Sunday 24 April 2016

Do Cat Owners Feel Guilty When Their Cat Is Abused?

I'm sure that you probably think that a cat owner will feel guilty if their cat is abused by somebody. The point is this. It depends on who did the abusing. If a neighbour or somebody the cat owner does not know at all or not very well abuses their cat in some way shape or form then a study has revealed that the cat owner will not feel guilty because they feel that they could not have foreseen the abuse.

They feel this despite the fact that they may have let their cat go outside unsupervised. To some people it would seem that the owner is partly to blame for the abuse under the circumstances. However, the owner appears to accept that all the blame is placed upon the abuser and that they are not culpable.

However, the position is quite different if a cat owner's partner or live-in lover or anybody else's living with them and with whom they are intimate, hurts their cat. Under these circumstances the cat owner does feel guilty.

The reason for this guilt is because the owner feels that they could have avoided the abuse if they'd done something about the presence of the person with whom they were being intimate: for example getting rid of them.

Another reason would be that the cat owner feels that the person doing the abusing wants to hurt them (emotionally) and that their cat is a vehicle for this purpose. Therefore they feel some blame because if they were not the object of the abusers actions their cat would not be abused. The cat is an innocent party in an abusive, difficult relationship. Under the circumstances the cat's owner has a responsibility to sort the matter out to ensure that their cat is safe. If the person doesn't do this she feels guilty.

Women who live in abusive situations appear to be more concerned about the welfare of their cat than themselves. Some women protect their cat or find ways to protect their cat from an abusive partner. They understand that their partner is abusive. They understand that he is no good and that their cat may be in danger. But they are unable to dissociate themselves from this person. Therefore they may take steps to protect their cat but they do not, on occasions, take the ultimate step of getting rid of the person.

There are no doubt many instances of men who batter their female partner who do so because they are alcoholics or are troubled in some shape or form. Sometimes there is co-dependency with respect to the female partner. Under these circumstances the cat owner, the female partner, will almost certainly feel guilty having placed a cat in these difficult and hazardous circumstances.

To recap: when a cat owner is in an intimate relationship with an animal abuser, the owner feels guilt if the abuser hurts her cat. Where the owner has a distant connection with the abuser then she does not feel guilt or does not normally feel guilt if a cat is abused by that person.

These findings come from a study which probably requires verification but it concerned interviewing a number of people, cat and dog owners, who had suffered anguish because of the abuse of their cat or dog.

The owner of a cat or dog should sit down and think how they would feel if there companion animal was abused by somebody; either killed or injured. They should then ask themselves whether they would feel guilty and bad about that. If they answer, YES, then they should take proactive steps to protect their cat from hazardous circumstances under which the abuse may take place. Only then will they protect themselves as well from the emotional anguish that long-term guilt will bring them.

You can read an alternative version of this topic here.

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