Tuesday 30 November 2021

Feral cat eats a small Australian native mammal and is poisoned by a PPI

The Aussies have created another novel way of killing feral cats. They spend many thousands of hours dreaming up new ways and this is the latest. They inject into a native small mammal such as a bilby, a rice-sized implant. They call them population protecting implants or PPIs. They are placed under the skin of the animal. These small mammals are dinner-sized creatures for the feral cats of the Australian continent.

Note: this is me reporting and commenting on the news. Journos call them op-eds.

Bilby - Credit UniSA
Bilby - Credit: UniSA.

When inside the prey animal nothing happens. The pellet is covered by a protective coating. It contains a toxin derived from a natural poison in native plants. PPIs are harmless to tolerant native mammals they say.

However, once the mammal is eaten by a feral cat they become a deadly toxin as the implant is activated in the predator's stomach. They don't tell me how that transformation from a passive object under the skin becomes a deadly poison in a cat's stomach. I guess it must be the stomach acid of the feral cat which breaks down the coating.

Neither am I told whether the poisoned cat dies an agonising death or quietly. I'll presume it is the former but who cares 😕.

Thought: when my cat eats a mouse he leaves the gall bladder as it contains bile. Will feral cats learn to leave behind the PPI when they eat the bilby? They might. If so the project would be an expensive washout.

The technology has been developed by the University of South Australia. The objective: to curb feral cat predatory behaviour. It is the small ground dwelling mammals who are most at threat and it seems to me which most concern Australia's conservationists. It seems that the ulterior or higher objective is to teach feral cats that these small mammals are poisonous and therefore to be avoided.

Feral cat Australia
Feral cat Australia. Photo: Pixabay.

Two other native species in this bracket are the bettong and quoll. They've been forced to think about alternative methods of controlling feral cats because current schemes to remove them from the landscape have had limited success. This is despite throwing frozen sausages containing 1080 poison from helicopters. This particular poison causes a painful death. That doesn't concern the scientists of Australia.

The University has collaborated with researchers from local ecology groups, Ecological Horizons and Peacock Biosciences and the University of Adelaide.

At present 30 bilbies have been implanted with PPIs at the Arid Recovery. This is a 123 km² wildlife reserve in the north of South Australia. This is a trial. The results will hopefully prove the effectiveness of this technology.

Comment: it seems to me that they have to trap these small mammals to implant the PPI. That is going to take a lot of effort and money. Will the reward i.e. the killing of a single feral cat each time be commensurate with the financial and manpower cost? My prediction is that this is cost ineffective and it is a project that will fizzle out. Unless feral cats, as mentioned, learn that these mammals are poisonous and avoid them. That would be a major success but it will take a long time.

Are cats psychopaths and do psychopathic animals exist?

I think this is a question that should not be asked. It's a dangerous question to ask in my opinion. Psychopathy is a human concept that relates to humans. It's a way of measuring human behaviour which is antisocial, amoral and which demonstrates the inability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships. Psychopaths fail to learn from experience and express extreme egocentricity. So I don't think you can measure animal behaviour with a tool that is designed to measure human behaviour. You get into all sorts of complexities and problems if you try and do that. You end up at a dead end.

Psycho cat
Psycho cat. This is an anthropomorphized cat in the human image. It shows that we are applying human concepts inappropriately to animals.

But they say that cats are inherently psychopathic. They say that all domestic cats are psychopaths. But this is instinctive, natural behaviour by domestic cats. I suppose what they're referring to, the experts, is that domestic cats like to hunt and prey on animals and show no remorse. They even play with animals before they kill them. An act of barbaric, unfeeling callousness. It's horrible by human standards but entirely natural by the standards of a predator. So all predators are psychopaths if we get into this kind of discussion.

On a finer point, it is believed that 1% of men and 0.3-0.7% of females can be classified as psychopaths. People are human-animals. We are animals to put it bluntly. And therefore psychopathic animals do exist by definition.

But as animals' brains function differently to human brains I think you will need to devise a test for animals if you want to measure whether their behaviour is psychopathic or not. Even that might be pointless.

Also, when we measure a person a psychopathic we measure that person's behaviour against norms, and moral standards in human society. In order to decide if a person is psychopathic you must measure them against society's norms as we see them. You can't measure cats and other animals against human society norms and moral standards. It is going to fail.

This is a subject which is not been formally studied by scientists. Although you will see slightly amusing stories in the news media about domestic cats being psychopathic. It's the kind of article that journalists like to write.

The fact of the matter is that when intelligent people discuss whether domestic cats and other animals are psychopathic, they end up at a dead end. They come to a place, once they've thought about this, where they can't make a decision and provide an answer to that question. That's because the question is inappropriately formulated. As mentioned, psychopathy is a concept which describes a small percentage of humans.

In any case, I would argue that it is an artificial concept. It is people labelling other people. But there is a wide spectrum of human behaviours. We don't need to label them at the extremes. You could argue that a psychopathic person is behaving normally at that end of the spectrum of human behaviour. We can expect people to behave like that sometimes.

My thoughts have come to a dead end. It's not worth discussing this. It doesn't get you anywhere. It doesn't enlighten you. We should never apply human concepts to animals. We should get into the heads of animals and try and sense what it is like to live in their world to understand them but not brand them and label them with human mental conditions.

P.S. Humans have a habit of labelling other humans. On a slightly different subject, humans are finally understanding that the sexual preferences and genders of humans is a continuous spectrum from one extreme to the other. In the past we labelled people as female and male, as women and men. But because of the woke movement people are being forced (and this is a good thing) into relating to other people in a more refined and fluid way. Sexual preferences and gender is not a black-and-white situation. I don't think we should label anybody in any way. Perhaps one day we won't. Everyone with any sexual preference and preferences regarding their gender should be accepted as normal even if it might be unusual.

Monday 29 November 2021

Should 'leopard' be capitalized?

No, the word "leopard" should not be capitalised because it is a common noun but there are some exceptions which I discuss below when the word becames part of an individual cat's name. 

None of the wild cat species should be capitalised including the lion and tiger. It's interesting, however, that you still see the names of wild cat species sometimes capitalised. 

I believe that there was a convention perhaps a hundred years ago when these nouns were capitalized. Grammar, after all, is an artificial convention. It is not an absolute set of rules set in stone. 

Humans decide what is and what isn't acceptable in terms of grammar and the current thinking is that the word "leopard" should not be capitalised and neither should any other name of the wild cat species. 

Sometimes, however, you will see a lion that has been named because they are famous i.e. 'Cecil the Lion'. Clearly, the whole name should be capitalised as all names are. The whole name is 'Cecil the Lion'. The intervening 'the' should stay in lowercase.

