Currently the Welfare of Cats is Fundamentally Wrong

By The Angora cat Association/Ankara Kedisi Derneği

Cat Welfare is Fundamentally Wrong
Cat Welfare is Fundamentally Wrong
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment written by visitors. It is a way visitors can contribute to animal welfare without much effort and no financial cost. Please comment. It helps this website too which at heart is about cat welfare.

Probably we will be the first ones who will say that the welfare of cats, the way it is done today, is fundamentally wrong. It’s illogical and based on emotions where the cat is reduced to the human infant. In Turkey, the welfare of cats is regulated by groups of women which statistically would be from middle class, often housewives and have plenty of time to devote for cats. The picture may be different in other countries. The solutions in cat welfare are based primary on emotions however.

The cat welfare psychology:

  1. A cat is a pet and MUST be wanted and adopted by humans, otherwise considered homeless.
  2. Cats can not survive without humans. Humans need to feed them, give them a shelter or a warm house.
  3. There is a crisis of cat overpopulation, therefor it is acceptable to kill unadoptable, feral ones when shelter has no more space for new cats.
  4. Cat is domesticated. There are cats which are feral and the ones which are domesticated.
  5. People who spend their lives for picking up stray cats, putting them to shelters and trying to rehome them are only ones who really help cats.

The points we should consider:

1. A cat’s worth does not depend on how much it is wanted by humans or not. A cat is not a PET, it’s an animal like any other. We do not try to control populations of other animals, nor we do try to save them by taking them to shelters. There is no any other case where animals except dogs and cats are expected to live indoors with humans. So why cats? Due to humans tendency to anthropomorphize cats (dogs are actually different topic), because ”they are cute” – it is believed that cat can not live outdoors and all of them SHOULD have a ”loving home”.

2. Felis Silvestris Catus are incredibly adapted species. That they are meowing because they expect a tasty effortless treat from you, it doesn’t mean that cat is starving. A cat is perfectly able to survive on its own. If we want to help cats we should invest our effort and time for those which are in need like injured, disabled, deaf, blind etc. Any healthy cat will do without human just fine. And we are NOT responsible for every death of cats as we can not save lives of every human.

3. How many cats are too many? How one knows we have an overpopulation crisis? How its possible to count all the cats anyway?

4. Cat domestication. Science hardly agrees with that. The researcher C. A Driscoll says that a cat ”domesticated itself” and this hardly can be called ”domestication” as a cat retained its instincts and being interdependent very well. It looks like cats learn how to tolerate humans and benefit from this. Animals will find many strategies to maximize their survival. They are really very intelligent animals.

The belief that cats are domesticated will quickly collapse once we realize that a cat must receive socialization with humans in order to be ”tamed/domesticated”. Any cat so called ferals which are by the way the same cats with didn’t receive the contact with humans – will be wild. It just shows that domestication did not happen if a cat is so quick to revert to its wild state. Nothing altered in its genetic makeup too. It’s not surprising when the genetic study reveals that the so called domestic cat is identical to wildcats (lybica I suppose) in Middle East… ”Every cat must have a home” is harmful idea. It devalues the cat making it some kind of powerless baby-like creature.

Not everyone wants to own a cat and not everybody can be a good owner. Not every cat will be a good pet. Many of these cats would benefit from a TNR policy rather than shelters or forcing them to become indoor pets.

Cat welfare is actually a business, especially speaking about the shelters. In Turkey, they are just horrible. A cat would have a happier life on the street than in a shelter. Turkish people love cats and dogs, they feed them look after them. Every shop here has its ”pet”. The animal abuse is extremely rare. However some other societies may not value their stray cats, so regulating the population of those cats by Trap-Neuter-Release methods and providing education for those societies, may be the best solutions.This type of education we have today about cats as worthless, abused unwanted (”impure”) pets nobody needs, is harmful and infective. What we should teach for people is a respect for a cat. And no, its not a pet unless we want it to become one.

The flawed ideas seen as ”cat welfare” are very handy for cat fanciers. These actually serve for them very well. Once we make random bred natural cats worthless, the cat fancy will be glad to offer THEİR cats as a replacement. This I suppose how capitalism works, an art of convincing people to pay money for things that used to be free…

I hope our thoughts did not offend anybody. We would be glad if you Michael and other readers would look into the matter more closely. It’s better to avoid emotions, feelings and beliefs. To think freely, one must restrain one’s desire to believe because of social pressures to conform. It’s hard, but being open minded is always a good start.

