I am angry. I can barely write this. The Chartreux cat is a rare purebred cat. It originates in France and has a long history. It is a recognised purebred, pedigree cat, and it is registered with the main cat associations. And yet in China where there are a plethora of backstreet breeders and kitten and puppy mills, this sort of cat is bred under appalling conditions where they become sick quite quickly.
And because they become sick quickly the breeders use antibiotics to make them survive long enough to sell them to customers. And they inject sick pets with immune serum to make them seem exuberant and healthy. Another nasty trick which tries to prolong the life of their cats so that they can scam money off unsuspecting customers. They breed cats as if they are making nuts and bolts.
It seems that these cats have very short lifespans, but these unscrupulous breeders don’t care. They just want to breed as many cats as they can with the lowest overhead that they can organise. That means appalling conditions.
33 Chartreux cats abandoned in Shanghai
And when they go bust for whatever reason they abandon them, like 33 Chartreux cats. This happened last August. A local animal protection group found them. All of them were sick. The adult cats weighed less than 3 kg which is 6.5 pounds. They were obviously badly underweight, and you have to guess that they were starved.
The rescue volunteers also found 15 dead cats on the site. They appear to have died in car accidents and through illness.
Click on the link below to see one of these kitten mills. I can’t show it on this page as there are adverts.
President Xi Jinping
President Xi Jinping, who has just changed the constitution so that he can remain President for a third term, has proclaimed on television very recently that his first duty is to protect the citizens of China which is why he will continue with his extensive lockdowns as Covid continues in China (see below for reason). Clearly, he does not have the same attitude towards animals. He appears to have zero concern for animal welfare.
Mr Su, a cruel kitten mill owner
A kitten mill owner with the name of Su abandoned his entire breeding stock and offspring when China went into lockdown because their vaccine is next to useless. That’s why China is still going through massive lockdown procedures causing great distress to citizens and businesses.
So this man, Su, who was churning out thousands upon thousands of kittens many of which were sick, simply walked away from his business that he once described as “solid and profitable”. He was making 1 million yuan per year. This is US$139,000. As his business nosedived, he left his cats alone for several months. They all starved to death. We don’t have a number, but I suspect that it was in the hundreds and perhaps more than a thousand cats starved to death.
He has now gone into the building materials trade! I have said it before, China has almost no animal welfare laws. They have a different attitude towards animals and the contemporary artist Ai Weiwei shed some light on the attitude which you can read about in an earlier article. It’s enlightening.
Surge in cat lovers
There’s been a surge in pet adoption in China brought about by Covid and lockdowns. The cat population in China has surpassed 58 million, up about 20% year-on-year. Surprisingly, the people who are adopting these kitten mill animals consider themselves to be animal lovers.
And yet they support the torture meted out at kitten mills. Perhaps they are simply in the dark about how these cats are produced but they shouldn’t be because it didn’t take much research to find out what’s going on.
Yuanzi, a Persian kitten purchaser
One woman, Yuanzi, adopted a Persian kitten from what she thought was a cattery in Shanghai. The kitten cost $1250. She didn’t inspect the cattery because she couldn’t as it was forbidden. Unsurprising, seeing as it was a torture chamber for cats.
When she got her kitten, presumably sent to her by courier or something like that, she discovered that the animal was very weak and suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea and she discovered later that the kitten had feline distemper. The kitten died five days later. She complained and they offered to send another cat of guaranteed healt but she realised by then that this was a kitten mill and I believe that she stopped there.
Abundant animal cruelty
The point is that there is mass cruelty taking place in the cat and dog market in China and the authorities couldn’t care less. It makes me livid to be honest. Every time you dig around a bit about animal welfare in China you come up with horror stories.
Every time you get the same result. Another story reported on a lorry loaded with 1400 cats and dogs travelling to the south for the cat and dog meat market. Hundreds of the animals died because of the conditions under which they were travelling. Another example, just one of many.
At least the stories are leaking out of China, but they don’t seem to make any difference in China. There are some wonderful cat and dog rescuers and animal rescue charities in China now with great volunteers, but they are fighting a war which is almost unwinnable.