Reckless desire to create popular cat video can lead to abuse (video example)

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

Sometimes we see a reckless desire to create a high viewing cat video which leads to an abuse of the cat in the video. In my opinion it happens quite a lot.

In this instance we have a video which I believe fits into this category. The box was placed half on and half off the landing with the stairs going down. The videomaker pointed a laser pointer at the box with the intention of encouraging one of his cats to jump into it. It was inevitable that the box would then slide down the stairs with the cat inside. You can hear the person (a man) chuckling at the end and his partner saying “poor…[name of cat]”.

No doubt, he tested the stunt beforehand to make sure it worked. I just think that he went too far. It’s not a bad case of cat abuse, far from it. It’s quite mild and no cat was harmed. However, it is using a cat in a slightly unethical way in order to achieve a goal which pleases the cat’s owner. It has nothing to do with cat welfare. The opposite in fact. I think it’s wrong. Although I don’t want to be too grumpy about it.

Celebration or Exploitation?

There is a fine line between celebrating and exploiting the domestic cat. I know that this is a difficult point to discuss. I know people will disagree with me quite strongly. But he wouldn’t put a child in a box at the top of the stairs and then push the box down the stairs in order to make an entertaining video.


I think a reasonable test of the ethics in creating a video stunt with a cat is to ask whether it would be acceptable to do the same thing with a child. If not don’t do it. Of course then you have the discussion about whether we should set the same moral standards for children and cats or, going wider, humans and animals. I would say we should. There is no justification for lowering our ethical standards just because we are dealing with an animal.

If the video disappears I am sorry. I can’t control the source of the video.

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