to cats.

You don’t see a cute deformed human paraded in front of the media so that a relative can make some money. Obviously we think companion cats are creatures that don’t qualify for the same rights and protection as people.

I suppose that is totally obvious to 99% of the world’s population but is it fair and proper? Should the cat in the picture (bottom right) with the misaligned jaw (an overbred Exotic Shorthair, by the look of it) be cared for to the same level as Lil Bub? Are they unequal because one is by chance cute and the other is by chance ugly, while both have congenital disorders?

This is where I have difficulty with celebrity cats such as Lil Bub and Grumpy Cat. Both cute deformed cats and ugly deformed cats are treated equally incorrectly. The former are celebrated and become famous and make money for their owner, which I don’t like, while the latter are discarded and/or laughed at as ugly.

I know a lot of people vehemently disagree with me, which I completely accept. However, I am convinced that in a better world, all cats would be treated equally and with respect. Both deformed ugly and deformed cute would be in loving homes with no media attention, which is the way it was before the internet age. Today, this is an unattainable ideal but it is something we should aspire too. On that basis the current state of affairs is wrong. It is biased, unfair and mildly exploitative.

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Equality For All Cats — 7 Comments

  1. More than mildly exploitative I think. It reminds me of the sidewshow freaks of the past at circuses and such. The real matter is the happiness and wellbeing of any cat, no matter who or how that cat looks. The breeding has got to stop in its extremities. It is so wrong. Looking at the little kitten below left is very saddening. Poor little thing. Some breeding really is criminal. Especially in a country where cat overpopulation is in the millions. It’s got to stop. If a cat is bred with a deformity, especially if the deformity is an extension of the already extremely unhealthy direction of breeding, then its our duty to take care of that cat no matter what. Its not like cooking. If you over cook something you can always start again and throw away your mistakes but with cats its not like that – they are not disposable money making products. I think for those he treat them as such they are horrible evil people. Same for the breeder who debarks her own dog. Evil doesn’t even begin to describe it. I can’t stand the whole breeding thing anymore. I used to be mildly against it but now the more I learn about breeders themselves and the ways of breeding and the language used I get really sick about it and I think its totally awful and wrong. I know there are breedersout there who love their cats and take good care of the not so many they have, and for example, in Finland where there is no cat overpopulation, I think it might even be ok to breed a few cats for people who want to ‘have’ cats since they have no other way to get them. But elsewhere its just not right. I also don’t agree with ‘bettering the breed’ – I think thats a load of nonsense and usually means the opposite in reality. The fact that purebreds don’t live as long is telling. Moggies are healthier. Also the size of the genepool is quetionable. Deformed cats – regardless of where they came from, if they can live perfectly healthily then they must be alowed to do so and taken good care of. Many people are willing to help cats that the other mainstream probably don’t want or find attractive. And the ones who happen to look cute because of their deformity should not be ‘used’ for money and fame. I mean to some extent it happens by accident with a video or photo but the cat has to be happy. I know for a fact that if I were to sit with another person and laugh at or make fun of one of my cats they would feel it and they would sense something was wrong. I don’t believe empathy comes with the type of entertainment these famous cats are being used for. Even thinking they are ‘cute’ can in of itself be entirely un-empathic and pure objectification. Society used to be different. Women were objectified and thats fast changing and dissappearing in this part of the world. Learning how to treat and respect animals is clearly needed on the agenda. Exploitation has to stop in all forms. There are so many forms. All the livestock for example. Its just endless. A cute cat like Lil Bub is not going to be murdered without a name as just a number, and processed into supermarket food, however Lil Bub is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploitation. Although people love Bub the subtle way of exploitation still lingers there and it shows that even with those people love there is not yet equality as there should be. Its a massive failure of humanity really. You would think that those who seem cute and lovable would be the first to get proper respectful care but sadly we can see that even they exist on the wrong side of the line which is finer at that end. At the other end we have mass extermination of animals without care or humanity. ITs the same line in my opinion and the mainstream has not been able to get on the right side of it yet. Maybe soon.

  2. Color me strange, but I didn’t see much ugliness. My friend has a cat with no hind legs and a slightly contorted body. She was born that way. No one expected her to last long, but she now going on 19 years.

    People usually gasp when they see my burn kitty, but she survived and has become an important part of our family. We don’t see her as ugly, but as a sweet little cat. A lot of scarring and blind, but otherwise health and mildly spoiled.

    “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. Humans, being what they are, can be shallow and only want the best….even when it comes to their pets. Too bad people don’t realize these “ugly” little guys can be very loving. Sometimes more so than the handsome ones.

    • I agree, I don’t see the ugliness in cats described as “ugly” by most people. I see a cat that needs TLC. In the article I reflected what I consider to be general opinion. I have a 3 legged cat myself. I believe a cat caretaker can learn to love a cat that others consider ugly more than a cat that is considered pretty. That’s my gut feel.

  3. It’s sad that some people only see the outside of an animal (or a person too come to that) and not their inner beauty.
    To me all cats are beautiful, even the most battered old tom cat, who is equally as worth admiration as a most groomed show winning cat.
    We are all born as we are, people and animals too, every living being has the right to life and not to be used for financial gain if different to what is considered normal. Nor to be killed because they are not ‘perfect’ as happens to cats bred for showing.
    I knew the most beautiful persian cat who had been doomed to be killed because he had an overshot jaw so was no good for showing or breeding from, after rescue he lived a long happy life as a pet.
    I agree, we don’t kill or make financial gain nowadays from people deemed ‘imperfect’ so why do so with ‘imperfect’ animals?

    • This sounds odd, but I find ugly cats more beautiful once you get to know them and bond – you see the inside and the relationship can be better. This is because they need people more and then you can find that you are able to form a closer bond. They are more needy and if you are giving, this is the foundation for a strong bond.

  4. No more biased than those that value a cat’s life over that of a rats life, bird’s life, or even a human’s life. Just because a cat is cuter to you than a rat or a bird, you think the cat deserves to live and the rat or bird does not. You won’t begin to comprehend what you are talking about until you start to value and respect all life.

  5. I agree with you Micheal,no one has the right to profit from an animal’s deformity and yes all cats are beautiful to me too.
    Some of my rescue cats are not “cute enough” to have been kept by their previous owners,well it’s their loss that they only see what’s on the surface.
    My God someone has surely rattled Dale’s cage today and he’s full of belligerance looking for articles on which to spill his bitterness.
    We know full well a rat’s life is as important as any other life Dale and that’s why we are totally anti vivisection and if you aren’t also then you are a hypocrite.

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