Domestic cat is not enjoying 21st century living

Cat not enjoying 21s century living

Cat not enjoying 21s century living. Photo: Dubravko Soric

The domestic cat is not enjoying modern life. They are too stressed being forced to live close together. The stress makes them ill with cystitis and dermatitis which are on the increase.

Unlike dogs, the cat is still halfway between a domestic and a wild animal, and it’s not enjoying 21st century living (Dr. Bradshaw)

There is a need for a specially bred 21st domestic cat, one that does not hunt, is docile and easy to train so he/she can fit in with the human way of living. There is scope for that because the domestic cat is not yet fully domesticated. The domestic cat is heading towards being more domesticated and why not try and make sure it is tailor made for human needs?

These are the thoughts of Dr Bradshaw, a high profile scientist, cat expert and anthrozoology (the study of human to animal relationships).

His thoughts about the domestic cat are important and influential because they get reported in the mainstream press such as the Daily Mail and he is on television. What he says gets heavy publicity. I am not sure that what he says is 100% accurate or wise. It seems to lack a knowledge of first hand cat caretaking over a long time. There is nothing more sound for learning about domestic cats than long-term first hand experience coupled with an enquiring mind.

That is not to say Dr Bradshaw is “wrong” in what he says. It is smart thinking but it is, for me, a bit off the mark.

Tips for modern domestic cat ownership

Tips for modern domestic cat ownership per Dr Bradshaw

For example the tips, as highlighted in the image above, are questionable or worse: downright incorrect.

He is suggesting that it is good cat caretaking to punish your cat by squirting water at him/her if she claws furniture provided you make sure your cat doesn’t know that it is the owner who is squirting the water. He refers to “bad” behaviour.

Dr Bradshaw is a scientist so he knows that cat’s don’t behave badly; they sometimes behave in a way that some people find unsuitable. The two are different and it is unwise to provide advise like this because poor cat owners will use it to justify punishing their cat or worse: abusing their cat. Not everyone has the sense to properly understand the remarks of scientists as disseminated by the popular press – this is dangerous for cats.

Dr Bradshaw’s thought about breeding a cuddly toy of a cat is also damaging to cat welfare as it encourages breeding of cats for commercial reasons and we know where that can take us.

The online press like to sensationalise and popularise scientific information about the cat in particular because of the internet cat phenomenon. This should be done in a responsible way because not everyone is able to respond wisely and sensibly. There are many average to poor cat owners with limited intelligence who will get the wrong end of the stick.

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Domestic cat is not enjoying 21st century living — 48 Comments

  1. Cats are cats and they all have very different personalities that’s what we love about them! What he is basically saying is that he will likely take the sweetest natured cat he can find and clone it!! Its a few mutations on from the Rag Doll cat that was bred to just lie floppy in a persons arms like a doll but because they were still like a cat in a lot of other ways then they were accepted.

    What he wants is a cat that behaves like a dog!! Methinks he’s watched the O2 advert too many times and thought ah ha!! Thats it!!! ‘be more dog!’ The man is insane!

  2. Thing is what makes him so sure he knows everything. Has anyone asked the CATS??? They prob Enjoy Life, I mean I know there’s prob alot in Shelters etc Who dont Enjoy being a domestic Cat. Just cause someone got a ba or Ca or whatever. Doesnt make them the expect. I give up. I prefer to just learn from what my Cat Thinks.

  3. Sorry but Dr Bradshaw is another contender for Midden Man of the Month, so much guff it’s unreal, if the man is a cat expert then give me amateurs any day.

  4. Well Dr Bradshaw is even more of an idiot than I thought because he certainly doesn’t know much about cats. That he’s one of the squirt gun brigade says it all. They advocate the use of those unkind useless things but all they do is make the cat nervous around the person squirting. It IS punishment and cats don’t understand punishment, it doesn’t work!
    AS for breeding cats to fit I with our modern lifestyle, why should cats lose their wild ancestry that makes them unique! Does he want cats to be fawning yes men like dogs? He seems obsessed with thinking we want dog like cats.
    If I met him I’d say ‘We do NOT want cats like dogs or any other way thank you Doctor, we LOVE cats as they are, so leave them alone and spout your ‘expert’ opinion about something you really do know about, which is certainly not cats and the people who love cats’

      • Michael, you still avoid/avert this conflict… how do you justify and accept his notion of aversive conditioning?

        It seems to me that, like so many before him, it is considered acceptable to use negative conditioning with those species who are ‘under our thumb?’ Is this truly who we are, as compassionate, intelligent souls? Do we not have an obligation to uphold the truth? [And what is true, Michael?] What IS true?

          • I know that, Michael. My way of thinking always gets me into trouble with you and Ruth, et al.

            Because, I am continually thinking that it is acceptable to draw attention to those issues which require a bit of thinking, and it is requisite that those new to on your website do put their thought into it, conscientiously. [sorry, a bit verbose, yet worth a look into us and our mechanisms that drive us as human sp.]

  5. By Jove, I think I’ve got it!

    (Doc Bradshaw should like this idea:
    1. we don’t have to wait for a “new breed of cat”, evolution, or other;
    2. it is a commercially viable concern;
    3. and likely no water spray-bottles needed!)


    • Great idea πŸ˜‰ It would create the half cat half plush toy that Dr Bradshaw alludes to. He does have a point though that for some cat owners their cat is a little bit like a plush toy or it is what the owner desires and as urban space becomes more crowded and the world more competitive a new sort of cat may be created.

  6. Okay, I did not read past the “squirting water” note. That is enough to set me off. [Where is Ruth(K) when I need her!]

    Seems to me that he is about as intelligent as “Dr. Oz.”
    I’m with you, Michael. Akin to snake oil salesman.

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