Skip to main content

Cat Experts Aim Too Low

When cat experts give advice about cats they often aim too low. What I mean is their advice is too heavily compromised and modified by what suites us and not what is in the best interests of the cat.

Let me give you a good example. The expert in this instance is Linda P Case who wrote a book I sometimes refer to and which is called, The Cat, It's Behavior, Nutrition & Health. She writes on page 180-181 about, "Undesirable predation". How can predation by undesirable for the cat? It is completely natural for a domestic cat to prey on small animals. We all know that. This advise is too people orientated.

In order to stop this undesirable behavior we are advise to bang up our cats, indoors, on a permanent basis. Job done, problem solved. Or is it? A lot of cats who are full-time indoor cats will find alternative outlets for their desire to hunt and some of these will be abnormal behavioral conditions; conditions that are stress related such as overgrooming or OCD conditions such as tail biting. The cat might suffer hair loss through stress in my opinion.

More importantly, I feel that the advise should be more optimistic and more adventurous and certainly more in keeping with the best interests of the cat. And it should seek to provide as natural an environment as possible surely?

The better and more absolutely correct advice is to encourage people to build enclosures. In my view, in an ideal world we should be thinking much wider than simply forcing the domestic cat to acclimatise to an unnatural life indoors to suite us. Of course a cat indoors can't get run over by a car. But if we gave more effort to figuring out how to protect cats from cars or keeping cars away from cats or slowing down cars, that sort of thing, then we would come up with a better solution for us and that cat in the long term.

For instance, in an ideal world no one should keep a cat unless that person had safe enclosed land to allow the cat to roam and behave naturally. And people who keep cats should sign a declaration that they accept all of the cat's behavioral traits. We need to accept the fact that our cat might bring in a half alive mouse and then play with it. If we can't accept that don't keep a cat. How simple is that?

The bottom line answer to "undesirable predation" is to relabel it "desirable and acceptable predation" and to thoroughly accept it. To bang up a cat to stop it behaving naturally is little better than declawing it.

Linda, for me, your advise is too conditioned by conventional human experience and knowledge. It is not expansive and novel enough. It is predictably American and in America there is a tendency to see the cat as a fluffy moving object whose purpose is to amuse people and not as the most effective predator on the planet.

 From to Home Page


Popular posts from this blog

Cat Ear Mites

Brown gunge. Yes, I know this is a ferret! It does show the build up of dark brown to black ear wax caused by the presence of the cat ear mites in the outer ear canal. This parasite is not restricted to the domestic cat, which makes this photo valid and a useful illustration (I was unable to find a suitable photo of a cat with the condition). Photo Stacy Lynn Baum under a creative commons license. Ear mites (minute crab like creatures) are one of the causes of inflammation of the outer ear canal (scientific term for this inflammation is Otitis externa ). The outer ear canal is the tube that runs from outside to the ear drum (the pathway for the reception of sound), which can be seen when looking at the ear. Otitis externa affects humans and often swimmers as it is called "swimmer's ear" in humans. This YouTube video show ear mites under a microscope. They are not actually in the ear in this video. There are many possible causes of Otitis externa in c

Feline Mange

I'll write about three types of feline mange (a) feline scabies or head mange (b) demodectic mange and (c) sarcoptic mange. The source material is from Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook - the best on the market . Generalised feline mange? Puerto Rico - Photo by Gotham City Lost And Found Feline Scabies - head mange Head mange or feline scabies, is a fairly rare condition in cats, which is caused by the Notoedres mite (head mite) that only reproduces on cats. The female mites burrow a few millimeters (that is a lot) into the skin around the head, and neck to lay eggs, which hatch and lay their own eggs. Their presence and activities causes intense itching that in turn causes the cat to scratch. The scratching will obviously be noticed and it will cause the skin to become red, scratched and worse infected. Symptoms: hair loss and scabs, thick wrinkled skin and grey/yellow crusts form plus the symptoms of scratching. Feline mange (head mange) is contagious and tr

Cat Anatomy

Cat Anatomy - Photo by Curious Expeditions . The picture above was taken at Wax Anatomical Models at La Specola in Florence, Italy. The photograph is published under a creative commons license kindly granted by the photographer. I am sorry if it is a bit gruesome. It is pretty well all I could find as an illustration that was licensed for publication. Cat Anatomy is a very wide ranging subject. The anatomy of a cat is very similar to human anatomy. If you were writing a biology book for students of biology you would go through every part of the a cat's anatomy in some detail. It would be similar to writing a book about the human anatomy. It would be a thick book and pretty boring for your average internet surfer. So, how do you limit such a big subject and make this post meaningful? The answer I think lies in doing two things: Having a quick general look at cat anatomy - an overview and; Focusing on the areas of cat anatomy that are particular to the cat and of parti