Sometimes man-eating leopards have been named such as the the Leopard of Rudraprayag; a leopard reputed to have killed over 125 people. It was eventually killed by hunter and author Jim Corbett who has a tiger reserve named after him in the north of India.

The cat has been given a name and the full name is as stated. In this case the word 'leopard' is capitalized as it is part of a proper name (proper noun). Once again the intervening 'of' is in lowercase.

Amur leopard
Amur leopard. Photo in the public domain.

And when there is a prefix which tells you where the cat is from, the pre-fix should be capitalized as is the case for: Amur leopard and Siberian tiger for instance.

Macaque and kitten - a close symbiotic interspecies friendship

This is an interspecies friendship story from Indonesia in 2010. You may have heard about it. I am a great fan of interspecies friendships and there are many to see on the Internet. This particular story comes from a book I have on these sort of friendships called Unlikely Friendships.

RELATED: Interspecies friendship: donkey and domestic cat

The macaque and the kitten
The macaque and the kitten. An interspecies friendship in which both found something that was missing in their lives. The picture is deemed to be in the public domain.

In Indonesia there is a sacred forest in the town of Ubud on the Indonesian island of Bali. In this place monkeys roam freely over a Hindu temple built many centuries ago. They are long-tailed macaques which are said to guard the temple from evil spirits.

A ginger tabby kitten strayed into the area and into the arms of one of these macaque primates. At this temple there are 300 macaques in four separate troops each with their own territory. People who saw the friendship develop were astonished.

One witness was Anne Young who was on vacation at the time visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest. She said the following:

"The pair had been together a few days, and whenever the park staff tried to capture the kitten, it would just run back to the monkey."

The macaque was a young male. He would groom the kitten. He would hug and nuzzle him and sometimes lay his head on the kitten's head. It was clear that he wanted to keep his kitten friend to himself. He became wary of the other macaques and indeed people who got too close. He would hide his 'prize' by climbing higher or going deep into the forest with his kitten in his arms.

On one occasion he used a leaf to cover the kitten. The kitten made no attempt to escape from the relationship. This macaque was not an alpha male or a leader.

It is believed that he was not getting a lot of attention from the other macaques and neither was he receiving attention from humans as they've become a nuisance in Ubud.

So the macaque found a friend and some attention as did the kitten. Perhaps they both craved friendship and a companion. It is probably as simple as that. A homeless kitten found a parent and a male primate found a child.

The story does not tell me how it ended. I'd like to know. Did they remain friends for the rest of the life of the cat?

Sunday 28 November 2021

Kitten thrown from car outside the home of the person who adopted him

Sometimes there can be a domestic cat merry-go-round. It happens all over the place in all developed countries to varying extents. I read about them a lot. One person throws a kitten away. Another person picks him up and lives with him the rest of his life. Sometimes that process is extended whereby the second owner also gives up the kitten or adult cat to a rescue. They adopt the cat out. The adopter might also relinquish their cat. It can be a merry-go-round.

Gray - a cat who was thrown away from a car as a kitten and adopted by the owner of the house near to where it happened
Gray - a cat who was thrown away from a car as a kitten and adopted by the owner of the house near to where it happened. Photo: Janet Johson.

There is a good and rather stark example on the Internet. It comes from Janet Johnson. It happened last January when her son looked out of their front window at 8:15 PM. They live in South Carolina and the temperature was forecast to drop to 28°F. A cold night.

Johnson's son turned to her mother and said that somebody just threw something out of the car in front of their house. She went to the front door to have a look as the non-descript car pulled away.

Walking down the driveway was a little grey kitten about 4-5 months old. Johnson was not in the mood to adopt a kitten but she had lost a Maine Coon that she had adopted in 2011. He disappeared mysteriously the year before last. Perhaps he is another victim of the merry-go-round? Stolen and sold?

Johnson rescued and adopted the little grey kitten and called him Gray. She said that he is healthy, happy, neutered, loved and aggravating at 5 AM. The casualness with which the people in that non-descript car threw away their kitten is shocking. It was right in front of Johnson's house for anyone to see.

Throwing out kittens is a bit like fly tipping in the UK when people throw away items by the roadside along country lanes. They do this because it's easier to do rather than taking it down to the council tip. It's laziness. In respect of kittens it is callousness. The mentality of people who do this is very poor. They could take the kitten to a rescue centre. Too messy and too much trouble. Too embarrassing as the reason is probably allowing cats to breed.

But there is a merry-go-round between the bad people and the good people as illustrated. However, sometimes it's just about mediocre people who adopt and give up and then somebody else adopts and they give up and so it goes on.

This practice happened a lot during Covid lockdowns in the UK regarding dogs, actually. Casual and self-indulgent adoptions of puppies led to early relinquishments when they realised dog ownership is not a pushover, which led to advertising their dog for sale on social media (against the rules on Facebook) which in turn led to more careless adoptions and so on. The victims are the companion animals who are shunted around between different owners.

VIDEO: Cat interrupts a live show on Georgia’s Kavkasia TV

This is a nice reaction from the TV host. He smiles and looks very relaxed about the interruption to his show by a domestic cat who must have been on set behind the camera. It is remarkable that the cat was allowed to wander onto the set. I think it is nice though. It breaks up all that dry, boring news stuff and adds a bit charm to the proceedings. It detunes it and humanises it. Although you couldn't allow it to happen too often otherwise someone would complain that the TV channel was trivialising the news.

Georgia's TV Kavkasia said they don’t know where the came from and the was definitely not part of the show! Yes, I am sure that was the case. 😃 .

شاهد.. #جورجيا.. قطة تقتحم بثاً مباشراً لبرنامج «Kavkasia» عندما قفزت فجأة على المكتب أمام المذيع المصدر: anews #صحيفة_الخليج #الخليج_خمسون_عاماً

Posted by ‎صحيفة الخليج‎ on Saturday, November 20, 2021

Here is a screenshot from the video:

Cat invades TV show and presenter likes it
Cat invades TV show and presenter likes it. Screenshot.

Saturday 27 November 2021

China's Ora Good Cat electric vehicle is ideal for cat lovers and environmentalists

It's coming to Europe and I would hope that it is coming to America. It is a good looking EV (electric vehicle) from China called the Ora Good Cat, which is an interesting name. I've decided that it is a name designed to attract people who like cats and who live with them. And the classic profile of that kind of person is a woman, specifically an independent-minded woman concerned about the environment and therefore in the market to buy a compact EV 😊. In a woke age of strict equality we can't exclude cat-loving men either! Although the design is so obviously targeted at women.

