Let’s be real and stop reacting. Cat hoarders depend upon a surplus of domestic and stray cats for their existence. If there were no unwanted cats there would be no cat hoarders. Let’s change things at the bottom, proactively.
In writing for my website, of necessity, I have to read a lot of articles on the Internet and of course I scan news items. I cover hundreds of items a day and it is quite noticeable that on a regular basis I see stories of cat hoarding. It is one of the top news items for cats in America.
I’m not saying that it is a uniquely American phenomenon because it is not but it is probably fair to say that cat hoarding is more prevalent in America than anywhere else and it is not a human behavioural issue which you see in Asia or the Middle East, for example.
The important point to take from this is that the foundations of the problem of cat hoarding is that there are too many unwanted cats in America (and elsewhere of course). Let’s think of a brave new world where there were not enough cats to meet demand from people who wanted to adopt a cat.
In this ‘other world’ there would be a shortage of domestic cats. You’d have to buy one at a high price to get one. There would be no cat shelters and very few feral cats. Feral cats would be so scarce that you would hardly ever see them in America.
Neighbours would not be handing unwanted kittens to other neighbours. Stray cats would not be wandering around the neighbourhood and a person predisposed to cat hoarding would not be able to find a cat wandering the streets, take her in and let her breed in his house. There just wouldn’t be the cats available to do it and the ones that were around would all be sterilised.
A person predisposed to cat hoarding would have to hoard something else. He’d have to hoard the sort of stuff that a hoarder normally hoards, which is inanimate items such as newspapers, machinery, old unused appliances and suchlike.
People are only able to hoard things when they are freely available. It is a crying shame that the online news media is chock-a-block with tales of cat hoarding and the associated neglect, cat abuse, and indeed cruelty, that hoarding brings to these innocent victims. In order to stop it greater effort is needed to rid the country of unwanted cats and that process starts with education.
I have suggested in the past and will suggest it again now that cat companion husbandry (i.e. how to look after a domestic cat) should be on the school curriculum so that young children become clearheaded about companion animal welfare and how to prevent the creation of unwanted cats. They will then pass on what they’ve learnt to their children and at last America will have its brave new world in which there are no unwanted cats wandering around waiting to be picked up by a cat hoarder and a life of eternal damnation in a hellhole.