Rebutting The Ailurophobe

It is quite easy to rebut the arguments of the ailurophobe (cat haters and cat fearers).

Cat haters usually present four statements against the domestic cat:

  1. Your cat does not love you
  2. Your cat does not show you affection
  3. Your cat is an environmental disaster and;
  4. Your cat is driving you crazy through toxoplasmosis

These are the points made by Joseph Stromberg.

cats hugging each other

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

First there are two overriding points to make:

  1. We are should recognise that love and affection is a two-way street. Showing affection depends on us as well and how we relate to our cat.
  2. People who dislike cats will not get the best out of a cat and certainly not love and affection over the long term.

Here are the arguments against these weak points

Love

Perhaps it is best to avoid the word “love” because I am not sure humans know what it means as it has been bandied around so recklessly over centuries. Let’s say the ailurophobe says that cats don’t care about their human guardians.

The argument is based on a study I have written about some time ago. The study concluded that cats don’t respond to your voice even when they recognise it. Therefore Stromberg says cats don’t care; they are disinterested in us. Another study he refers to found that cats are disinterested when owners depart and return home.

These studies are plain wrong or too limited. We all know cats are keen to welcome us home. My cat waits and looks at the front door. Just this afternoon when I came in from a walk he came to me in the bedroom and called to me to come over. As for the first study, the sample size was too small and therefore the study is too limited. Also my cat does respond to my voice and Dr Bradshaw (of Cat Sense) says that the study does not tell us that cats are not affectionate.

Only this morning my cat was at my feet on the bed. When I woke up, I called to him. He called back and shortly afterwards he got up, came over and lay on my chest with his head near mine. That is a complete rebuttal of the findings of the study.

I am sure other concerned cat caretakers have the same experiences as me. In addition, dogs are obsessively dependent on humans so when the cat is compared to dogs they seem aloof and disinterested. Dogs look to their humans for guidance while cats prefer to deal with things their way. Feline love is not needy. It is just a difference but it does not mean cats don’t care.

Affection

This cat hater says that when cats rub themselves against us they are marking territory. This is not a sign of affection. All the rubbing against us, in an apparent signs of affection, are no different to a dog peeing over something is what they say.

This is incorrect. Rubbing against us is not scent marking although it superficially it might look like it. It is scent exchange. It is social action. The cat merges scent with ours. Both of us feel better. It is a sign of friendship.

In addition cats rub against each other using parts of the body where there are no scent glands and they lie next to each other. This is not scent marking. Cats are known to have friendships with other cats. Other studies have established this. The word “friend” may be inappropriate for cats but they form close relationships which are what we would describe as friends.

Another study that the cat hater comes out with is the one where cats were found to dislike petting. The study was conducted in Brazil where there are lots of small dogs. It is probable that cat owners pet their cats too harshly in Brazil. A cat will like petting. It is just making sure it is the right kind of petting. It is not necessarily the kind that the human likes. This is the problem.

Environmental Disaster

The cat hater invariably brings out this chestnut of an argument. Domestic cats, a non-native species, decimate native species. Dr Bradshaw says that the domestic cat is a clumsy hunter because cats learn to kill from their mother and if mother is a house cat she does not train her kittens to hunt.

Dr Bradshaw says that it is feral cats who do the hunting.  Curfews keeping domestic cats inside in Australia had little impact on predation of native species.

In addition, studies on cat predation are often of limited use because the sample sizes are too small and you can’t extrapolate to nationwide domestic cat hunting. We don’t really know the true impact of domestic cats on wildlife. We do know that ornithologists like to paint the bleakest possible picture.

Dogs are worse than cats for the environment.

toxo tissue

The Toxo Argument

The toxoplasma gondii protozoan in cat’s feces gets into out brains and makes us mad. That’s what cat haters say. It is 90% hype and sensationalisation. There are some risks to humans from this disease via the cat. For example, technically it is possible to get it through kissing your cat. But the risk of acquiring the disease from raw meat is far greater than through cat’s feces. Then there is no hard evidence it changes peoples’ personalities. Scientists of dubious credentials have written wildly exaggerated reports at how the protozoan causes sufferers to become schizophrenic and so on. This is simply untrue or unproved.

Toxplasmosis is widely present in people and cats and asymptomatic almost all the time.

