When reading about cat hoarders, I have noticed that quite often they live in mobile homes. These are cheap homes. This indicates that cat hoarders tend to be poor people or am I being unfair? If I’m correct in saying that cat hoarders tend to be people who do not have a lot of money then it begs the question whether cat hoarding is linked in some way to a lack of money. There may be an indirect link.
A cat hoarder may be the sort of person who is not a great socialiser. They may tend to be loners. Loners tend to be people who are less able to integrate into society and that quality can be a barrier to financial success in the job market. This leads to a lack of funds and a greater reliance on companion animals as a substitute for socialising.
Not all cat hoarders are criminals by nature. Often this lack of ability to cope or a dislike of socialising can lead to an inability to cope with the animals in their care. One such example is Don. He lives near Boston, USA as far as I’m aware. He lives in a mobile home in Salisbury.
He found himself looking after 67 cats but that wasn’t his plan. Although they are now all sheltered at the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society, Don says that they were well looked after: “I took care of everyone of them”, he said.
The fact of the matter is that the cats were in remarkably good shape when they were rescued. This is despite the fact that he at least on occasions fed them with macaroni cheese!
“I was so afraid. It got so bad that I was afraid I’d be arrested.”
Don says that he did not have the money (as mentioned this was partly a lack of money issue) to have his cats spayed and neutered so the simply multiplied which led to his fear that he would one day be arrested. He knew what he was doing and knew the problems but was unable to cope and deal with the matter sensibly. There are cheap spay/neuter programs. Although he seems to have been very hard up.
Don cooperated with the authorities in handing over the cats. Don says “I miss them. Every one of them.”
Britt Fox-Hover of the Merrimack River feline rescue Society says that, “they were in actually relatively good shape for where they came from.”
They came from a mobile home that was full of cats, full of faeces and full of urine. There was debris everywhere and the smell was overpowering. This is so typical of a cat hoarder. It’s really about a failure to cope and a lack of finances.
Sometimes cat hoarders are criminals. They trade in cats and treat them abysmally in the interests of making some money and attaining some kudos. In the case of Don, he is as much a victim as were his cats. In fact you could argue that he was more of a victim living as he was in squalor.
The source of the story comes from CBS Boston.