Kind Regards,

The Angora cat Association/Ankara Kedisi Derneği

20 thoughts on “Currently the Welfare of Cats is Fundamentally Wrong”

  1. Response to Harvey Harrison:

    In my previous comments I asked people to try look at a cat as an ANİMAL. Harvey however sees a cat only as a pet as something we should protect from all bad things. On the other hand, other animals never receive such a privileged treatment. Considering that a cat is a predator and has to survive by consuming other animals (canned, dry commercial cat food is also made from animals that have been killed to feed our cats), the lives of those animal are forgotten. I guess because they are not so cute, so why should we care right? We humans lack compassion to our own species, think about how many people die every day in roads, from pollution caused diseases, wars caused by fellow humans, starvation. Let alone homeless people in developed countries… We are so compassionate about the cats however.

    Yet, now we feel responsible to save very cat. Do we really need to be responsible for all cats which aren’t our pets? You know what, many animals which we don’t think as pets die from same causes like poisoning, snakes, traffic etc. We never give a second thought about them. How dishonest we are.

    If you have a cat as a pet this is YOU are responsible for its well-being and care. Don’t let your cats outside, if you don’t want to take a risk. I have two Angora cats and they are precious for me, this is why they are indoor cats only. But other cats you see outside are NOT your cats. They have to live like any other animals, they have to face with predators, they may die, they may get ill… ALL animals have the same problems. They all have to fight for survival. Nature is cruel enough, where only the fittest survive. Animals have to die, this is how nature keeps a balance, this is also a natural population control. You don’t want any cat to die, but when you let them all survive, you start to complain about the overpopulation. After that we have shelters killing millions of healthy cats etc. Isn’t it strange, when we, guided by our irrationality, at the end cause more harm than good?

    It doesn’t make a difference what made a cat become wild, be it abuse, be it lack of socialization. They all behave similarly, they all have one thing in common: they don’t trust humans.

    Harvey said: ” It is known that the average life span of feral cats is much less than those kept principally indoors”
    ” In short outdoor cats have a higher mortality rate and suffer mote health problems than indoor cats”

    Sources? Scientific studies proving your point? Without this your claim does not prove that ”feral” cats have shorter life span than indoor cats.

    Reply
  2. FACT: Your mythical “vacuum effect” is a 100% LIE. A study done by the Texas A&M University proved that any perceived “vacuum” is just the simple case that CATS ATTRACT CATS. Get rid of them all and there’s no cats there to attract more. I proved this myself by shooting and burying hundreds of them on my own land. ZERO cats replaced them FOR OVER 3 YEARS NOW. If you want more cats, keep even one of them around, more will find you. That university study also found that sterilized cats very poorly defend any territory. Non-sterilized cats, being more aggressive, take over the sterilized cats’ resources (shelter & food if any). If there is any kind of “vacuum effect” at all, it is that sterilizing cats cause non-sterilized cats to restore the reproductive void.

    How much longer are others going to have to spoon-feed your pablum-level education to you?

    Reply
    • This person looks like he/she hate cats passionately. His arguments make no sense, just picking something that supports what he/she wants to believe.

      Isn’t it Woodsman?

      Michael, I would suggest do not waste time such people.

      Reply
      • I can’t resist (sometimes) arguing with him. Also, I don’t want PoC to be seen as a bunch of “cat-lovers” living in a false bubble. We need to respond to these people because there are a lot of people like him or people with similar ideas. I believe that if I censor people who rant and rave against the cat it hurts PoC, making it less serious and less “real”. PoC must be real and serious in its objectives to help in the improvement of cat welfare. Censoring comments is a serious business.

        I hope you understand that idea. I don’t like doing this but the fact that Woodsman comes here routinely is a good thing. It means he is concerned about us, which in turn means we are doing something to help the cat.

        I think you can only see what is right in the light of what is wrong.

        Reply
  3. If you believe that cats are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves and belong in nature, then stop feeding any strays. Watch how long they survive. You are 100% hypocrites if you believe cats are natural to the environment but you must supplement their foods. Show us all again how i……. (deleted by admin because it is rude)

    Reply
    • If you use rude language again and insult people you will be banned — again 😉 You comments are being moderated because you can’t be trusted (as usual).

      Reply
  4. Michael, if you want you may include my previous comments to this article. It would look more complete.

    Reply
    • Sure, will do. I’ll look at. That may have caused a slight complication which I hadn’t foreseen but I want to say thanks a lot for writing this. For me and I believe many others it is a very useful article.

      Reply
  5. This is a really great page: http://commonsenseforcats.com/ It should be told about all cats, not only those we call ”feral”.

    Still we wouldn’t like to see TNR overused here in Turkey. Probably I need to remind that those free roaming cats in Turkey are the real Angoras (including shorthair ones we gave a name Anatolian SH).

    Reply

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