I would urge ailurophobes to get to understand the domestic cat. Learn about the cat and you’ll find out that what I have stated on this page is correct.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

17 thoughts on “Rebutting The Ailurophobe”

  1. See, this is the exact kind of thinking you get when a parasitic worm has invaded your brain and is telling you what you should believe and think. You can’t even tell when your own brains are this badly damaged. Guess how T. gondii gets in all your dinner meats? How much you just love to evade that issue too. LOL

    Reply
    • Woody, I have quoted science and first hand experience. Have you even considered the possibility that you have toxoplasmosis? Your irrational behavior indicates it. Of course, I don’t believe all this hype about toxo (it has not be proved) but you do so perhaps this is karma again 😉 What do you say Woody?,

      Reply
      • I say you should tell everyone how Toxoplasma gondii gets onto your dinner tables through vegetables and meats. Neither of those two forms of food can contract T. gondii IN ANY OTHER WAY than directly from cat-shat Toxoplasma gondii oocysts.

        Reply
          • He never will, Michael. He runs like a little girl in the face of confrontation.
            He never has a followup to support any of his rants.

            Reply
          • Wow, you don’t even know how the 2-stage life-cycle of T. gondii works. Nor do you have even a rudimentary knowledge of herbivores and carnivores. LOL Figured as much. Without even that much knowledge (attainable by anyone who might have graduated from grammar-school) there is nothing that I can state that you will be able to comprehend. Maybe it’s not just T. gondii parasites that have hijacked your brain, maybe it’s just plain ignorance and an amazing and phenomenal amount of stupidity on your part.

            Reply
            • You have still failed (as usual) to answer my straightforward question. Even a couple of lines would be enough. But no…you prefer in typical arrogant and aggressive style to insult me. You are such an unpleasant person.

              Reply
          • Thanks Serbella. I won’t let him insult anyone. I just could not resist asking him a question in response to his comment.

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            • I understand, Michael. Aww, I was going to enjoy playing with him, but you’re right. Enough is enough.

              Reply
  2. Cats are as different as humans are. We each have things in common with our species, but we are so affected by inherited traits, disabilities, environment, nurturing or lack of, and nutrition.

    Some cats are more affectionate than others. Some are more aware of our absence.

    I tamed a feral cat in Hawaii with food and patience. He was a typical looking striped orange tabby, and had a habit of biting my ankles. So I named him KitBit. The bites weren’t hard, but habitual.

    He came in the house sometimes, but mostly he lived outside. My roommate had a motorcycle, and we used to go on rides frequently. As soon as we pulled in, KitBit came running to us, even before we got off the bike. He wasn’t frightened of the noise, which seemed odd. We were always amazed that he came running from wherever he was.

    I’ve had many cats, but none seemed so happy to see me.

    Another cat I had would sit on my lap whenever I sat down. Since I spent a lot of time on the computer, she
    was on my lap a lot. If I had to get up, she would wait until I sat down again, and jump back up.

    She was a real lover, and seemed to enjoy people. I had women’s gatherings at my house, and we sat in in circle. She went around the circle and greeted each woman. Even those who didn’t like cats, liked Peaches.

    She talked a lot too. She used to sit on the fence and talk to the dog next door. She really seemed to enjoy socializing. Her sibling was just the opposite. Very timid and quiet. She rarely meowed, and when she did it was very soft.

    I raised them together as kittens. Neither suffered any trauma, and were well cared for. So, the difference was in their personalities. The same variable we see in families.

    I think that people who have preconceived notions about cats, for whatever reason, aren’t going to change. I don’t hear about dog haters, although they too are abused.

    Maybe people respond to being needed, and dogs fulfill that. Also, dogs can be controlled more than cats, and that can be another factor that attracts people. I like both, but at this stage of my life, I don’t really want to the responsibility of a dog. It’s a lot more work that I care to take on.

    I love the fact that my cat is independent and affectionate. It reflects my own personality!

    Reply
    • Nice comment. Excellent. I failed to mention that love and affection is a two-way street. If a cat is not showing affection the person might be advised to look at herself and ask what she can do.

      Reply
  3. I usually have way too much fun with those people. It’s easy to confuse the poor dears with facts. And the ones like Woody, who cry and moan about cats preying on wild birds, well, all I have to do is pull out some well documented facts on how filthy wild birds really are, and all the diseases humans get from them and their droppings. The argument is usually over by then.

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/61646.php

    That’s just for starters. When I googled that subject I also saw articles on how germy pet birds are. The big difference between me and the really extreme haters is that I’m not advocating killing off wild birds. The fact that some moron like Woody wants to exterminate cats just proves how insane they really are.

    Reply
      • Thank you, Dee! I see Woody has a new alias below, so I posted a reply with some of links how wild droppings get into our crops and water. I seriously doubt he’ll answer back, but if he does, I’ll either get bored quickly or decide it’s playtime. He’s so much fun to play with.

        Reply

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