On the Internet there are hundreds of thousands of articles on websites written about cat behaviour with the intention of helping people to understand it. There are very many self appointed cat experts. Even people who really are expert and who understand cats well still get it wrong. As Ruth says, there are some things that we do not understand about the domestic cat but it doesn’t matter. We don’t have to understand everything about the domestic cat in order to respect him or her and behave kindly towards our cat. All we have to do is observe our cat whilst living with him. We can use our intelligence to provide our cat with a good environment based upon those observations.
I have a feeling that the Internet can provide a lot of misleading information because a lot of it is recycled. Also it is very easy for anybody to write something on a website or build a website of their own. The person can be anonymous and often is anonymous. This allows them to be free with their opinions and we have no idea about their qualifications or experiences.
Unfortunately, many people will read this information and possibly act upon it with bad consequences. There is also conflicting information on the Internet about cat behaviour and what it means. This can confuse people. Writers about cat behaviour should be cautious in the way they present information. A lot of the time it may be a person’s opinion rather than fact and that should be made clear. There is definitely a place for opinion and to explore ideas and thoughts about cat behaviour because it can advance our understanding of the domestic cat but it should be expressed as opinion.
In the old days, people wrote books in order to instruct other people. There was no Internet. And in writing a book you have to have considerable resources and obtain the agreement of a publisher to publish it. This barrier was a filter which ensured that most often only the best writers had their work published.
Nowadays, anyone can write about anything and get it published on the Internet. We are all experts. We can write a book and get it published on Kindle. This is now commonplace. And starting your own website is easy. This is both good and bad. The upside is that there is more discussion which can lead to a better understanding of the domestic cat but there is also more misleading and/or misleading information. You have to do wade through the information and be selective.
It is important to be selective when reading about cat behaviour. For example, beware of the following:
- Scientists who write about the predatory aspects of domestic cat behaviour particularly in relation to preying on native species and birds.
- Cat breeders and authors who write about the behavioural characteristics of different breeds of cat. In my opinion, it is doubtful whether you can categorise a whole group of cats (a cat breed) as having the same personalities. A cat’s personality/character is unique to the individual cat.
- Cat behaviourists who like the idea of training cats. It is more sensible to train the person than the cat!
- Veterinarians who sell the idea to cat owners that declawing a cat is perfectly alright and that a cat’s behavior will be unaffected.
The person most able to write about cat behaviour is the caring and sensitive cat caretaker who has thoughtfully observed her cat or cats over many years and found ways to ensure that her cat is content, stimulated and in good health.