Is This Cat Abuse?

I think this story, that Dan kindly drew to my attention, is a subtle form of cat abuse despite the charitable aspect. I’ll agree it is a controversial topic but needs to be aired. Please go easy on me!

This is about a cat with a cleft palate or lip, I am not sure exactly what the medical problem is and neither it seems does the cat’s caretaker. I am surprised that there is lack of detail on the medical condition.

Ugly cat with a cleft palate
Quasi
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The condition makes the cat ‘ugly’ in human terms (other cats don’t see it that way). And the cat’s owner has used that ugliness to raise money for charity. I am very skeptical and would ask whether all the money raised – $4,000 –  has gone to charity. Let’s be realistic, a lot of charities are in fact businesses. I am not saying that is happening in this case.

The cat’s name is Quasi. I don’t know if Quasi is male of female. I guess he is male. The owner, Renee, has built a website around Quasi and sells items to raise money.

This is a way, using an animal, of raising money on the internet that is not uncommon nowadays and a lot of people find it very nice.

I don’t know if I am in the minority on this but I believe that Renee is exploiting her cat and  not showing enough respect for her cat. I am being honest but realise Renee will hate what I am saying if she finds out and other people too will probably shoot me down.

I am all for raising money for charity. PoC does that too. But I have this gut feeling that it would be more ethical if some of the money raised was used to improve Quasi’s condition if that is possible. It is not clear from Renee’s website if this has happened.

Quasi’s condition is more than a hair lip, a cosmetic condition. It seems to be a cleft palate. If I am correct this leaves a gap in the roof of the mouth and food can go up into it. It can be corrected with surgery. Martha Kane has a cat whose cleft palate was corrected with surgery.

A cleft palate is a birth defect of the nasal and oral cavaties. The palate bones fail to fuse together. This leaves an opening from the mouth to the nose which might be the cause of Quasi’s sinus problems. Sinus conditions can cause pain. Is Quasi in pain or discomfort?

To summarise a cleft palate is uncomfortable for a cat and it can be corrected. Martha Kane lives in Malta and she paid about $400 (USD) I recall. I may be wrong. It would probably cost more in the USA and there are risks associated with this sort of surgery such as infection.

But would it not be better to spend time and effort improving the life of Quasi first? There is no doubt that no matter how well you dress it up, exploiting ugliness in a cat is a form of cat abuse.

And, yes, before someone screams at me, I know money is raised for charities and Quasi was rescued from a shelter. That is good, very good. Praise is definitely due to Renee for that. I think she should also be gentle criticised for exploiting Quasi’s so called ugliness.

This aspect of this story is totally ignored by Catster.com who feature this cat. I don’t think it can be ignored and I believe that in not addressing this difficult aspect of this story they are doing the cat a disservice.

28 thoughts on “Is This Cat Abuse?”

  1. I just found out about Quasi from another cat that I follow on FB. I very much disagree with you. Looking at the photos and info on this cat, I can see she is happy and well cared for. Quasi and other cats that are “used” in charites lend awareness to the adoptibility of “special needs” cats. Seeing photos of Quasi and others like her help us to understand a new “normal” and not be so shallow as to the perfect cat. Without this awareness, these cats would be tossed aside (killed) like anything else not perfect in our society, denying both the cat and the owner of what could be a very special life. I would hate to apply your logic to people and children. There are many beautiful people on the outside that are the ugliest humans (look at the celebrity trash we have to see on a daily basis). Your judgements of this cat and her owner are very unfair and not properly vetted. While maybe you are entitled to your point of view, I would suggest you open your heart and soul, not just your eyes, to what is truly beautiful in the world. Please research your information (like the actual health and welfare of this cat and the facts about the owner’s charity) before you publish denigrating information, because not only is is hurtful and damaging to Quasi and Rene, it dimishes your entitled opinion.

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  2. It’s nice to know that you’re a qualified veterinarian, Michael. We can all breathe a sigh of relief now that you’ve diagnosed Quasi’s medical condition without consulting her owner.

    “Is this cat abuse?” should be changed to “Open mouth and insert foot.” I won’t be returning to your website, this uninformed finger pointing is cruel in itself.

    Reply
    • Fine, please go somewhere else. You don’t have to be sarcastic. I am entitled to my point of view. If you disagree you can make your point in a comment. But you don’t need to make smart arse remarks in the process.

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  3. If you can openly post your opinion for the world to see, why do our opinions have to “await moderation?” That seems very unfair and hypocritical of you.

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    • Well, no it’s not because it’s my website. People can say what they like as long as they are polite. And once I have approved a comment further comments by that person don’t require moderation.

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  4. Renee says the cat is healthy and happy the way she is, so why put Quasi through unnecessary pain and stress? To make her beautiful? Are you that shallow that even your pet needs to be perfect? Renee rescued Quasi from a shelter. Where would Quasi even be now without Renee? How many other people would adopt a cat with a deformed face and possible health issues?

    Stop comparing the cat to a child – children and cats are not the same. I have a cat that I love dearly. I have had cats my entire life and I still know the difference between cat feelings and people feelings and how much they actually understand life. Don’t you?

    And since you keep comparing the cat to people – I think it’s great that this kitty can use its deformity to help charity, and I think if the cat actually understood any of this, she’d be fine with it. Don’t real people use their handicaps/diseases/deformities to help other people like them? Aren’t people taught to stand up and be proud of who they are?

    You need to think before you post articles about something you know nothing about. I personally know Renee and know that she would never abuse any animal. I have also met Quasi who is a very happy and loving kitty who showed no signs of any distress. She was actually one of the most social cats I’ve ever met unlike my cat who hides when visitors come!

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