Beautiful non-pedigree cat
*Please note before reading this article that I am not trying to attack or offend cat breeders.*
As some people here know, I have an Abyssinian cat (Nile Chilli Pepper An Aby from Aus!). He came from a breeder. His birth was planned, his 'owner' was chosen before he could even open his eyes, a purchase was made, and he was sent to me. When I bought him I had no second thoughts, I wanted an Abyssinian, and I was going to have one. There is nothing wrong with that, is there? What harm can there honestly be in purchasing a pedigree cat? He came from a happy home, he was healthy, and he was beautiful. There was no harm involved at all, was there?
Well, I didn't think so. But about two years later I began researching into animal rights, particularly the meat industry. I was told to watch a movie called Earthlings. It came in 5 parts, part 1 was breeders. Obviously they showed backyard breeders, mainly dogs. Stuff that I'd seen before. Dogs stuffed in little cages pumping out litter after litter to fuel the pet shops. But then they went onto shelters, they showed footage that will never leave my mind. It will haunt me for the rest of my life. They showed what happens to animals in shelters, when those animals never find a home.
What happens when kitten season comes along, and hundreds of pet owners have 'forgotten' or 'not had the time' to neuter their cats? The cats become pregnant, and the kittens are almost definitely taken to shelters. It would be nice if it those kittens all found loving forever homes, but imagine it, litters of kittens coming into shelters every day, the numbers constantly climbing. We all know how hard it is to adequately care for one or two cats, but several litters coming in a day is too many cats. Keeping them all would be unpractical, and even cruel, as they would not get the appropriate care and attention of which all cats crave.
So how do shelters solve this problem of cat over population? You're probably cringing by now, but yes, they solve that problem with death. I imagined there being a vet who would come in once a week or so and regretfully euthanise all these beautiful innocent kittens. My thoughts of a dignified, quick and painless death were soon shattered, when I was exposed to the harsh truth. Cats are tightly packed into a small metal box, which is then pumped with carbon monoxide, slowly suffocating the cats to death. Masses of cats go through this, they are then disposed of. However not all shelters do this, shelters who may not have such a tight budget may be able to afford euthanasia for their cats, but at this point in time gas chambers are still very commonly used -behind closed doors-. As it is a cheap way of disposing of a large amount of cats (see an article by Michael: Feline Euthanasia)
Why do these cats have to face the death sentence? Because people allow their cats to breed. Perhaps they want to show their children the beginning of life, or perhaps they think allowing their cat to breed 'just once' may be beneficial to him or her. But at the end of the day, allowing one cat to have one litter, ends in unnecessary death. Please, do not breed your cats, neuter them, and end the slaughter of homeless animals.
I feel similarly towards pedigree cat breeders. Many are not backyard breeders, they are educated people who may be described as a professional of a certain breed, and only sell their kittens to the finest homes with the most dedicated and capable 'owners'. But when you think about it, these people who love their cats and only sell to the finest homes are fuelling this tragic slaughter. When I think of where my Abyssinian came from, all that now comes to mind is the kitten who died in a shelter because I wouldn't settle for a moggie. In fact, I could have saved an entire litter with the money that I spent on my single Abyssinian kitten.
For every litter bred by a breeder, a litter is killed in a shelter. I beg anyone on this website who is here choosing which 'designer' cat they would like to purchase for a disgustingly large sum of money to reconsider. Go to your local shelter and save a kitten who is homeless, waiting in a shelter for someone to come and save his life.
The outside beauty of a pedigree cat will not justify purchasing that pedigree cat instead of rescuing a homeless moggy. As the inner beauty of a cat will always exceed the outer beauty. And that particularly goes for cats who are homeless and are waiting, hoping and praying for someone to come and save their life. Adopt, don't shop!
In respect of the kitten who died in the shelter because I craved a designer cat, I will never buy another pedigree animal or associate with animal breeding in any way. I ask everyone to consider doing to same, do not breed your cat, do not shop for your cat, rescue your cat from a shelter.