Is The Internet Good or Bad for the Domestic Cat?

I think this is a very important topic because the influence of the internet is growing rapidily. Here are my pros and cons. Can you add yours?

is the Internet good or bad for the domestic cat

Internet Good For Domestic Cats

Social media can be excellent because it can spread the word about cat rescue and cats that need homes. There are many cat rescue webpages on Facebook that do good work. The Paw Project uses FB to spread their word too. They are very important. This site has an FB presence (2 pages).

PoC would not exist but for the internet! (blowing our trumpet)

There are many webpages on cat health and some of these pages can be useful to a cat owner because they inform the cat owner about an important part of cat caretaking. However, cat owners should not substitute reading about cat health on the Internet for taking their cat to the vet. Neither should they take everything they read as gospel truth. Webpage can confuse and mislead sometimes.

There are many webpages on the Internet about cat behaviour, cat products etc. many, of which, are very useful provided the reader uses the information wisely.

Petitions are a new phenomenon. There are many petitions about cats on the Internet. They can do good. They can achieve results albeit quite rarely.

Another new phenomenon on the Internet is crowd funding. This is when a person sets out, on a webpage, a product that they have invented/created. They seek funding from visitors to develop and market it. If the product is a good one and it relates to the domestic cat then this should be a good for the cat.

The better cat owners are those who lead simple, uncomplicated lives. The internet works against that.

Internet Bad for Domestic Cats

Indirectly, the Internet may be bad for the cat because it speeds up life for the cat’s owner. Everything is so much faster and more complicated these days because communication is faster via the Internet and it creates new complexities. When life is speeded up and more complicated it can become more stressful for the human companion/caretaker. When a person is stressed at home, indirectly, it is not good for the domestic cat who shares the home.

In addition, some cat owners will spend more time on the Internet and less time with their cat – at least potentially.

There are many webpages containing information about cat health. Cat owners search these webpages. They do this sometimes to avoid taking their cat to a veterinarian. This is not good for the cat.

Some Internet information about cat behaviour is incorrect and misleading. For example, the topic of cat punishment or negative reinforcement during cat training. I consider articles about negative reinforcement to be bad advice.

People who dislike cats are often given free access to write articles which are published on the Internet. Often these articles mislead the public by portraying the domestic cat in a bad light. Sometimes respected people or so-called experts have advocated killing cats. This is irresponsible behaviour because it can encourage disturbed people to kill cats.

YouTube is truly a massive organisation with hundreds of millions of videos. The Internet phenomenon of funny cat videos and many other videos to do with the domestic cat designed to be amusing can sometimes, in my view, work against the welfare of the domestic cat because the videos tend to disrespect and trivialise the domestic cat. The comments under the videos by visitors supports this. The comments are often crass and stupid, written by ignorant people, some of them cat haters. I don’t think this furthers domestic cat welfare. These videos don’t educate people; they entertain people which is fair enough but they tend to use the cat for entertainment. I like some of them but there is a need to educate people about cat welfare and there is a need for more people to respect the cat more often.

On balance, I suspect that the funny cat video on YouTube is not good for the domestic cat.

The new phenomenon of celebrity cats is created, fed and publicised through the internet. You rarely see celebrity cats in hard copies of newspapers (certainly in the UK). Cat celebrity and using the domestic cat as a commercial asset is an internet phenomenon. Although sometimes it can work for the domestic cat, in general, I don’t like it because at the end of the day it is not good for cat welfare. It is using the cat as a vehicle to make money for the cat’s owner and other third parties (businesses). The celebrity cat owners always find ways to justify it and assuage the criticisms but what they state does not wash for me.

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Is The Internet Good or Bad for the Domestic Cat? — 6 Comments

  1. I agree Michael, on the whole I think the internet is quite bad for cats, especially YouTube where people seem to try to outdo each other with ‘funny’ cat videos, some obviously set up to make the cat look stupid and some even cruel. Facebook for ‘celebrity’ cats can be good if the cat isn’t exploited in real life too and it is nice to share and see other cat lovers photos and it’s good for anti declaw publicity and other cat causes.
    But it seems people either love or hate cats and the haters take every opportunity to try to convince everyone how ‘bad’ cats are and the ‘experts’ who spout statistics and know it all and give bad advice can be very dangerous.
    Thank goodness for PoC where the truth is always told and if someone comes along who is biased against cats or giving bad advice, they can be educated by your own well researched articles and by the articles and comments of your real cat loving visitors who have taken the time to learn as much as they can to help all cats.

  2. It may be impossible for someone with an entrenched distaste for the Internet to offer an objective comment. Never having asked anyone, I do not know if, to plug into Facebook, you have to provide an ‘All Comers Welcome’ e-mail address. But if it is true, it’s impossible not to envision a public swimming pool crammed with – yes, some decent sorts – but also more loose-sphinctered kids of all ages than heaven has stars.

    The upside to transmogrifying your e-mail site into a cosmic get-together is that animal rights/welfare groups can reach a tremendous readership.

    Do petitions have an impact? ‘Fatti maschii, parole femine.’

    Yet it’s equally true that new ways of thinking, when first introduced, slowly seep into the public Mass Mind and become the habitual ‘way of seeing things.’ Bad concepts and acts? In the blink of an eye. Good ones? Slowly. But raindrops crack granite.

  3. Well i think its bad & Good. As without Internet, Us as Pet Carers wouldn’t be able to find out things to help our Cats or Dogs. We would, have to go the Old fashion way. I know it’s alot worse for people who do harm & Cruelty, & see that alot these days. I am finding though; i think i prefer Google to facebook. I find Facebook incredibly slow these days with way too many advertisements. Just what i think anyway.

  4. I would say the internet is just a tool. I personally love it because it facilitates so many things. For example, I belong to a non-profit, pro-pet organization that has an online presence, and we can reach more people like that. However, I know that on the other end of the spectrum, there are those who use the internet to exploit pets.

    This is why I say it is just a tool, and it is up to us how we use it. I would ask if I may appeal to you all, please don’t write the internet off completely.

    • Well said. It is a tool and it is up to people as you say to use it wisely. Nice point. As usual is down to people and their attitudes. It’s a bit like the gun. The gun on his own is nothing but in the hands of the wrong person it can be lethal.

  5. There is good and bad content on the Internet, it all depends on how you use it and what your intentions are in the first place, which depends on what type of person you are and whether you use your sense and realise that all that you read is not gospel but mostly other people’s opinions. If your intention is to do evil then there’s bags of potential, same goes if you’re trying to do something good. As the person above pointed out the Internet is just a tool, it’s the whims of the operators that cause the trouble.

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