Ora Good Cat
Ora Good Cat EV from China. Manufacturer: Great Wall Motors.

And if the marketing bumf is to be believed then this is a good EV. The biggest worry about EV is the mileage on one charge.

They say that the car does 501 km or 311 miles on one charge. I think you could sensibly reduce that to about 250 miles on one charge under real-life circumstances which includes putting on the air conditioning under cold and hot weather conditions. And the amount of miles you get from an EV depends on how you drive it. You have to drive EVs differently to standard petrol and diesel cars.

RELATED: Woman recovers the bodies of cats hit by cars and reunites them with their owners

I would expect that this car has a breaking charging system. This is a gear you can select so that the car breaks when you lift your foot off the accelerator. And in breaking it charges the battery. You let the car slow itself down without using the brakes. It takes a little while to adjust. But it substantially increases the mileage you obtain on one charge of the battery.

RELATED: Friendly reminder to tap your car hood before starting the engine!

As mentioned (twice already 😕) the car is designed with women in mind in my opinion. It's quite compact which is why I'm surprised at the extent of the mileage they say can achieve. Batteries are big and heavy which is why EV's with a long-range are big cars. They are too big for the average motorist in my view.

This car is described as a 'subcompact' and it is made by Great Wall Motors under its electric vehicle brand, ORA, since November 24, 2020. I believe that it is already on sale in Thailand where it has caused a stir. The date of this post is November 27, 2021.

The design is retro which is popular. Sales formally began on November 24, 2020. It's quite a quick car because the electric motor develops 143 hp. That will mean that the car is quite nippy.

A black cat saved from the wheel well of a truck by customs agents

A black cat saved from the wheel well of a truck by customs agents and now with Cat Advocacy and Rescue Association - CARA. Nice photo and great cat rescue:

Earlier this afternoon, this very lucky kitty was rescued from the wheel well of a truck by customs agents. She is claiming refugee status and is being taken home by one of the agents! Such a lucky kitty!!

Posted by Cat Advocacy and Rescue Association - CARA on Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Here is a still photo from the FB post. This needs to be here to provide a 'featured image'.

A black cat saved from the wheel well of a truck by customs agents. Said black cat with a worker from CARA - Cat Advocacy and Rescue Association - CARA.

33 people recovered this cat from a tree

Perhaps this is the largest number of people who have rescued a cat from a tree. I'd be surprised if there was another instance in which more people were involved. Hank, an 18 month-old bicolour, ginger tabby normally spends his days in the backyard in a north-east Washington home. Sometimes he enjoys wandering into the garden of nuns who live in the same block reports The Washington Post.

Delores Bushong, who lives in Northeast, hugs her cat Hank after he was rescued from a tree in her neighbor's yard. (Courtesy of Humane Rescue Alliance)
Delores Bushong, who lives in Northeast, hugs her cat Hank after he was rescued from a tree in her neighbor's yard. (Courtesy of Humane Rescue Alliance)

Hank's owner is Dolores Bushong, 74. She adopted him from a rescue centre in the Shenandoah Valley area and has lived in north-east Washington for 30 years. She was amazed at the number of people who came to help.

"It really required a lot of people coming together and trying an incredible number of different things to get Hank out of that tree."

She said it was very frustrating to feel impotent when you love a cat as much as she does after Hank became stuck in a tree for five days with no food or water.

The 33 volunteers included strangers, animal rescue volunteers, friends and neighbours who tried half a dozen different ways to rescue him using baskets, catnip and tall ladders.

Hank got stuck on November 6 of this year (2021). Delores became worried when she called him and there was no response. It got dark and she began to worry some more. Then she heard Hank crying and looked up! She couldn't believe that he climbed a tree because he had never climb one before. Especially one so high.

She believes that Hank became scared of the neighbour's dogs and darted up the tree to escape. The Humane Rescue Alliance took the lead in his recovery. They called the DC Fire Department. They said they couldn't get up the tree with their ladders. Delores then called a construction company enquiring about renting scaffolding but she was told that she would have to book 48 days in advance. She couldn't rent a tall ladder because it was too expensive and difficult to organise.

She then called Casey Trees where she happens to be a volunteer and they sent an expert who said that it wasn't safe to climb up the tree because the branches were not sturdy enough.

One volunteer who turned up suggested that she call the owner of a nearby pest control business which they knew had a tall ladder. The owner of the business Ijeoma Maduforo-Barry said that she could use her 42-foot tall ladder.

Maduforo-Barry said that she had a soft heart and wanted to make sure that the rescue took place successfully. One neighbour produced a can of sardines to try and entice him down. That didn't work. After five days word had got around about the failed rescue attempts.

The customer care team at the Humane Rescue Allowance remembered a rope system and a basket with food inside. The idea is that the cat is enticed into the basket and then the basket is lowered to the ground. This particular method can be effective in cases where the cat is very high up.

As it transpired, the ropes and pulley contraption with the basket on the end worked. They also put some of Dolores slippers and some catnip in the basket to attract him. Hank took the bait and jumped in. I think by then he was keen to get down anyway and his senses told him that it was safe to jump in and that it would at last release him from his self-imposed captivity 40 feet in the air.

Friday 26 November 2021

Minnesota man allegedly blamed the family cat for severely injuring the baby that he killed

NEWS AND COMMENT: A Minnesota man, Kristopher Henderson, has been charged with murdering his baby child of 2-months-of-age. However, he allegedly blamed the family cat for leaving his child with severe injuries including broken legs and ribs. He was trying to pass off the killing on his cat.

A Minnesota man, Kristopher Henderson, has been charged with murdering his baby child of 2-months-of-age
A Minnesota man, Kristopher Henderson, has been charged with murdering his baby child of 2-months-of-age but he initially blamed the family cat. Image: Blue Earth County Jail.

His baby died in hospital after he allegedly inflicted severe injuries. After initially blaming the cat for injuries that no domestic cat could cause, he admitted to hitting his child forcefully to try and quieten her. '

Henderson was initially charged with first-degree assault which was upgraded to 2nd-degree murder with intent. He appears to have also been charged with first-degree manslaughter while committing malicious punishment to a child. It looks as though there are two alternative charges because one might be more applicable than the other once the court case starts. He is on bail at US$1 million.

This is absolutely mind-blowingly tragic but from my perspective it is also bizarre in that, allegedly, Henderson felt that he could get away with the ridiculous excuse that his domestic cat caused these horrific injuries. 

