In Times Of Austerity Why Are Cats First To Go?

By Ruth aka Kattaddorra

Many families are being hit by austerity and are finding it hard to manage on the money they have coming in, but WHY are the cats in the family the first to lose their homes?

Why are cats first to go in times of austerity
Poster by Ruth aka Kattaddorra
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Hardship is being endured by some people, mainly unemployed people, but here is the worst thing about this, most of the people who say they can’t afford to keep their pet cat any longer can still afford to smoke and they have a TV, a computer and other non essentials.

  • Do they really need a huge TV set with subscriptions to Sky TV?
  • Do their children really need a computer each?
  • Do they need to smoke? Drink alcohol?

Are material possessions and their own pleasures worth more to them than a living breathing animal? It seems so!

Just this week one person said that if things didn’t improve, the cat would have to go, not the dog, no, he didn’t cost as much to feed as the cat. It makes me wonder what the dog is being fed on. But in reality the truth is that the dog is more valued than the cat!

My heart aches for that poor cat soon to be homeless through no fault of her own and for all the other cats being cast out of the family too. They must be frightened and bewildered, in a strange place with no home comforts and not much chance of being adopted out because all Animal Sanctuaries are overflowing right now.

How can people add to this terrible situation by relinquishing their pets….. part of the family? Surely even if they don’t have an expensive lifestyle or possessions they could give up, they could budget for cheaper meals for the family and have enough to spare to feed their cats.

Yes, dogs are being relinquished too but not half as many as cats. Why are cats seen by some people as second class citizens?

Those people don’t give a thought to how the Shelters afford to feed more and more animals every day and pay their vets bills. Shelters get no free veterinary treatment from charities like the PDSA, which people on a low income can get.

Then when/if times improve will those people go back to the Shelter and reclaim their pet if he hasn’t been adopted? I doubt it, they will probably get a new pet, the old one forgotten.

The ‘I can’t afford to feed it’ excuse has taken over from the ‘my child is allergic’ excuse. Food banks for pets would be one solution but would some people take advantage and claim free pet food when they could well afford to buy it if they budgeted more wisely and cut out luxuries?

I think some would, because I’ve seen unemployed/unemployable people here getting free bags of groceries from food banks and returning home laughing, with a cigarette lit in their mouth. I think the only reason a pet should EVER be relinquished for good is that the caretaker is physically unable to care for him/her any longer

I personally would eat dry bread for every meal rather than part with our cats.

59 thoughts on “In Times Of Austerity Why Are Cats First To Go?”

  1. Yes and that poor dog we fed and who was ‘so much loved’ was soon cast out when her new boyfriend came along because he was banned from keeping pets and she chose him over her ‘baby’
    Thankfully he has a good home now, all cats and dogs aren’t as lucky.
    The point is that she could have afforded to feed her dog properly but chose to spend her benefit money on luxuries instead and there are many more like her.

  2. Hardship is being endured by some people, there’s no doubt about that, and it’s mostly by those of us who don’t have much to start with. But the difference is what one considers priority in their life. It must be hell to be unemployed these days for the people who are genuinely looking for work, the humiliation of having to apply for a set number of jobs per week, even though they know there are no jobs available, must be horrendous, I feel sorry for those people. But let’s not pretend that there aren’t some people who glory in being jobless and who sit back and wait for the giro or the BACS transfer of money into their account and who’s aim in life is but to take, take, take and give nowt in return. It seems that nowadays it’s politically incorrect to even mention the fact that, yes, there are parasite in our society who don’t work, won’t work and will never work and it is these people who, in my opinion, are the ones who so casually get kittens or pups “for the bairns” and who value them so little that come the day the job centre puts a sanction on their money and they have to go to the food bank or take out a loan chucks out the now half grown kitten or pup, to a sanctuary maybe if it’s lucky, or onto the streets, or maybe gives them to a friend of a friend because they couldn’t care less, they see them as animated fluffy toys and oh so replaceable because after all they’re free to good homes. These same people have satellite dishes outside, they have the local pizza parlour or Indian takeout vans knocking at the door to deliver their supper, they have the parcel man knocking on the door with the latest leggings or whatever off the home shopping pages, they might have the baccy man calling with the makings of roll-you-own fags, they have £10-for-3-minute tans but they can’t afford to feed the cat or dog, I KNOW this from experience, earlier this year we gave dog food regularly to someone who answers this description perfectly,not for her sake but because the dog was hungry and was being fed with bits of pasties which was upsetting his tummy of course. Of course there are people unemployed who genuinely love and care for their pets and who would be heartbroken to lose them and I think these people would move Heaven and Earth and starve themselves and still never even think of getting shot of the cat or dog just to keep food in their own mouths, but the scenario Ruth describes in the poster DOES happen and always has, Vicky you volunteer for one rescue and in your opinion this is not the problem but I think you would find it’s a hell of a problem if you looked into it more deeply. My sister and I have been involved with animal welfare for a long, long time, she for around half a century and me for around 40 years so we’ve seen and heard pretty much all of it. We’re all here because we love cats and not to score points off each other, we’re all worried about the welfare of cats, we all want to do what we can and this is what Ruth does well, she highlights problems and all these comments raise money bit by bit which Michael kindly donates to cats wherever help is needed most. I think it’s a great article and poster and I think things like this need to be said.

