Society should not persecute volunteers who struggle to help stray cats

The Cat Rescuers - the film
The Cat Rescuers – the film
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Kind people are sometimes compelled to help stray cats but are fearful of complaints and worse. A lady responded to Rae’s article (see link below) which is about helping a woman who become overwhelmed in providing care for stray cats. The woman asked Rae for help and she provided it in the most charitable and kindly way as did her veterinarian.

Shaming people does not help. It forces them into seclusion and takes the kitties there with them

This other lady (Madeline) has the same problem. She feels that she has to do something to help unwanted street cats. She can’t ignore them but at the same time she is fearful about neighbor complaints or the authorities (Animal Control) and the cats being trapped and euthanised.

What Madeline says

I do believe there are many of us like this lady [Rae – read her story] you helped. I myself have about 20 cats that I care for. Of course I understand i should never have started feeding them as they me to my home and yes i became overwhelmed with kittens, TNR etc. I try my best.( i know you have heard that before) i am now waiting for a group that will trap for me and return the cats back to me.

They are going to trap 2 at a time. Some i had spayed on my own. These cats are outdoors. I provide food and shelter for them and medication if it is needed and if they allow me to help them. I am 81 years old. The cost for food is amazing but it is something i started and will continue……. so yes, as I have read this there are many of us. Many will not come forward for fear of the town shelters coming and giving us summons. I have had these threats too but fortunate that a group here allows me to use their name in case of a compliant. These critters need us. They did not ask to be born…..

Thank you for all you do. No i was never ashamed of what I do….

There is a genuine problem in many countries, including the USA, where kind people (most often women and normally middle-aged to elderly women) volunteer their time and money to help stray cats. In doing so they take on a big responsibility which can overwhelm them in terms of time and expenses. They are fighting a battle which is unwinnable and they themselves sometimes need help.

I have this image in my mind of an old lady trying to hold back the tide. The tide represents the constant stream of unwanted cats who find themselves on the street. As Madeline says they never asked to be there. They were put there by irresponsible cat owners supported by an inadequate response from society’s leaders.

Society’s response

Society should not place these kind people in this predicament. They can’t ignore these cats who need help. It is in their character to help these animals (often heroically). But when they do they can be subject to complaints and worse. They are getting pressured, in a pincher movement, by two groups (1) irresponsible cat owners providing a stream of unwanted cats which can overwhelm them and (2) neighbours and the authorities who may object and complain. This is all because they want and need to do the right thing from a moral and ethical standpoint. Surely society has got this wrong?

Society must not persecute these kindly cat rescuers. Society should support and praise them. Rae did a wonderful thing. She just helped the overwhelmed lady and did not contact the authorities, which was very sensible.

If neighbours criticise volunteer cat carers they are being unreasonably intolerant. They are blind to the issues. Rather than being critical they should join in and assist or lobby local government to do more to change the way society deals with irresponsible cat ownership and how society picks up the pieces.

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8 thoughts on “Society should not persecute volunteers who struggle to help stray cats”

  1. What Albert said.

    I get this crap from neighbours. They see a cat in a bad way, whine loudly “someone should do something, it’s not nice to see”. I help the cat, no one else helps, yet all mock me as a crazy idiot, sometimes stopping me in the street to tell me I should help children, not cats.

    I detest these hypocritical morons. They do nothing practical to help any being, ‘cept make grand financial donations to human causes, when they have an audience. These people are privileged trash. Why should they be bothered who or what I help? I will help any being in need.

    Caring actively, is something that should be celebrated and encouraged. Caring for others is our natural state. We are born loving, sociable and non violent, if we weren’t, we would not have survived as a species.

    • I have a not so nice reply to those that toss the help the children thing at me. Humans can almost without fail control the consequences of reproduction. I then offer to donate a box of rubbers to the charity of their choice. My tax dollars pay for enough of human bad choices.

        • As much as I would like to I refrain from quietly slipping the same birth control items into carts where the adult humans are either incapable of maintaining any semblance of control of their offspring or they are obviously struggling to find the funds to fill the cart with healthy food. It’s not my business. However I really resent when someone tells me or my husband what we should donate to based on someone else’s perception. And if there were starving children on my porch I could call CPS and it would be taken care of. It does seem however that’s it perfectly acceptable to let those nasty feral cats starve to death or freeze and no one bats an eye. I batted an eye and I’m appalled at the treatment of the domestic cat in our society.

  2. Yeah, this is all too common, and the shame actually belongs on society that looks down upon nice people who end up helping these cats. If I had a purpose to buying a home other than for just a place for me to live, it would have been to house homeless cats. When I bought it I had 5, which grew to 15. These cats were just walking around homeless. My neighbors looked down on me but I managed okay (except for going into debt). I’m a man, which may have been better for me, but still people like to find reasons to complain about anyone, and I’ve been treated like a crazy cat person. If I were a woman it would have been worse. I do believe that the persecution can make a person feel very emotional and defensive; iow crazy.

    • I should cap it off by saying “crazy” is exactly what others think we are… irrational. Caring for helpless, sentient beings in need is not irrational.


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