I don’t know how people can abandon their cat either to a shelter or at the side of a road. Or perhaps they move home and leave their cat behind sometimes locked inside the home remarkably. These people cannot have a conscience. What is a conscience? Is a mental process in which you measure your actions against society’s value system i.e. morals.
When a person has a conscience, they feel bad about what they’ve done if it grates against the morals of society. But of course, you’ve got to be able to understand society’s standards and morals. You’ve got to understand what is expected of you. And if you don’t you won’t have a conscience if you abandon your cat.
The people who live with a cat for say five years and then totally abandon them, just give them away or dump them somewhere cannot have a conscience as I understand the word.
Living with yourself
If I were to abandon my cat, I couldn’t live with myself. It would be on my mind for the rest of my life. It wouldn’t matter if there had been a breakdown in the relationship between myself and my cat for whatever reason. Perhaps he was behaving badly and I was fed up with his behaviour. I still wouldn’t give up my cat because of those reasons.
You’ve got to be able to live with yourself and clearly to abandon a cat that was once hopefully a family member is immoral and cruel. Animal cruelty is immoral. It is also illegal in developed countries.
But any form of cat abandonment is a form of animal cruelty because suddenly the cat has lost the protection of their caregiver and the relationship. The degree of cruelty depends upon the particular form of abandonment. And this dictates whether it is a crime or not.
If the cat is abandoned to a shelter and they are rehomed then it isn’t too bad. But often cats, as mentioned, are simply left behind in the family home when they move, which is animal cruelty. The worst kind is to simply throw the cat away by the side of the road or to throw kittens into a rubbish bin. We’ve all seen that before in news stories.
Those are the ultimate examples of animal cruelty and the person who throws a kitten the way into a plastic bag in a rubbish skip is sociopathic. They are psychopathic. They are socially crippled and mentally ill. That’s the worst kind of animal cruelty and one which is impossible for a person with a conscience to carry out. But you bet that these sociopaths behave entirely normally in their relations with others in the community. Often you wouldn’t know that they are cruel AHs.
To a shelter
Perhaps it is the careless and intermediate types of cat abandonment which are the most common. They are in that gray area such as relinquishing your cat to a shelter. How bad is that? Well, it is bad because the poor cat was living in a nice home and suddenly is in an animal shelter where there’s lots of noise, strange people and strange happenings and with a distinct possibility that they might never make it out of there because nobody wants them. That’s how bad it can be.
And that should elicit a moral dilemma. If they have a conscience, they will feel bad about it. And that feeling should last for a very long time. Perhaps many years. Perhaps for the rest of their lives. And if it doesn’t, they don’t have a conscience which is sufficiently well developed for them to behave decently.
These are defective people with a mental problem. It is of course a sliding scale in terms of mental processes and amoral behaviour just as cat abandonment is also on a sliding scale in terms of its cruelty.
No matter how you abandon or for why
Finally, I think that it does not matter what the reason is. The person might abandon their cat because their boyfriend doesn’t want to have a cat. Or the woman has become pregnant and believes that a cat might endanger their baby. Or they are moving home and they have to rent and the landlord won’t allow cats. These are just three of thousands of possible reasons. The reason is immaterial in my view.
I don’t even think that when Ukrainian refugees abandon their cat when they leave their country is allowable. I know I’m being harsh but some refugees bring their cats with them. It can be done. I don’t foresee any time that cat abandonment is acceptable and in a decent person it will always create conscience problems.
Rehoming is the final responsibility
You don’t abandon a cat. You find them a new home if you have to relinquish them. That’s the responsibility of the caregiver. Their final responsibility. It’s how you have a clear conscience.
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