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Cats in the UK have more rights than humans

Cats in the UK have more rights than humans

by Keith Balderson
(Sevenoaks, UK)

I have an issue. Cats in the UK have more rights than humans. They also have more rights than wild animals or dogs. Why is that?

If they cause a problem, why as a land owner can I not do something about it, and why does the ‘owner’ not have responsibility for their animal’s actions?

I have no wish to harm any animal, but if I need to because it is interfering with my life it will be done quickly and humanely. People should take total responsibility for the animals they own, both in their welfare and the affect on their neighbours.

Slugs eat vegetables, cats dig them up. Will someone tell me the difference…..


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Cats in the UK have more rights than humans

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Sep 26, 2011
End to this one….
by: KeithB

OK I have made my point and I know loads of people who agree and disagree with me. I’m not continuing with this one.

Animal welfare is very important. Irresponsible ownership (or custodion-ship) of any animal is also very important. Animal abuse is inexcusable. I don’t think anyone in this conversation would disagree with that. Deterrents are acceptable I would submit, and limited rapid escape is one of those. Wild animals are far from stupid. They won’t go anywhere they can’t get out of intentionally.

So – hands up – I probably picked the wrong discussion to post my frustrations. But in a way I am glad I did because I now see some of the arguments, and maybe you will think about mine.

We clearly all don’t agree.

My final point which you all don’t seem to have got – I actually quite like cats and they like me.


Sep 23, 2011
by: Michael

To Keith..I am not sure I agree with you. I do agree that some people don’t like someone else’s cat wandering onto their garden. The cat’s caretaker should be responsible under those circumstances and prevent it happening.

I have a page that contains information about legal issues and cats but it is about cat welfare and protection in different countries. You might find some of it useful though.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 is almost a bill of basic rights for the cat and it guides people on how to treat cats and animals in general.

Sep 23, 2011
How dare you!
by: Anonymous

You are implying that we are not responsible owners and that is far from the truth.
I think you’ll find that 99% of us who visit PoC ARE responsible and caring owners.
You won’t promote anything at all by laying the law down about cats with bell collars which wouldn’t stop a cat digging anyway!
What would you do,sit and listen for a bell so you could go out and terrify the poor cat?
God I’m glad you don’t live in my neighbourhood.

Sep 23, 2011
You’ve toned it down
by: Barbara

You didn’t seem to me to be referring to ultra-sonic deterents which scare the cat away by a high frequency noise, you wrote, “I have no wish to harm any animal, but if I need to because it is interfering with my life it will be done quickly and humanely” this implied that you would do considerable harm to an animal, namely a cat, if you considered it to be a nuisance on your property. Again, you say that you have found the best solution is to make it difficult to escape, why would you want to make it difficult if you are using an ultra-sonic device? Surely a means of immediate flight is exactly what is required if you wish to scare cats off your property in this way, I am suspicious of your motives for preventing a cat escaping, are you using some sort of trap? This is illegal and would bring you severe repercussions from the RSPCA and Cats Protection.
Cats do have a place, a very welcome and popular place and they do have the right to roam so you need to be thinking about mesh over your garden where you want to protect it, orange peel amongst your plants to deter cats and bottles partly filled with water laid in amongst your plants, for some reason this also deters cats. You can also buy a proprietry brand of cat deterrent called cat scat or something like that which is a sort of pepper powder designed to repel but not harm cats, personally I wouldn’t use any of these things but they are far more humane than the thing you imply.
I don’t agree with keeping cats imprisoned in the house either, they have as much right to fresh air and sunshine as you or I, cats don’t know that certain area are no-go, as far as they are concerned the world is theirs, just as we humans think it’s ours. I wouldn’t put a bell around my cats neck, I wouldn’t like something ting-a-linging in my ear day and night everytime I moved, would you?

Have you ever heard the old adage “Live and let live”? It’s worth sitting down and having a real good think about it. None of us get to choose what form we are born into, do you not think a cat might prefer to be human and free of this sort of predjudice if only she could choose?

Sep 23, 2011
Do you run PoC now?
by: Ted

‘Please limit further comments to these facts’

Do you run PoC now?
I thought Michael made the rules.
I thought this was a place for cat lovers to discuss cats!

What an arrogant person you are wanting everything your way.
I can’t be doing with people like you with your threatening talk of making it difficult for cats to escape from your precious garden.
I suggest you get a life!

