It is a cat story which went viral. A landlord, David Callish, rents out his 400 square foot studio apartment to 2 cats owned by Victoria Amith a student. Her father, Tory Good, pays the rent.
I don’t need to go over the circumstances which led to this state of affairs but I would like to discuss whether this is a good idea in terms of cat welfare (for background see Elisa’s report).
The cats are stuck indoors full-time in a 400 square foot apartment as I understand it. They are visited by Callish daily to ‘feed and play with the cats’. Good stops by ‘regularly’ and Amith visits when she has a break from school.
We don’t know how regularly Good visits but I’d suspect not that often. Amith can’t visit that often. So the main contact the cats have with people is from Callish.
He is a businessman. He won’t be staying long. I’d be certain of that. I’d give him 30 minutes tops at the apartment once a day.
The point I am making is that the arrangement is nice and newsworthy because of the $1,500 cost of renting an apartment for 2 cats. But the other story which has not been discussed is how often the cats interact with people they are relaxed with. The answer looks like: not much and not enough – no where near enough.
The apartment is not kitted out with stuff which makes it ideal for cats. Therefore if they are visited for 30 mins daily on average they have human interaction for around 2% of their day. If it’s twice that at one hour per day that’s 4.2% of the day.
For domestic cats that’s not enough. People will say I don’t know the length and frequency of the visits. True, but I can speculate as judged by the arrangement which is what I am entitled to do and have done. It looks wrong to me from a domestic cat welfare point of view.
The story is focused on the human element, the perceived extravagance of renting an expensive flat for 2 cats. The other story – how do the cats like it? – needs to be discussed too. It would not surprise me if the cats become stressed and start peeing out of the litter box. If that happens the arrangement will end.