Sad Beijing Cats

Here are some interesting pictures of cats in Beijing, China. The cats look sad because a lot of them are street cats and street cats anywhere look pretty sad. These cats don’t look like feral cats; more community cats. They look reasonably well fed. I find photographs of cats in China interesting because I would like to try and present a balanced and authentic view of what it is like to be a cat in China.

The slide show runs automatically providing 8 seconds per picture. There are 10 photos. You can pause the slideshow by placing the mouse pointer over it and move it along using the left and right arrows.

Beijing, formerly Peking, is the capital of China. I visited it in the early ’80s and it was very dusty and polluted. There was high incidence of throat cancer.

Without wishing to be unkind, the Chinese don’t have a great reputation for animal welfare including the welfare of their cats. Although the old lady and her cat companions shows us that there are many people in China who love cats.

“What does a cat lover do when they travel? Look for cats of course! Only saw 3 cats in 4 weeks while in Asia… I guess that’s pretty good.”…Gina (you can decide for yourself, why)

There are no animal welfare laws in China and there are a lot of street cats in Beijing (500,000?), many of which were slaughtered en masse before the Beijing Olympics. In the south of China there seems to be the habit of eating rounded up street cats or cats shipped by lorry in from other places; the whole process is undertaken in a brutal manner constituting gross animal abuse.

I noticed that a lot of Beijing cats were long haired piebald pattern cats. Many have the Turkish Van type markings or variations on it. That is, head markings (inverted V or vague variations) and a coloured tail on a white or mainly white torso.

In one photo you’ll see an white Exotic Shorthair (a shorthaired modern Persian) being held by a vet or a vet’s assistance.

The conditions under which, it appears, a lot of Chinese live, makes life less than ideal for the cats as well. That said, most of the pictures are of community cats. I could not find a picture of a nicely cossetted, full-time indoor, Chinese domestic cat.

The pictures are from Flickr and published under a creative commons license. The selection is representative of what I saw on Flickr.

Photo credits:

Cat and fish: by dahorsburgh

Photos by han D lei

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Sad Beijing Cats — 4 Comments

  1. Well they look to be pretty well fed. There must be some huge differences of opinion in China if you consider that some eat them (and torture them before killing them because it tastes better) whereas others love them just as we do. The images of the truck with crates of cats was most disturbing. Not even our livestock are treated as such – not that we can talk but it is a simple measurement of gross animal abuse and cruelty. I feel sorry for cat lovers in China and the US and other places where cats are tortured or killed on a regular basis and where there are huge amounts of cats roaming around. It must be very hard as a cat lover in these countries – I for one would lose my mind and probably get myself into terrible trouble taking the law into my own hands or something stupid like that.

    • I think you’re right. There are huge differences in attitude with respect to the cat, which be partly due to the size of the country. In America, people in California are more enlightened than people in the south. That is the impression I get. China is slightly larger than the USA in land mass so I would expect there to be differences in culture throughout the country.

      However, overall something is wrong with cat welfare. For a start is seems that no one neuters their cats and there are lots of stray whole cats. Someone is feeding them though 😉

      The slideshow looks good on my Mac. The image quality is high. Does it work OK for you? Just making sure it works.

  2. The slide show works very well on my computer so it must be good as it’s only temperamental!
    Yes the cats look well fed but some are very dirty, as if they’ve been through muddy puddles maybe? The black and white with his eyes shut looks very bedraggled and sad.
    I couldn’t bear to live in a country where so many cats are abused, like you Marc I’d get into trouble for taking the law into my own hands and I’d be heartbroken even more than I am now just by seeing pictures of them.

    • You’d probably be arrested for something 😉 Feeding the cats and rescuing them or fighting with the people who picked them up to kill them. I am the same. It would drive me nuts to live in China just because of the cats never mind anything else.

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