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.
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.