As he has admitted hitting his child forecefully he is going to be convicted in my opinion. I'm an outsider to this but although it looks very much like murder it is probably manslaughter as he probably did not intend to kill the infant (lack of mens rea - intent). It appears that the red mist descended and he lost all sense of reason and self-control.

Source: New York Times.

Berkeley cat has sudden aversion to being petted

I have taken the title from The Mercury News. The reason why I am writing this note is because a reader of that online newspaper asked a question of their resident expert, Joan. They said that their nine-year-old beloved indoor cat had suddenly taken to clawing at her after she petted him for more than a minute. She found it very odd because he is usually very docile. She wanted to know the cause. I'd like to throw my hat into the ring.

Cat being petted
Cat being petted. Image: Getty.

Joan suggested two possible causes: that the cat was feeling pain for some reason and petting him exacerbated the pain causing the inadvertently provoked aggression in response. And secondly she thought that he might be feeling stressed because of a change to his lifestyle as a result of the pandemic.

It's a good question which implies that for many years this woman has been petting her cat in a completely acceptable way. Therefore nothing has changed in the way that she is petting her cat. Therefore the change must come within the cat i.e. there is pain or the environment has changed.

The most likely cause would be that this middle-aged cat has developed sensitivity to petting. This could be quite easily investigated. It may be a certain area of his body which is tender. The owner could do what veterinarians do namely palpate her cat which means to feel her cat and apply a bit of gentle pressure. She can then observe her cat's response. An aggressive response after palpitating a certain area would clearly indicate pain in that area. She could then telephone her vet is there was no external injury.

Cats perceive these circumstances as the person being aggressive towards them. They don't rationalise the fact that they are injured and the person is trying to find the injury. They just feel pain and the pain is being caused by a person so they think that person is deliberately causing them pain. And this would apply even if they have lived with that person for many years in a very good relationship. It's instinctive.

If that doesn't produce any results then you need to look to the environment. I don't believe the coronavirus is the problem (but see below). There may be something else in the environment which is upsetting him. For example, there may be a cat outside which he has noticed which is irritating him because that cat is invading his territory. He wants to attack the cat but can't because he's an indoor cat. Therefore he redirects his aggression at his owner. Petting can irritate under these circumstances and therefore he claws the owner. This, I believe, is the most likely kind of environmental issue causing this abnormal response to petting.

There might be someone else in the home which is upsetting them. Or the owner might be away a lot more than before. On reflection Covid might be a factor on this basis because if the owner was home all the time and then it suddenly away from home the cat might be upset. However the aggressive reaction under these circumstances is unlikely.

The first thing to do is to check health as Joan said (the most likely cause) and then to go through the environmental tick box possibilities until you hit the right answer. The problem might subside naturally with patience.

City of Fremantle, Western Australia, proposes that outside cats must be leashed

The councillors of the city of Fremantle in Western Australia want to ban freeroaming domestic cats. They will have to be on a leash if they have their way. Soon cats could be prohibited from all city-owned and managed properties. This is one more step in the pressure being applied by legislators in Australia to domestic cat ownership in order to constrain free movement and protect native wildlife. 

Cat on leash
Photo: Pixabay. This is the kind of cat you'd keep on a leash without laws to make you do it as she is beatiful.

There is a gradual, insidious almost, expansion of the concept of limiting the freedoms of domestic cats and restricting domestic cat caretaking. I am not against it as long as cat welfare is also dealt with. Constraining cats can lead to bored cats and a lack of stimulation. This can lead to health problems.

In this instance, the motion for the change in the local law was put forward by Councillor Adin Lang. It was backed at a meeting this week according to The Daily Mail. Domestic cats will also have to be on a leash when in other areas such as bushland areas, verge gardens and other areas considered to be wildlife refuges. 

The proposal is also to prohibit cats from going onto roads. I find that very peculiar but it is the report. They intend to amend an existing law, the Cat Management Local Law 2020.

Adin Lang wants, it seems to me, the same rules applying to cats that are in operation for dogs. Dogs can't roam around freely and he wants the same thing for cats. Back in 1970s dogs were allowed to roam freely but it's been very different for a very long time.

RELATED: Walking your cat on a leash to explore and stimulate. A lifestyle to aspire to?

The proposed law will also help protect cats and keep them safer. I'm told that there are 750 cats registered in Fremantle. That implies that there is an obligation on cat owners to register cats in that city. How successful is that? This is a low number. My research immediately confirmed that domestic cat registration plus microchipping and sterilisation is obligatory in Fremantle. Breach of the ordinance results in $5,000 fine per item.

The proposed amendment to the law will be drafted and then be put to the council. They might seek feedback from the community before they try and turn it into a law. It could still be disallowed by the State Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation.

RELATED: Why don’t cats walk on leashes?

Postscript: if you've tried to leash train your cat you will know that it is not easy. The character of domestic cats does not lend itself to walking contentedly by your side on a lead. It is possible to train cats to do it but I don't think I've ever seen a story about a domestic cat being leash trained to walk down the sidewalk or pavement for any considerable distance in suburbia. You see leash trained cats trekking with their hiking owners. But that's rare too. And this is in the middle of nowhere so it is quiet.

I suspect that if there is a law which states that you must take your cat out on a lead nobody will do it. They will simply keep their cats inside instead. This is a potential health problem.

Hindus have a thing about saliva so do they get on with domestic cats?

Hindus don't get on with domestic cats in general according to my research (wrong? - tell me please). But, on the face of it, it is not to do with their social and cultural rule called: Uchchhishta.

I've learned that devout Hindus have a problem with saliva. Perhaps we all do to be honest. This is because saliva contains bacteria and we think germs spread in saliva. But they have a revulsion about it. They also have a specific term to describe leftover food which contains the saliva of the person who ate it. This word is: Uchchhishta.

Cat in Hinduism. According to hindupad.com cats are also considered as a worshipful animal in Hinduism since the cat is the vehicle of Mata Shasti Devi, a female incarnation of Lord Muruga who is worshipped mainly in North India.
Cat in Hinduism. According to hindupad.com cats are also considered as a worshipful animal in Hinduism since the cat is the vehicle of Mata Shasti Devi, a female incarnation of Lord Muruga who is worshipped mainly in North India. Picture in the public domain.

Hindus represent about 80% of the general population of India. But do they all have a revulsion against the saliva in leftover food? I don't think so. However, there's a problem here because Hindus know that domestic cats groom themselves very thoroughly. They deposit their saliva all over their body when grooming. It dries on the fur. How do Hindus react to that knowledge?

