It had to come. Cats can take so much disrespect and mishandling. They’ve reached breaking point. Enough is enough. Bam. Splat. Take that! Pesky little kids. Leave me in peace.
These are the possible thoughts of the cats in the video. That said, there are many great relationships between cats and toddlers. And I like to see it. It is always a good start in life for a child to love a companion animal. It is so important for animal welfare going forward. And the general consensus is that it is good for a child in terms of building up a resistance to allergens.
I am having a bit of fun but sadly there is a serious side, which actually might be so serious that the child’s mom takes their family cat to the local shelter to say goodbye, which in turn might spell the end of the cat if they aren’t adopted. What if the cat is a 10-year-old blackie? No one wants to adopt them.
Every instance of a cat striking back as seen in the video is potentially an example of ‘problem cat behavior’ if the child’s mom sees it that way. They don’t always. But if their child is getting scratched and the child consistently manhandles the family cat it’d unsurprising if the cat is given up to protect the child. Scratches can lead to cat scratch fever and bacterial infections. They can be nothing or something quite serious.
The table below shows you the reasons given by owners for the relinquishment of their cats to Blue Cross shelters (3,021 cats). Source: The Welfare of Cats – Behavior Problems and Welfare by SE Heath page 93.
|Reason for relinquishment||Percent of cats|
|Change in owner circumstances||14|
|Not allowed to keep||1|
It comes down to parenting, right? I realise it must be hard to supervise babies and toddlers all the time and to take time to train the kids but it boils down to that. And the younger they are taught about cat behaviour and respecting the cat the better as it will probably stick all their lives and they’ll be great cat caregivers. And maybe in animal advocates. God willing. The world needs more animal advocates as there is still a long way to go before humankind has a half-decent relationship with animals generally.
In order to instruct and train toddlers on cat handling the mom and dad need to understand cats. That’s a big one. This website has thousands of pages on cat behavior by the way.
Also, 7.5 percent of cat relinquishments to Cats Protection in the UK were for ‘problem behavior’. These stats translate to quite big numbers. Most instances (all instances?) of bad cat behavior can be avoided with good, sensible cat caregiving based on a solid understanding of cat behavior.
According to the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) in the UK 23% of referrals to them occurred because of ‘aggression towards people’. Pretty well all examples of feline aggression towards people can be avoided by people through judicious human behavior on the back of a good knowledge of feline behavior.
Some more on feline aggression
Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.