I don’t want to criticize a veterinarian but sometimes you just have to. In my experience some vets (perhaps a small number) in Australia can tend to have a slightly biased attitude against the domestic cat, which I have gathered from reading their comments on the internet. That is possibly due to the fact that there is a slightly different attitude towards the domestic cat in general in Australia compared to the UK and a very different attitude towards the feral cat in Australia. It is much more antagonistic and hostile.
Veterinarian Jack Ayerbe of Newton Veterinary Clinic, Victoria, Australia was talking about cats generally in the Geelong Advertiser, a local newspaper.
Jack Ayerbe first said that a cat’s bite was often worse than a dog’s and then he is quoted as saying this amongst other things:
“Cat scratches are equally as disastrous and cause major problems.
So according to this esteemed Australian vet cat scratches are disastrous every time.That is the only way you can interpret that comment. This is obviously complete mumbo jumbo. Sometimes and very rarely a cat scratch may cause health problems in a person such as cat scratch fever but invariably the scratch would have been the result of mishandling the cat by the person who was scratched.
Cat scratches simply do not always cause major problems as this vet says. Most scratches are simply ignored and forgotten about. And there is no reason to be scratched. It is the person’s responsibility to avoid being scratched by relating to the cat in a sensible and appropriate manner.
Then vet Jack Ayerbe says that:
Anyone attacked by a cat needs to go to the doctor immediately…
I am telling Dr Ayerbe that people are not attacked by a domestic cat. It is the other way around. If a person does attack a person it will be out of sheer desperation and in defense. It will be a defensive measure not “an attack” in the conventional sense. The problem, once again, will be caused by the person.
I don’t like it when people, especially professionals and so called experts paint an inaccurate picture on cat behavior. It can lead to worsening relations between domestic cat and people and a vet has a duty to foster good relations.
The area of Geelong have a curfew for domestic cats. Cats have got to be in between sunset and sunrise – all day, basically. The author of the article (see original) says that a cat has to be “kept inside a house or garage” during these hours under the local community regulations.
If anyone kept a cat inside a garage in Australia all day he should be banned from having a cat. Ridiculous comment.
It seems that a large number of owners ignored the local legislation as 3227 cats were impounded of which 2406 were euthanized.
Original photo on Flickr.