Sunday 17 February 2008

Killing Cats

feral cat neuteredKilling cats (the cat opposite is not dead just under anesthetic) (and dogs) goes on all the time, unnoticed by the vast majority of the population. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) are hostile towards cat and dog breeders. Cat and Dog breeders are, in response, hostile towards PETA.

I'll refer to cat breeders for the rest of this as this is a cat website. Cat breeders' hostility is due to the fact that PETA blames cat breeders for increasing the cat population when there are already too many domestic cats. They have produced some startling videos in which they say that if a person buys a cat one is killed (they actually refer to dogs but I guess the same rule applies), meaning that the cat in the rescue center should have been adopted and if not she will be killed.

They also suggest that the breeding of purebred animals is akin to being part of the Klu Klux Klan in that the intention is to make a superior race of animals (purebred cats or dogs).

It is impossible to ignore these arguments if you are a decent sort of individual with the welfare of cats in mind as opposed to simply pandering to the preferences and likings of mankind.

I am forced to think about this topic. I think the idea that cat breeders are trying to breed a master race of pets is manifestly incorrect. 99% of cat breeders in the USA (my guesstimate) are in the business of breeding as an expression of their love for cats and to make some money (not necessarily a livable income) on the side. They genuinely have the welfare of cats in mind.

I don't think that it is fair to place a responsibility on cat breeders (who all breed purebred cats) for the general problem of the uncontrolled breeding of feral mixed breed cats (other than the same responsibility we all have for that problem). However, I don't though think that cat breeders do enough to deal with the problem of abandoned purebred cats.

There are, it seems, many purebred cats that are abandoned. This seems peculiar as someone, I must presume, bought the cat. I myself don't like the idea of buying and owning cats - we don't own them. Perhaps it is better to say that when a person buys a pet he or she actually compensates the breeder for the care of the cat and the mother and father cats until handed over to the new keeper. The abandonment of a cat that was bought indicates that the buyer thinks of cats and animals as a "product" like a washing machine. They are not fit to care for a cat. How do we spot them and refuse them a cat?

I think then that cat breeders should do more to ensure that "buyers" are absolutely under an obligation to neuter (if not already done by the breeder) and care for the cat throughout her life. This may be difficult to enforce but I would have thought it was not impossible. I know some (perhaps many) breeders who do take action along these lines.

What I am saying is that it is better to work with breeders and make the breeding process more accountable rather than stop it all together because cat breeding is the kind of thing that humans like to do. It is difficult and probably foolhardy to try and stop humans doing what comes naturally to them even if sometimes it seems morally wrong. It is better (and more successful) to work with it and modify the behavior and achieve gradual change that way.

In order to be fair, PETA should also look at the other end of the process, the buyers. They are the ones who are abandoning cats. It is they who make the market that allows the cat breeders to produce more cats. If they was no market there would be no breeders.

Also, it seems that by far the biggest reason for the overpopulation of cats and subsequent horrific euthanizing process is the feral cat population that is out of control. There are some brave and honourable people who do something about it (trap, neuter, return) but generally it seems this problem drifts on. PETA don't seem to do much with regard to that problem.

Lets see PETA tackle the bigger problem first and then lets refine the breeding program. Finally I do not think that cat breeders even think about breeding a master race of cats. They just like the look of fine and attractive animals, a natural human instinct, which admittedly needs regulation and control in the interests of the welfare of our much loved cats.

Source: Me

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  1. I personally think breeding any animal to make money is terrible. You are creating a life, when there are millions of homeless cat/dogs out there already. I think it is unethical and ridiculous and I don't buy any argument that is pro-breeding. When people buy from breeders through the breeder themselves or from pet stores they are directly taking a home away from a shelter pet. I read somewhere that as much as 25% of shelter animals are purebred.

    There is NO reason to create a life when we already have a pet overpopulation problem. I despise breeding and think breeders do not think of the consequences. It is irresponsible and careless.

    I volunteer in an animal shelter and we get so many kittens dropped off each week that it is unbelievable. These are kittens that are born to feral cats or just irresponsible pet owners who failed to get their cat or dog spayed or neutered.