Does it put them off keeping a domestic cat companion? Or is there a certain amount of fluidity and flexibility within the Hindu religion which allows Hindus to feel comfortable living with domestic cats despite their fastidiousness in keeping themselves spick-and-span through the use of their own saliva?

In India a person of higher caste or status can leave food leftovers for someone of a lower caste. And if a person of lower status eats the food of a person of higher status this is not in breach of this cultural rule called Uchchhishta.

RELATED: Is it allowed to have a cat in Islam?

There is little about this rule on the Internet. However, questions are asked as to whether Indians living in India dislike domestic cats and if so why? It seems the biggest barrier in that country for domestic cat ownership is not Uchchhishta but superstition. They believe that when a cat crosses your path it is bad luck.

This superstition affects a lot of countries and a lot of people but it depends how strongly it is felt. Clearly in India it's quite a strong superstition. This appears to be similar cat superstitions on the African continent.

This superstition is due to Hindu mythology. Another barrier to Hindus owning cats is because they are meat eaters and a large percentage of Indians are vegetarians. They don't want meat-eating pets in their homes. They also don't want to neuter pets according to my research and because cats breed well they don't want lots of kittens. And they believe that cats are unsanitary and expensive to keep. Well, there you go. Indians regard the domestic cat as unattractive but the saliva issue isn't a problem or it is not mentioned as a problem. I wonder if it is a secret problem 😏.

RELATED CROSS-POST: Orthodox Hindus hate the domestic cat habit of constantly licking themselves

Uhmm...I wonder how Hindus react to kissing when saliva is merged between the participants? The quora.com website asks why Indians, especially marrying Hindus, do not kiss each other in front of everybody during their wedding. Is this true? I couldn't find a good answer. It appears to be a simple tradition. I wonder whether the tradition is linked to Uchchhishta?

It seems that there is a fault line in the culture regarding saliva. We have to respect it nonetheless. A lot of people in the West have a problem with cat saliva but in a different context: being bitten by cats and the bateria being deposited under the skin causing an infection. And also it contains an allergen (a protein) called Fel D1 which causes an allergy to cats in about 10% of the human population.

However, it has to be noted that human saliva contains the same levels of bacteria and if humans bit each other they'd become infected to the same extent 😎.

Cold Sphynx cat looking like an old man in a doorway

This is a picture of a cold Sphynx cat bent over in a slightly strange position with an interesting expression and an overall appearance which reminds me of an old man with a bent back walking down a street or standing in a doorway on a cold winter night. Perhaps my imagination is running riot and perhaps I am anthropomorphising this cat too much. We nearly always anthropomorphise our cats. But look at the expression on his face. At the base of the page I explain why I think he has taken up this position.

Sphynx cat huddles over warm air vent to keep warm inside the home
Sphynx cat huddles over warm air vent to keep warm inside the home. Photo: Reddit.

It's a peculiar position and his owner says that he always does this when he's cold. And when I read that information I questioned what she was doing. Why did she allow him to get cold and then photograph him and upload the photograph to the Internet?

Would it not have been better if she had kept him warm? The trouble with that suggestion is that if she had kept him warm he wouldn't have looked like this. And she wouldn't have been able to take an interesting photograph of her cat. In turn, that would have prevented her uploading an interesting cat photograph to the Internet. You can see what I'm getting at. A problem for Sphynx cats is that they are very photogenic. You can get a lot of very good photographs of these hairless cats.

She let him get cold so she could get a good picture for social media consumption. Personally, I don't like it. I think social media is undermining cat welfare. And I'm including YouTube. All those funny cat videos are in fact videos of cats often being stressed and anxious. People don't like to discuss it but I refuse to let it go.

RELATED: Do Sphynx cats smell?

I don't want to be curmudgeonly but there has to be a balance between animal welfare and making some money on YouTube through advertising. That is the reason why people make funny cat videos. You can make more money on YouTube advertising through Google AdSense then you can through a website i.e. the written word. YouTube can be quite a good earner.

The problem is that the YouTube administrators have gradually, over the years, added to the amount of advertising on uploaded videos. They've absolutely maxed it out to the point where it can be irritating to watch a video because it is interrupted too much by adverts. I'm digressing.

RELATED: Are Sphynx cats hypoallergenic?

Back to the cat. Despite my criticism, it is an interesting photograph. I would say that the reason why he looks like this is because he's keeping himself warm over the warm air vent which is right in front of him! The photographer knows that.

It is hardly worth saying but Sphynx cats are hairless and therefore they feel the cold. You've got to keep your home warm. That's going to cost extra money. Sphynx cats require enhanced cat caretaking (bathing for instance) which is perhaps something that people don't take fully into consideration when they adopt one.

Thursday 25 November 2021

Cat objects to the dog newcomer in the strongest possible terms!

It looks as if the owner has made the presumption that their resident cat will accept a newcomer dog without any fuss whatsoever. And the cat objects in the strongest possible terms about the introduction of a newcomer dog into the family. The cat is shocked. She screams and makes her point very strongly indeed. It couldn't be stronger. I don't know what they're going to do now. It looks like a catastrophe to me because it might take a very long time for these to the get along.

Screenshot. The cat is screaming at the top of her/his voice objecting to the dog.

I don't know what they were thinking when they videoed the introduction. Maybe they thought that it would be a happy scene but what they got was a cat screaming at the top of her voice telling the father to go away with that nasty dog who is going to mess up my (the cat's) life.

It is one of the hardest things to do to ensure that the resident cat gets along with the newcomer dog or newcomer cat. I don't know of any certain formula. I think it's more about 'suck and see' with the option to take your dog or cat back to a rescue centre if it does not work out. They say cats and dogs and cats and cats get along after a while but you don't want months on end of trying to ensure that the newcomer, incoming cat gets along with your resident cat. If it is very difficult to get 2 cats or a cat and dog to get along I can't really see the point of being responsible for a multi-cat home.

Russians love their cats. A balcony window for the cat.

I think that the Russians love their cats. There are some amazing breeders of Maine Coons in Russia and they love their purebred cats. Well not all Russians. But there appears to be quite a healthy cat fancy in Russia. I don't know much about Russia but I have this strong sense that they have an affinity with the domestic cat like the Turkish despite the fact that it is not a great country for a domestic cat because of the climate. 

It looks pretty hostile and they do have feral cats who tend to live in the basement of apartment blocks which they access through little holes in the wall. I presume these are ventilation holes. I don't know how they survive in the winter. It just looks awful.

A balcony window for the cat
A balcony window for the cat. Image: @Prostoilogin/pikabu.ru.

And on this page we see an intriguing photograph of an extended balcony of an apartment which might well have been built in breach of planning permission. I've seen lots of balconies built in Russia which must have been constructed in breach of planning laws if there are planning laws to be in breach of.

