Muslims should like cats. Perhaps they have a duty to like cats. The history of the Islam faith emphasises the relationship that the Prophet Mohammad had with cats. It is clear that he loved them. Shouldn’t this encourage all Muslims to love cats too?
Well yes, it should but they don’t. Although there is a duty, as a Muslim, to follow the teachings of the Hadiths and the Koran and pray regularly, there is no obligation for Muslims to like cats. It is an entirely personal choice.
In fact, my intuition tells me that Muslims like cats far less than white people like cats. This may be part of the general attitude of persons of colour who are, in general, less enamoured of the charms of the domestic cat than white people living in the so called developed world, the West, where they can be obsessive about them. I mean look at the popularity of ‘funny cat videos’ and pet cats as accessories for the rich and famous.
What displeases me about the lessons of the Koran and the Hadiths is that they promote speciesism. The cat is okay in the eyes of Muslims thanks to the Prophet but the dog is dirty, maligned and ill-treated. Unfair. Very unfair and there is no basis for this ‘animal racism’.
You will certainly find that there are far fewer domestic cats in Muslim households than in the homes of white people in the UK.
In Pakistan, a predominantly Muslim country, there is a poor attitude towards stray and feral cats. This is telling of the general attitude.
I have a personal story about a man, Ahsan Ulhaq, in Pakistan who used to write some articles for this website. He professed to love cats and said he rescued them. I wanted to help. I sent him £100 to build a cat enclosure. He conned me because he never built the enclosure. I guess the amount I sent him was enough to feed his family for a month and the temptation was too great. But this from a person who professed to love and care for feral cats.
I am not saying that his behaviour is reflective of all Muslims in Pakistan but it does highlight, as far as I am concerned, an attitude problem which stands in the way of animal welfare in that country. Poor animal welfare laws poorly enforced might sum it up.
You don’t have to look far to see animal abuse cases in Pakistan. Of course animal abuse is not unique to Pakistan. It is everywhere but the type of abuse in Pakistan is notable.
Here is an example reported quite recently. Two lions were being relocated from Islamabad Zoo to an animal sanctuary probably because the zoo was so bloody awful. The zookeepers set a fire in the lions’ cage to force them out. A lioness was suffocated to death! An autopsy showed that the lioness had not been vaccinated or dewormed. She was weak, emaciated and dehydrated.
That little Pakistan zoo story kind of sums up the attitude of some Muslims to cats. My search for information about whether Muslims liked cats produced an article by the Daily Sabah in which the history of the Islam faith in relation to cats is recited. There is all this love of cats. But this is almost irelevant to the attitude of today’s Muslims towards cats. In general terms that idealised cat love isn’t there.
Muslims don’t particularly like cats but they dislike dogs more. That is the answer to the question in the title.