    • Exactly, my experience and my opinion, which I stated in my first comment where I said I agreed in principle, and was berated for. The problem in rescues at the minute comes from the throwaway, irresponsible society we live in, which does not only include the unemployed. The recession has hit a lot of people hard, that cannot be denied, my son has JUST found work after 2 years of searching after completing his A Levels, and even that is only a temporary seasonal job. But believe me there are those in work and who have enough money who think it is acceptable to drain money from rescues not only by deciding they don’t want their animals anymore but by trying to take advantage, and that is not just from my experience with CP but my friendship with a Staffie Rescue and a vet nurse who had her own rabbit, guinea pig and cat rescue in Essex until early this year. Like I said there are people on benefits who will play the system for everything it is worth and give an appalling name to those in genuine need, but those in genuine need are there, they are just hidden by all the media stories etc of the idiots who have never worked a day in their lives, and unfortunately those idiots are creating a cycle of benefit dependants to carry on the appalling name.

      • Vicky, I agree that it is bloody tough for some really genuine and good people. I wouldn’t want to be a 20 year-old today. Too tough.

        People should factor in the hard times. If they think it might be tough ahead, don’t adopt a cat. There has to be some “fat” in the personal budget to cope with hard times allowing you to keep the cat you adopted in the better times. Planning helps.

    • the difference is what one considers priority in their life

      Yes, it is about that. It is all about that. People should learn to prioritise life – their cat – above bloody Sky TV and the car.

      I understand that is is hard, very hard for some people. I am lucky. But….I know if I was broke, I’d be broke with my cat. In fact, I would rely on Charlie to help me feel better if I was broke.

      • Yes Micheal you’d be broke with your cat like I would with my cats if I lost my job.The old folk I go in and see to are the same it’s the younger generation who have to have the modern stuff they think is essential and alright if they get a job and can afford it but some expect to have it all given and they put that stuff before their animals.
        There are a lot where I live don’t work don’t want to work say they can’t afford to feed their pets and going to get rid of them.
        It upsets me I don’t mind helping the old folk out but why should I help those young and fit but I do if I can because I put their pets first like they should but I can only do so much.

  3. Lovely to see so many comments and all the 5 cents racking up for the October cat charity donation, thanks everyone 🙂
    Thanks to Michael too for all the wonders of PoC.

  4. I tell you what Rose, you come and return some of our phone calls for a couple of weeks, then tell me that the main excuse is financial reasons.

    • Another quote from that

      “We never get people who come in wanting to give up their pets. They have done a lot of soul-searching.

      “The animals are a part of their families and no-one wants to give them up unless they need to. They aren’t doing it on a whim – they’ve tried everything else.

        • Rose on October 26, 2013 at 12:37 pm said:
          I know what Ruth does “Vicky in the frontline” and has done all her life and admire her very much and it did read to me that you are criticising her blog and now backtracking from “only” unemployed people to “mainly” unemployed people.