RELATED: Love at a distance between cat and dog

But this is a very cute balcony extension because I think this is a full-time indoor domestic cat and the owner has been tender and sweet enough to build in to the balcony wall a window specifically for their cat. It doesn't get much better than that in terms of considering the welfare of your cat.

This cat can now look out the window and enjoy "cat television" which is what it is because they can watch the wildlife and the human life.

Picture of a leopard who befriended a cow in defiance of usual instincts

In defiance of natural instincts, this female leopard crept through a sugarcane on an October night to find a cow tied up in a field. It's the way the villagers kept their livestock in this community on the banks of India's Dhadhar River at a village called Antoli. The cat did not harm the cow. The villagers were worried and asked the Forest Department to remove the leopard to a sanctuary nearby. 

The trappers turned up on what they saw shocked them. After several attempts to capture the leopard she returned to the area nightly. Sometimes many times during a single night. But she did not return as a predator but to her cow that it seems she regarded as her mother. She came for a cuddle.

Female leopard befriends a cow for months
Female leopard befriends a cow for months. Image: Believed now to be in the public domain.

She approached the cow cautiously and rubbed her head against the cow's head and then settled down against her body. In response, the cow would lick her leopard friend. She started at her head and neck and then the legs and any other area of the body that she could get to. The leopard clearly enjoyed the experience.

RELATED: Interspecies friendship: donkey and domestic cat

If the cow was asleep when the leopard arrived she would gently be woken up with a nuzzle to the leg. The leopard then lay down by her side. The leopard ignored cattle standing nearby. This happened for two months and the leopard showed up at around eight in the evening and stayed with the cow until the first signs of sunrise.

The villagers heard about this and were no longer worried about the need to capture the leopard. The benefit was that the leopard was preying on pigs, jackals and monkeys which meant that their crops improved. The cat stuck around for several weeks. On the last night when she was seen with the cow she came nine times before disappearing forever.

RELATED: Rooster play-fights with domestic cat

It is suggested that this female leopard had just become independent and was looking for a home range but being a young adult sought companionship and a mother. Perhaps her mother had been killed and she was not yet independent and therefore needed mothering until she felt able to be independent to find her own home range. When she reached adulthood and confidence she moved on. Nonetheless, the relationship was striking and counter to all the natural instincts and stories that we see and read about.

Private zoo owners should experience jail for three years to find out what it's like to be in cages

NEWS AND COMMENT: Private zoo owners are ignorant. They are uneducated and they are stupid at least in respect of one topic: animal welfare. They don't know what it's like to be banged up in a cage. They think it's all right. They think that if a tiger is born in a cage it accepts the cage (wrong, the need for much space is in their DNA). Another indicator of ignorance. They should go to jail for a couple years or more and feel what it's like. This is exactly what has happened to the notorious Joe Exotic. 

Joe Exotic in prison
Joe Exotic in prison. Image in public domain.

He's been in jail for almost 3 years. I guess you know why. He was the star of the Netflix documentary which went viral. I guess the world and their dog know about Joe Exotic - real name: Joseph Maldonado-Passage. He is revelling in his celebrity status. Netflix should be ashamed of providing him with the platform to gain celebrity status.

In the follow-up series by Netflix he apparently expressed some sympathy towards the big cats that he kept locked up in his infamous zoo. At one time it was America's largest private zoo. He saw nothing wrong with it at all. He saw nothing wrong in exploiting big cat cubs for photo sessions after tearing them away from their mothers. He saw nothing wrong in killing adult tigers who became redundant for the purposes that he required them i.e. to make money.

RELATED: Joe Exotic gives his zoo to Carole Baskin

At the end of the first episode, I am told that Joe Exotic expressed some regret for what he's done. Being in prison has given him a different perspective on his treatment of the animals at his former zoo over the many years he kept it running. He admits that he now finally understands why it is wrong to keep big cats locked in cages because he knows what it feels like. In his words:

"After being lumped up her three years, I know now how my animals felt. I'm ashamed of myself. I hope I'll get a second chance just like my tigers."

And hearing that annoys me and many others. It's taken him all these years to realise that he has caused distress and pain in these magnificent creatures. And he did it all for financial gain and celebrity. Frankly it sucks and this is the exact sentiment of many other people as indicated by their tweets on Twitter.

RELATED: Joe Exotic was terrified of big cats and wickedly cruel says film producer

And yeah, in an act of added irony, one of his old mates in the private zoo business, Jeff Lowe, expresses sympathy towards Joe Exotic for his uncomfortable experience of being in prison. He said that it is a long time to be locked up in prison (2.5 years) but he was perfectly happy to lock up animals in his zoo for many, many years and of course the same applies to Joe exotic. I'm afraid that this is another example of ignorance. It is an example of an unenlightened and abusive approach to animals.

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Prince William criticises rapid human birth rate in Africa but why did he have three kids?

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, is a known wildlife conservationist which is good. He has once again highlighted the increasingly negative impact of human population growth on wildlife conservation. He is focusing on Africa where there is the world's most diverse and beautiful wildlife including many iconic large species and where the human population is on course to double by 2050 to 2.5 billion. That kind of human population growth inevitably leads to a heavy increase in agriculture and commercial enterprises and activities which squeezes out wildlife, essentially due to the destruction of their habitat.

Human birth rate is high in African putting pressure on wildlife
Human birth rate is high in African putting pressure on wildlife. Photo: Pixabay.

William criticised Africa's human population growth in 2017. At that time he condemned the "staggering increase of 3.5 million people per month" in Africa.

A royal-watcher and apparently a critic, Phil Dampier, an author of books on the royal family, tweeted at the time: "If Prince William thinks there are too many people in the world shouldn't he and Kate have stuck to 2 children?"

The problem is this: it isn't only about the human population of Africa increasing as fast as it is which is causing massive problems for the conservation of wildlife on the continent, is also the population growth of developed countries such as the UK. It is the people of developed countries with high consumption of products and foods which drives habitat destruction as forests are cleared for crops to feed UK and European livestock.

The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Britain needs to place a curb on population growth as well. I think that you'll find, by the way, that certain ethnic minority cultures have much larger families than other cultures and the islands of Great Britain.

And doesn't India need to be introspective and ask if it is time to consider human population growth? The Bengal tiger has for years been squeezed out of India.

RELATED: Human population growth effects on animals.

Prince William is repeating the thoughts of Sir David Attenborough who has had in the past stated that humankind is a kind of disease on the planet. What he meant was that humankind is destroying the planet and as the population of humans grows there is more destruction and it is more difficult to control that destruction. Humankind is operating like a bacterial infection inside a person.

