Mango is a tabby cat living in a large supermarket in England. Is this okay from a human health standpoint?
Mango is in the newspapers today. He is a large tabby cat who, despite having a home nearby prefers to spend his time at the local supermarket where he is usually seen curled up in the foyer. He’s been doing this for the past four years. I guess he likes the activity. It is mentally stimulating.
When he’s finished snoozing, he wanders around the supermarket, exploring and entertaining himself.
The customers to the Tesco supermarket in Tiverton, Devon generally like him. He has admirers, which promoted a customer to set up a Facebook page for Mango which has over 2,500 FB Likes. That can’t be bad can it?
Mango is similar to the more commonly seen bookshop cat but of course this is about food and some people might criticise the store management for letting Mango set up home on health grounds.
Steve Allen, a well-known radio presenter on LBC 97.3, questioned the health aspects. This is misplaced.
Cats are fastidiously clean. There are very few diseases that are transmitted from cat to person and the one that comes to mind is toxoplasmosis which is transmitted via feces but rarely and the more common source is raw meat. There has been no talk of a problem with respect to Mango doing his toilet in the supermarket and so there are no health issues for me. It is more likely that customers would get toxoplasmosis from handling raw meat at the store than because of Mango.
The health concern problems originate in misconceptions about the disease spreading capability of domestic cats. There is an overly active fear of it. It is unjustified. It is probably an old fashioned fear based on old wives tales of the past. It is almost based on superstition.
From my standpoint if Steve Allen or anyone is concerned about the health aspects of having a domestic cat at a large supermarket owned by a the country’s biggest retailer, it is because they lack sufficient knowledge to make a good judgement about it.
To put it bluntly, criticising Mango’s presence is due to ignorance. There is probably a greater risk to the cat’s health than the other way around. A home improvement store in the USA had their own cat and he was allowed to stay.