          Seems you have a problem with me Rose, I come onto a thread and have a debate about something that I know quite a lot about and you go on the attack? I don’t care how you read it, did you not notice the part about “the government and media” setting person against person or are you just looking for a reason to have a go at someone?

  5. I see the calls we receive every single day, that is where my info is from, and they are still the same excuses of babies and allergies and my personal favourite “peeing all over the house” … it is VERY rare we get a call for financial reasons like I said.

    • I wonder if there are people who are too embarrassed to admit they are in financial straits.
      I don’t find that to be a very acceptable reason to forfeit a cat, but I thinks it’s a better excuse than “peeing all over the house”.

      In my mind, if someone is financially in trouble but are determined to keep their cat, they will find a way. If they don’t know of resources, they need to ask and learn. If the footwork is too much for them, then they really don’t care about their cat.

      • You hit the nail right on the head there Dee, they would find a way to keep their cats if they truly cared, they don’t part with their children who depend on them, so why part with their pets who depend on them also. Both are family!

      • I think the majority of the time they just don’t want the cat anymore, Dee. Our waiting list at the minute is full of “child is allergic” “cat has become aggressive.” “moving house, landlord does not accept pets” “new baby on the way” I’ve even seen on those appalling selling sites people giving away their cats because they just got a new dog and the cat isn’t liking the dog being there. Or we will get people ringing in saying they need us to take their cat for x reason and y reason, then a couple of months later getting in touch as they want a neutering voucher for a kitten they just got. It is unfortunately a throw away society and the ones with money are sometimes worse for just deciding they want a shiny new pet so let’s “get rid” of the old one 🙁

        • I think you’re right, Vicky. They just don’t want them anymore. I don’t understand that; but, I think I can at least give them a little credit for calling you instead of abandoning them.

          • Some of them yes, then you get the ones who become abusive when you say you don’t have the space and threaten to have the cat put to sleep if you don’t take them, that sense of entitlement again. Would be nice to be able to magic up room, but it’s impossible.

            • I wish there were some sort of divorce court for those sort of people.
              If they want to give up a pet (a dependent), then they would required to provide for it the remainder of their lives financially. There would probably be a lot more people willing to foster if expenses were deferred.

              • Fosterers for Cats Protection don’t have to pay for anything, all the cats food, litter and vets fees are paid for by Cats Protection. It’s a shame that more people don’t come forward to do it despite that fact, as the more fosterers a branch has the more cats they can help.

              • Cats Protection sounds like a dream to me. You are so lucky to have them.
                So, I see what you mean. Why aren’t there more fosterers?

              • Can’t see the reply button for Michael’s comment about fostering. Best thing to do is get in touch with your local Cats Protection, not sure which one it will be but if you google Cats Protection and your area your local branches will come up in search. If they are anything like the North East branches they will be crying out for more volunteers.

        • It makes me crazy when I see someone “trading in” a pet like a car!
          I saw a neighbor do this with 4 dogs one time until he found one that “suited him”.
          You just know I didn’t shut up about it either! I learned
          “hissing and spitting” from my true ferals!

          • This is one of my major bugbears, Dee. There are buy sell SWAP animal groups on Facebook and it makes me so damn angry. The buying and selling is bad enough but swapping animals, there is no excuse for it.

            • OMG! I can’t even begin to go to those sort of sites. I would be infuriated!
              I might become one of those “crazy cat people” and stalk like demented Woody!

              • The fact that a social networking site like Facebook allows animal sales groups, pages and profiles in the first place is utterly ridiculous. People see an opportunity to let their animals breed because they know these places exist to advertise the litters, yes Gumtree (I LOATHE Gumtree) has been doing this a long time but in Facebook people see an easy way to reach people in their area and make a quick sale. Seeing the same people time and time again advertising animals makes me sick, Facebook needs to put a stop to people doing it, any animal advertising on there should be banned.

              • Vicky, don’t view those things anymore, for your own wellbeing. I haven’t and I feel like crying just from your description.
                Facebook won’t suddenly change and gain integrity or scruples.
                Sometimes, the only thing we can do is protect ourselves and do what we know is right.


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