Cop26 is an example of how hard it is to unify the world in one objective even when that objective is saving the planet; saving humankind's home.

Hawaiian government procrastinates about how to deal with their 'cat problem'

US News today reports on a male Hawaiian monk seal dying after a five-week battle with toxoplasmosis. It has prompted another discussion about how Hawaii should deal with both domestic and feral cats. The argument is that the toxoplasma oocysts which are shed in both feral and domestic cat faeces (once) somehow make their way to the sea where monk seals ingest the oocysts and become infected with toxoplasmosis.

Comparison of size of Hawaii 4 main islands with UK
Comparison of size of Hawaii 4 main islands with UK. Image: MikeB from mylifeelsewhere.com.

They tried to save this seal but, as mentioned, it died. The seal, known as RW22, was treated at the Marine Mammal Center. They called on cat owners to keep their pets indoors and to dispose of faeces in cat litter in the trash. It's another instance of where putting cat litter down the toilet is a bad idea. It has to going to landfill. However, I guess oocysts can still make it to the sea from landfill under certain circumstances.

But the point of this article is that in 2016, five years ago, there was a report of eight monk seals dying for the same reason. The symptoms in the infected seals vary but they included lesions in the brain, adrenal glands, diaphragm, lymph nodes and spleen. In the case of RW22, the seal showed signs of partial facial nerve paralysis and a corneal ulcer which they believed were symptoms of toxoplasmosis.

So there is an ongoing problem if the experts are right in Hawaii of feral and domestic cat faeces making their way to the ocean around the four main islands. And little or nothing has been done about it, it seems to me, over the intervening five years and I presume longer.

They are constantly moaning about a feral cat problem on Hawaii with the cats attacking precious Hawaiian birds. There's been report about that as well. They appear to be scratching their heads about how to deal with the problem.

I think the real problem is a lack of leadership in the Hawaiian government. This is combined with a lack of commitment in dealing with this problem.

One website louisegund.com tells me that there are TNR programs on Hawaii run by volunteers which is very normal but that the government opposes them. They don't think it works. That too is quite normal. Some people support TNR and others disagree with it. It is too slow for some and returning the cats to where they came from doesn't make sense to some people.

However, the 4 Hawaiian main islands are about 1/15 the size of the UK. The point is that it is not a huge geographic area and it makes me believe that the government could successfully operate widespread TNR on the three smaller islands to start off with. 

They could support the volunteers and formalise TNR programs to make them more widespread and therefore more effective. Currently it is the only way to deal with feral cats humanely. You have to deal with the cats humanely because people put them there. And killing them is ineffective due to the vacuum effect. 

RELATED: Kerala, India: High Court orders registration of companion animals

In parallel with that there should be more determined approach to managing domestic cat ownership and raising standards. You'll find quite a lot of discussion in other parts of the world on obligatory micro-chipping, spaying and neutering and on occasions curfews either during the night to keep the cats inside or even mandating keeping cats within the bounds of the owner's property full-time. 

I'm not saying that that is the way to go but with a manageable human population size it may be feasible to operate obligatory registration of domestic cats and from there to make micro-chipping and spaying and neutering obligatory as well. The hard part is effective enforcement of mandatory pet registration laws.

This would improve domestic cat ownership, reduce the number of unwanted cats, reduce the number of feral cats in parallel with TNR which will gradually over a period of say 20 years reduce the population of feral cats. It's a long-term project. There is no other way. But if they'd started this 20 years ago they would have made some progress by now.

Tuesday 23 November 2021

America's police officers can't shoot pets in the absence of an 'objectively legitimate and imminent threat'

NEWS AND COMMENT: This is a brilliant case from America. I love it. God bless the courts of America is what I say. A Federal Court of Appeal in America has ruled that a police officer who unreasonably shoots a dog can be held liable in the civil courts for violating the constitutional rights of the dog's family. That also must apply to any companion animal including cats which is why I am writing about it on this website.

A Federal Court of Appeal just ruled that a police officer who unreasonably shoots a dog can be held civilly liable for...

Posted by Nathan Winograd on Thursday, November 18, 2021

Yes, police officers have shot or bludgeoned to death innocent cats in the past in America. I have written about these stories. But obviously dogs can potentially pose more of a threat to police officers than cats. In this instance, the story is frankly horrendous and it demonstrates how badly behaved police officers can be. It doesn't have to be in America. It can be in Great Britain or any other country but this story is about America, specifically Minnesota. I believe that there is an attitude problem by police officers in their relationship with animals. It is probably because often they are right-wing and white. And also they probably like guns and hunting.

The police arrive and they cause problems when there were none.
The police arrive and they cause problems when there were none.

The police officer shot two dogs in the backyard of the family who owned the dogs. They sued, I'm told by Nathan Winograd. I presume that they sued the police department and/or the police officer individually. I also presume that they sued for negligence or some other tort seeking compensation i.e. damages. This was not a criminal matter although to be frank, I would say that this police officer's behaviour was criminal. However, it would have been too hard to prove that.

After the dogs' family sued the officer he asked a lower court to dismiss the case. He said that he had immunity from prosecution because he acted reasonably when shooting the dogs in self defence.

The lower court refused to dismiss the case. They ruled that the question that should be asked at the time was whether the dogs posed an imminent danger to the officer. A jury would decide that based upon bodycam footage.

As it happens, both dogs were wagging their tails at the time. They were non-threatening with one dog turned to the side.

The officer appealed the lower court's decision but the Court of Appeal backed up the lower court's decision. They ruled that "an officer cannot shoot a dog in the absence of an objectively legitimate and imminent threat to him or others."

The officer concerned went to the house because an alarm had been set off by kids, accidentally. The alarm was turned off. The alarm company was informed that it was a mistake. Two officers arrived anyway. The family told one officer that it was a mistake that the alarm went off. That officer did not relay the information to a second officer. That second officer jumped over the fence into the backyard and shot the dogs. The dog survived but required extensive medical attention.

To compound matters the family's 15-year-old son arrived following the shooting and demanded to see the officer. The officers refused. The son became agitated and emotionally distraught. The officers threatened to arrest him. Comment: this is so typical of police officers who make problems for themselves. They create situations where law-abiding citizens are frustrated and angered to the point where the officer feels that they have grounds to arrest. But they create the problem.