Sep 23, 2011
Since when ?
by: Ruth

Since when can you harm a burglar in the UK ? People are still being prosecuted for doing just that !
Yes you can harm a slug, I personally would not as I value all life no matter how small, but it is legal.
Collars with bells, well would you like something round your neck ringing with every step you took ?
Don’t tell me you are one of the cats are killing off wild birds brigade ?
People kill far more birds than cats ever could, by taking away their natural habitat to build more houses for the ever expanding population and using insecticides to kill off insects the birds feed upon and the air birds breathe is polluted with fumes.
Cats only kill the weakest birds and that is how Nature balances the species.
The RSBP are of course biased against cats, that is obvious.
You couldn’t expect anything other than negative responses as you came to a web site devoted to the love of cats and their welfare.
I’m glad you would never hurt a cat but please live and let live, making it hard for an animal to escape is unkind, surely a deterrant is enough without frightening the life out of them by trapping them too.

Sep 23, 2011
Response to Michael
by: Keith


I am fully aware of the animal welfare act and would not contravene it. That was not my point. Cats seem to have exceptional protection in law without much ownership responsibility. If a young child breaks the law then the parents are deemed to have some responsibility. Not so their pets so it seems.

You get my drift I hope.

This post was intended to be controversial as you will have gathered. What I want to promote is good animal welfare and responsible ownership. I think you might agree that this is not always the case.

My other frustration was lack of unbiased true legal information about animal ownership and responsibility. Maybe someone can help me there?


Sep 23, 2011
by: Keith

OK, I didn’t expect a positive response. There are some implied things in your responses that are not true. I would not hurt any animal that came into my garden, and what I was referring to are ultra-sonic deterrents, which are automatic, quick and humane. The best solution I have found however to all animal nuisance is to make it difficult to escape.

So all you cat lovers out there. They do have a place and I’m sure that they are very good company. But with ownership comes responsibility and at the very least they should be fitted with collars with bells. I don’t agree with caging any animal so I have a bit of a problem with ‘house cats’ unless that is their choice. For some it is.

My comments about rights comes from the RSPB web-site and other legal sites. I can harm a burglar or a slug – I can’t touch a cat. I don’t have a legal right to roam on other people’s property – it appears that a cat does and there is no recourse to the owner for any damage caused. Is this right or fair? I think not.

Please limit further comments to these facts.



Sep 22, 2011
by: Barbara

You have to be joking! Cats come very low down in the rights department, they are treated like second class citizens compared to the mighty dog and as for having more rights than humans in fact the poor creatures have significantly less. Proof of this is in the way you arrogantly threaten to eliminate any animal “interfering with your life” what is so special about your life that you should kill other animals just because you can? I suppose you’re another obsessed gardener that can’t see beyond his leeks and cabbages, can’t appreciate the world of living creatures and resents anything that isn’t green and doesn’t grow tidily where you plant it.

Get a life mate, you might be human and think you’re it compared to animals but in truth you’re just one more beating heart, no better and no worse than any other mammal, you’ll pass just the same as all animals do.

Sep 22, 2011
by: Rose

What rubbish,of course they don’t have more rights!
So you don’t like harming animals.
Rodents are animals,would you harm them?
Cats have their place in the tapestry of life you see.
Cover your veg and leave the cats to keep your garden rodent free.
Blame the uncaring owners,don’t blame the cats that come in your garden and for God’s sake don’t harm them,they don’t deserve that.
As for slugs,they are more of a pest than cats ever could be.

Sep 22, 2011
by: Maggie

You do realise cats are carnivorous? They don’t eat vegetables. I think your idea of ‘cats digging up vegetables’ is cats going to the loo, and covering up it’s business in your vegetable garden’s dirt. Something tells me the vegetables aren’t affected at all.

Cats don’t have more rights than humans, if they did the world would be run by cats. Humans would be inferior, and under the control of cats. Which is utterly ridiculous.

I agree that cats are pests, there’s no doubt about that. But that’s no reason to basically accuse every cat owner of being irresponsible. Instead of blaming the responsibility people exercise over their cats, why not better protect your vegetables. As Ruth said, cover them up. It’s not exactly hard…

Sep 22, 2011
Of course they don’t !
by: Ruth

So if you have no wish to harm any animal and you had a rodent problem wouldn’t you get a cat ?
Without cats the world would be over run by rodents. With cats around the rodent problem never arises in the first place.
Cats don’t have more rights than humans, they are simply protected from cruelty which is as it should be.
Please don’t lump all cat caretakers together, we responsible ones ensure our cats have part of the garden for their needs, they don’t dig up others vegetables.
It’s simple enough to put netting over plants or to use one of the safe devices that keep cats from your garden, you don’t have to threaten to kill them simply for being cats.

Sep 21, 2011
by: Michael

You are exaggerating, Keith. Cats don’t have the same level of rights as humans. You actually admit it when you say (by implication) that you kill cats who come onto your property. Nothing happens. The cat has not even got a right to life it seems.

Cats are treated as a chattel – a human possession.

However, you are possibly in breach of the Animal Wefare Act 2006 which does contain clauses that protect cats and all animal from cruelty and abuse. These are animal rights.

You also might have committed the crime of criminal damage.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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