I’m going to moan again about the language of expert, renown cat behaviourists. I am not a politically correct sort of person but I do believe that the language we use can change the way we think about things.
Behaviourists have an obligation to change the perceptions of people who have incorrect perceptions about the domestic cat.
What I’m saying is that cat behaviourists not only should be resolving individual cat behaviour problems but they also have a wider responsibility especially if they are well known to ensure that the domestic cat is portrayed in a proper light.
The reason why I say this is because almost all cat behaviour problems are in truth human behaviour problems and in turn those human behaviour problems often arise out of misconceptions and false expectations.
If the cat behaviourists can chip away at some of those misconceptions about cat behaviour amongst a large segment of society in the West then there will be less cat behaviour problems.
This is why the title to Pam Johnson-Bennett’s book is thoughtless and over commercialised. The title has been decided purely from the point of view of sales, which I understand completely but it does not justify the choice. The title is eye-catching but misleading and I would argue that it quite possibly has a detrimental impact upon the image of the domestic cat in the eyes of the public.
You could argue the title is irresponsible and what is amazing is nobody’s ever address this sort of matter before. No doubt, the title was dreamt up by the author’s publishers but the author should have resisted.
As mentioned, I don’t want to be over politically correct but in my opinion the author gets off to a very bad start with the book title like this.
The domestic cat can never be a “Psycho”. The domestic cat can, in the eyes of some, behave badly but nearly always the cat is behaving normally and the cat is certainly behaving naturally under the circumstances in which he finds himself.
I have a similar issue with Jackson Galaxy’s television show on Animal Planet which is called “My Cat From Hell”.
Here we have two high profile cat behaviourists getting it wrong with respect to a major part of their marketing. One of them is implying that a cat can be psychotic or in other words mad and the other is implying that a cat can be evil. Together they portray the possibility that a cat can be a mad, evil monster.
Anyone who knows cats well, will understand that this is incorrect and disrespectful. The starting point for excellent cat guardianship is to respect the cat.