Many thousands of years ago cats lived wild and free, they hunted and killed prey for survival, they enjoyed the fresh air, the sun and the unpolluted water of the rivers.

Yes life was hard and it was survival of the fittest, but cats lived their lives to the full, they found mates and their kittens were born with the instinct needed to survive, breed and ensure their species lived on.

Then humans decided cats were worth domesticating to keep their homes rodent free.
It did work both ways, the cats did their job and were given shelter and protection in return.

But was it too high a price for cats to pay?

Gradually they became pets and slowly but surely their natural lives have been taken from them more and more.

Wild cat to domestic cat
Wild to Domestic – Poster by Ruth AKA Kattaddorra.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Most pet cats are neutered young and while this is in a way morally wrong, we do it for their benefit and to prevent unwanted kittens being born. There are already not enough homes to go around the homeless cats cast out by people who should never have had a cat in the first place.

Also neutering both sexes prevents health problems for the cats, an unspayed female cat will keep coming into season and if not mated may suffer problems of her uterus.

An uncastrated male will wander away from home, get into fights with other toms and suffer injuries. He is also at risk of being run over as his territory is large in his quest to find a mate.

We feed our cats an un-natural diet of processed food and even if we buy the best for them it’s far from the raw flesh diet that cats were designed to eat.

In the wild the cats who survived became immune to diseases, now they have to be inoculated against the various, sometimes fatal illnesses they are at risk of contracting.

As humans grew in numbers and wanted cars and more roads built, it became dangerous in busy places and nowadays many cats are being deprived of their freedom.

They are confined inside houses and flats, some with nothing to do but look out of the window or sleep.

Cats are crepuscular, they come awake from dusk until dawn, but most, even indoor/outdoor cats are kept indoors at night for their own safety.

They have had to adjust to sleeping our hours, yet they must often yearn to get out and enjoy a good hunting spree.

Because of the growing number of cats kept strictly indoors in the USA and Canada, declawing began! This must be the worst loss of all to the cats who undergo that cruel surgery.

They are deprived of even play hunting, they are expected to live indoors for their entire lifetime with no means of exercising their muscles, they have no claws to dig into a scratching post and even have difficulty jumping safely to a height.

Their lives have become akin to being an ornament.

Yes they are safe and fed and their ‘owners’ love them in their own way I suppose! I say owners, because the people who declaw their cat do it because they own that cat, true cat lovers are cat caretakers and they would never ever deprive their pet of his claws.

I find it sad that wild cats are being interbred with domestic cats to create domestic hybrids such as Bengals and Savannahs, because as well cared for as these cats may be by their breeders and the people who buy them, they must deep down especially feel the lack of the freedom of their wild ancestors.

We can’t rewrite history but in my opinion the human race has a lot to answer for to the animal kingdom and sadly we are still wanting more and the more we have, the more the animals are being deprived of, or even made extinct.

Where will it all end?


    • It seems that way on my theory. If people can become less smart without even knowing it, it is certainly possible the domestication of cats can, very gradually, over millenia, make cats less smart. Natural selection is the guarantee for becoming smarter and stronger. Remove that key element of life and life will fade gradually.

  1. I agree with you, Ruth! I have an indoors only cat, and it’s something that I struggle to deal with every day. I have a passion for wildlife, and too frequently pull their carcasses off the road, so often I find cats joining the carcasses on the road. I hate having my cat indoors, and I will one day build him the biggest outdoor enclosure I can afford, so that he can climb, run and play to his heart’s content. I put a lot of effort into enriching Chilli, because I think indoor cats can easily become just like backyard dogs. Backyard dogs never leave the yard, they rarely get a walk, and they never go outside. They’re an ornament. They make the yard look interesting, and give the owner something to brag about. They’re miserable, bored and that’s where behaviour problems begin. The same with indoor cats, if you leave them to sleep on the couch and get fat, that’s exactly what they’ll do! An indoors cat needs lots of enrichment and attention, and someone who owns an indoors cat should have a lot of knowledge on signs of stress, stereotypic behaviour, and a range of enrichment activities. Cats aren’t an ornament to make your house look pretty, they’re a living, breathing animal, and they were not put here to please humans.

  2. I agree too, I feel sorry when I see cats trailing the roads with huge luminous collars on, or see them sitting looking out of windows longing to be out, or into windows wanting to be in but having to wait on their “owner’s” convenience. I feel sorry when cats are treated as babies and get into trouble for acting like cats, when they are expected to use dirty litter trays and punished when they don’t, when they are expected to eat whatever is put down for them and if they don’t they get nothing else until they do, when they are bathed, when they are given “lion cuts” and laughed at, when they are dressed in clothes to resemble humans, when they are put on show in cages, when they are left to breed and then their kittens are taken away and destroyed, I love cats but loving them sometimes gives me great sadness when I see the way cats are exploited.

  3. Hi Ruth, thanks for the article. I have always thought about cats as you do. I agree with your post. Domestication of the cat was initially a two way process as you say. The wild cat was fed and in return kept down rodents etc.

    But it seems to me that the natural balance in the relationship that existed early on, has gradually shifted in favour of the human.

    There is too much in the way of collateral damage to the cat and none to the human in the current relationship – declawing and mass euthanasia are two examples.

    I am sure at the beginning there was no intention to allow cats to breed to the point where they had to be slaughtered in their millions.

    But even as early as ancient Egypt the cat was abused. The human got onto the cat abuse bandwagon quickly as it suited him.

    What you are saying is that people are taking too much from the cat. Yes, there are millions of contented and well fed cats but the price is the one I have mentioned. Too high a price for me.


Leave a Comment

follow it link and logo