I can't tell you how horrible this is I was in previous veterinary technician in the City of Lawrence Massachusetts on at least five occasions pit bulls had been shot for exactly what this officer tried to say self-defence and all of them we're not aggressive! I am knowledgeable and test dogs for these issues and none of those dogs were labelled aggressive. It happens more than people know...--Jeanelle Gramo.
The lawsuit stated that Minneapolis Police Department's officers very rarely receive dog-related training despite the fact that there are practices and strategies in place for police officers when encountering dogs. This alludes to negligence on the behalf of the police department.

The point of this story is that the federal courts in America have decided that it is time to stop police officers killing pets without due cause. They can't wriggle out of it claiming self-defence when clearly it is not an issue of self-defence. I would like to see more families suing more police officers under similar circumstances.

Monday 22 November 2021

21 points about the alleged scam to get people to donate to treat a sick rescue cat

This is a compressed summary in bullet fashion of an alleged scam concerning a community cat who needed expensive med treatment to be paid for via online donations. Scroll down for the bones of the story.

Gogi - alleged but not true
Gogi - alleged but not true. Pic: FB

Alleged fake vet bill
Alleged fake vet bill. Pic: FB.

  1. This is a story about an alleged scam by a 20-year-old woman who gave the impression she lived in Singapore;
  2. She called herself Nora Nur;
  3. She said that she had rescued a community cat from Punggol, Singapore. She claimed the cat had been abandoned;
  4. She had called the cat Gogi;
  5. On the Facebook group Sayang Our Singapore's Community Cats she asked for donations, small amounts like $5.10 dollars;
  6. She uploaded pictures of the cat and a veterinarian's bill from a real veterinary surgery: Frankel Veterinary Centre;
  7. She said the cat needed expensive treatment: 6,000 Singapore dollars for feline infectious peritonitis treatment and 800 Singapore dollars for a hysterectomy;
  8. It is quite common for cat rescuers to seek donations on Facebook for veterinary treatment;
  9. Allegedly, she was using this fact to get donations from people who are sympathetic towards rescue cat;
  10. A member of the above Facebook group, Lee Siew Yian, did some research and decided that her appeal for donations was a scam;
  11. They decided that the vet bill was a fake and the photographs of the cat were also faked. The pictures of the cat were taken from other pages on social media and there was no such cat called Gogi in need of expensive veterinary surgery and treatment;
  12. The veterinary clinic concerned confirmed that they did not issued the aforesaid bill and neither had they treated a cat with that name;
  13. This got back to the police and they investigated;
  14. Police officers from Bedok Police Division establish the identity of the 20-year-old woman and arrested her;
  15. 60 people had donated to her alleged fake cause;
  16. A 25 year-old man is assisting police investigations;
  17. Nora Nur changed her story said that the cat and her diseases were real but that the cat lived in Vietnam and not Singapore. She had tried to raise money in Vietnam without success. She therefore had sought funding through the Internet on a Singapore community cat Facebook webpage instead of in Vietnam;
  18. Nur has been criticised by people for using animals as part of a scam to get money off people;
  19. Nur apologised for what she's done and said that she will give the money back to the people who donated. She insisted that the fundraising operation had indeed occurred in Vietnam and that she had never tried to scam money. She sincerely apologised.
  20. Nur and her mother decided to sponsor all of Gogi's medical bills. I take this to mean that between them they will pay the bills;
  21. Can anybody trust her bearing in mind what she has done? Is she now telling the truth?

Hi everyone, after talking & talking, I have made a decision. All donors that transferred money to Davis Account...

Posted by Nora Nur on Tuesday, November 16, 2021

NEVER Turn Your Back on Big Cats!

NEVER Turn Your Back on Big Cats! That's what the experts say. It's to avoid provoking the prey chasing response inherent in feline predators. The advice when confronting a mountain lion is to face the cat and make noise and make yourself bigger. If you turn away and run the puma will run after you as if you are prey.

But the video is weak in my opinion. Firstly I don't like to see captive big cats in small pens whiling away the days bored to death. And secondly I am not sure that these big cats are trying to attack the video maker who has a successful YouTube channel. It looks to me that some of them are just interested in his presence and so they charge up to investigate. Anything will get them interested as the days roll by with almost nothing happening. Perhaps I am being too critical.

: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

Iceland split on banning free-roaming domestic cats

Icelanders are discussing whether to keep domestic cats indoors full-time. The town council of Akureyri, the "Capital of North Iceland" has decided to ban outdoor cats from January 1 2025. It was a majority decision in favour. They are going to stop the free movement of domestic cats in this town and they've given residents a long lead-in to get used to the idea.

Akureyri. Photo: in public domain.

However, a poll suggested that Icelanders in general do not support banning the free movement of domestic cats. But there are distinct regional differences. In Hafnarfjörður, 60% of the residents were either very or rather supportive of outdoor cats, for example. Almost the opposite view was taken in East Iceland where 55% of the residents were very or rather opposed to allowing cats to go outside.

RELATED: Icelandic government proposes changes to the law regarding feral cats

The Veterinary Society of Iceland is opposed to a ban on outdoor cats. They also say that the proposed law concerning Akureyri is badly formulated. They argue that keeping cats indoors all the time can have a negative impact upon the health of the animals.

They say that if they are used to free movement, keeping them indoors may cause behavioural problems due to stress and even disease. Bára Eyfjörð Heimisdóttir, the director of RUV (Icelandic veterinary association) is no doubt referring to stress causing cystitis. This is correct but it is a balancing act between various competing objectives.

Note: Below is an embedded FB post. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

RELATED: Police kill tourist’s cat brought into Iceland illegally

The ban is to protect wildlife. The veterinarians think that there is a better way to do this by, for example, putting brightly coloured collars on cats and limiting their outdoor activity during the nesting season. They also believe that the better option is to focus more on feral cats and reduce their population and encourage people to get their cats micro-chipped. In other words they are going for a more nuanced approach to protecting wildlife.

It 2016, I wrote an article about the difficulties of obligatory sterilisation, micro-chipping and registration of domestic cats. This was an article about Western Australia amending their Cat Act 2011. The amendment required that all domestic cats were registered, micro-chipped and sterilised at six months of age from November 2013. There were difficulties in obtaining compliance.

The biggest barrier to banning outdoor cats is having a handle on it. You need to know how many cats there are and where they live in order to enforce the law. To achieve that you need to register cats. What if people don't want to register their cats?  You don't know where they are so it is hard to enforce.

You may struggle to make a law which bans outdoor cats effective. That's the argument against a universal ban on outdoor cats and the alternative argument is that you can protect wildlife in a more effective way with a more nuanced approach as suggested by the veterinarians of Iceland.

Source: three articles on the Reykjavik Grapevine website.

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