Boy plays veterinarian to 6 cats. Cute or wrong?

It has been described as cuteness overload. A three-year-old Chinese boy enjoyed himself playing a veterinarian putting Covid-19 masks on six family cats. The video, which I can’t find on the Chinese site Weibo, has gone viral. The boy’s name is ‘He’ and he lives in Beijing, China.

The video was captured in the living room of the boy’s home. You can see, from the screenshot, that he has taken considerable care and attention to add Covid masks to the cats and cut out circles to allow them to see. He also tried to take a swab from one of his cats without success.

The boy learned to do this from his kindergarten where they organised Covid-19 tests. The boy’s father said that his son is three-years-old and the cats are five-years-old (all of them?). He said that the cats enjoyed the experience.

Chinese boy plays veterinarian to his cats by putting Covid masks on them

Chinese boy plays veterinarian to his cats by putting Covid masks on them. Photo: Weibo video screenshot (believed).

The assessment of what is going on is what I call human-centric. I don’t like to see it myself. I think that it is wrong for the parents to allow it. You should not be sticking masks on cats. It will confuse them and 99% of the time they will try and get them off. We don’t see this happening but all I have is a still photograph with the cats seemingly compliant and accepting the masks.

However, it’s almost certain that within quite a short space of time they pawed at the masks to try and remove them. It’s just unnatural and I don’t think that it is an example of good cat caregiving.

But it seems that the focus is on the child having fun and the whole thing is described as cute. And the focus, too, is on making a viral video. It does not matter how you do it and whether the cats are upset or not. We know that around 34% at least of cats involved in viral funny cat videos are stressed.

It seems that the viral cat video depends upon stressing up your domestic cat companion. Like I said, the world is human-centric and when push comes to shove the cat is a commodity to help humans make viral videos to make money out of advertising and/or to achieve that precious 15 minutes of fame that Andy Warhol so famously spoke about.

As an afterthought, I am surprised that they are still wearing masks in China. We stopped doing that ages ago in the UK and in Europe generally. But China has a problem and it’s affecting their economy. Their home-grown vaccination is far less effective than those that were created in the West. And secondly, elderly people in China are frightened of vaccines. There was a very low pickup of the Covid vaccination programme by elderly people.

These factors combined to leave Chinese citizens, particularly elderly, vulnerable to the new variant Omicron. That’s why they’ve still got lockdowns occurring in China. For example, even today, Chengdu, a Chinese city of 21 million citizens has been locked down indefinitely which will no doubt cause great distress to the residents because they can’t go about their daily lives and earn a living in the normal way.

Below are some more pages on China.

Thinking of Taiwan

2 reasons why China could invade Taiwan soon (2023)

This is indirectly about cats as it is about all of us, anywhere on the planet. And it is very ...
Down with Xi Jingpin

China’s zero-Covid policy contributed to high youth unemployment and great difficulty caring for pets

NEWS AND OPINION-CHINA: the current news about China, widely reported in the West, is that its economy is going through ...
Dollars down the drain

WHITE COAT WASTE PROJECT campaigns for the enactment of the Accountability in Foreign Animal Research (AFAR) Bill

Dollars down the drain. White Coat Waste Project wants the taxpayer dollar waste to stop as it is madness. Image: ...
Cat cruelty China

Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China – two boys broke into a pet store and one threw a kitten around

NEWS AND VIEWS: This is a little cat story from China of the type with which we are familiar for ...
Kittens exploited as toys in a game in China

Ring toss game – the prize is a live kitten. Cruel and exploitative.

NEWS AND VIEWS - Xianyang, Shaanxi, China: The tweet says: "Ring toss game - the prize is a live cat ...
Torturing dogs to death to improve the taste of their 'meat' is scientifically INCORRECT

Torturing dogs to death to improve the taste of their ‘meat’ is scientifically INCORRECT

There is a tweet on Twitter today which reminds me that in the huge dog meat market in Asia, mainly ...
Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.
Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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1 Response

  1. tamara beinlich says:

    What’s funny is the cats just sit there and let him do it. No way my own cats would let me put masks on them. Maybe the boy and cats have been playing together long enough the cats just don’t care and tolerate him. Not one cat in the picture is even trying to pull the mask off which is even weirder. I’m confused by the cats behavior.

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