    We have a huge problem with the animal population and one big way to cut the population would be to stop breeders.

    Also, I trap and neuter/spay and try to tame feral cats because they need help too. Cats are naturally going to have babies, it is in their nature. It is humans who need to step in and prevent them from having them, not deliberately making them have them--no matter what the reason is.

  2. Hi Kirsty, I don't know if you'll read this. The problem is ours no doubt. I like what you say by the way.

    The trouble is in the grand scheme of things it is a relatively small problem people think (I don't but people generally do).

    Plus humans need to survive and earn and one way is through breeding animals. This is not good perhaps but this is such an imperfect world.

    I actually see a polarisation in the US between the genuine animal carers and the "animal consumers"

  3. i'm not a breeder, but i oppose PETA. i'm not opposed to responsible, ethical breeding. i like that the world has poodles, german shepherds, abyssinians, bengals, etc.. without breeders, all dogs and cats would be mutts and moggies. i don't want to see the extinction of any breed or subspecies.
    but even without the breeding issue, i'm still opposed to peta. i don't approve of them telling pet owners that their pets should be vegans. dogs and cats are carnivores. they need meat. denying meat to dogs and cats is abuse in my opinion.
    i'm opposed to peta paying the legal defense expenses for rodney coronado. i'm opposed to them sending him out to colleges and teaching students how to make explosive devices.
    i'm opposed to them sending threatening letters to animal researchers. there are other ways of dealing with people you don't like besides violence.
    i'm opposed to their comparing kfc to the holocaust, minimizing the murder of millions of innocent people.
    i'm opposed to them trying to block all animal research, even if the research causes the animal no pain or suffering.
    i could go on. my list is long. i don't like peta

  4. Hi, I think what you say makes a lot of sense. PETA seems too extreme. Maybe they think that they have to be extreme to change things.

    What I find a shame is the polarized stance and viewpoints of the cat fancy versus PETA, which seems to the case.

    In theory at least there should be no obstacle in them working together as ultimately they have the same objectives (or should have), the welfare of cats and animals.

  5. Cat-lovers are the purest form of hypocrite. They claim to love animals but they don't care about any animal but their self-serving cats. Their cats which destroy the food-chain for all native animals. Once they set foot outside they are nothing but an invasive and destructive species to the native habitat. I haven't heard an owl in over 15 years nor seen a fox in 10 years due to lousy cats destroying (not eating) all the owls' and foxes' food sources. They also decimate any pheasant, grouse, wild-turkey, and any other ground-nesting birds' nests. The best way to get rid of cats is with a 22 rifle. Strap a little laser-pointer on the barrel and just wait for them to pass through your yard at night. They are regularly used for, and only good for, target practice in the area where I live. All good hunters and environmentalists know to get rid of them. Shoot on sight. It would probably help too if there was a $1000 mandatory fine for every person who allowed their cat to roam outside. Cats without bells and tags would then be fair game for target practice. Those with a tag and found outside get the owners fined, with $1000 incremental increases in fines per violation. These irresponsible and hypocritical self-serving pet-owners will not change unless they are forced to.

  6. I guess some people are not aware that TNR (trap, neuter, release) policies DO NOT WORK.

    They are expensive to the taxpayer and a dismal FAILURE.

  7. To "Anonymous" -- it's no wonder that you posted as anonymous with the hatred and ridiculous nonsense that you spouted in that diatribe. Hypocrites, indeed! I am a cat-lover, and I take super care of mine. I also take super care of the wild-life outside my home. I feed the birds, rabbits and any other animal that wanders to my door, provide salt licks to the deer, and protest loudly when the city tries to tear down another wildlife habitat.

    That all has nothing to do with my cat! He is not out trying to destroy any wildlife habitat, kill pheasant, dove or other wildlife, and he is quite happy just pouncing through the grass. Should you or any other right wing NUT JOB try to use a .22 on him, I will in turn cause YOU bodily harm and THEN put you in jail, where you BELONG.

    People like you are why PETA has to exist to begin with. Go back into your housetrailer, watch another episode of Cops, and leave the thinking to others who can handle it.


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