Friday 29 April 2022

Cowardly cat haters abuse outdoor domestic cats secretively

Almost daily we read about some form of domestic cat abuse carried out secretively by cat haters. The typical method to abuse a domestic cat is to feed them poison such as antifreeze. You can do that secretively very easily. Poison is probably a favourite of cat haters. Another is to simply kill them and mutilate cats. Once again this is done at night, out of sight, when their owners are asleep. Domestic cats are predisposed to abuse at night because indoor/outdoor cats are active at that time.

RELATED: One family lost six cats to antifreeze poisoning.

Spray painted cat Australia
Spray painted cat Australia.

And sometimes we see domestic cat spray-painted. This is currently happening in Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia (see picture above). Cat owners are disgusted by it and they are up in arms. A secretive, cowardly cat hater is spray-painting domestic cats. Animal advocates are saying that not enough is being done by the local government to get to the bottom of it and enforce animal welfare laws. Some cat owners think that the enforcement of animal cruelty laws are underfunded in New South Wales, Australia. Aerosol paints are toxic to cats figures are going to lick it off.

I've seen domestic cats with elastic bands around their heads in another form of cat abuse.  Or tied tightly around legs to stop the blood flow. A further method of outdoor domestic cat abuses to shoot BB gun pellets at them from windows. In the UK they would be airguns. Sometimes people shoot .22 calibre rifle bullets at cats. This is what happens in America. Once again it is done secretively. It is rare that these perpetrators are caught by law enforcement.

RELATED: Can a BB gun kill a cat?

There are innumerable ways to abuse cat secretively. Another one comes to mind. Cat owners driving up to cat rescue facilities with unwanted cats in a cardboard box and dumping the box by the building. They do it at night but sometimes they are caught on security cameras. Or they may simply dump the cats among the garbage. They drive up quickly, leap out of the vehicle and dispose of the animals as fast as possible. They don't want to be caught quite naturally but these are cowardly acts by inadequate people. If they don't hate cat then they don't want because they been careless enough to allow them to breed.

Another way that cowardly cat hating people kill cats or harm them is to drive over them when they are on the road. Rather than avoiding a domestic cat on the road at night, they drive over them. Nobody knows how the cat died other than it was an accident on the road. It's a perfect crime and it disgusts me.

RELATED: Son drives over three cats with proud mum in passenger seat.

It is sad to think that the friendliest domestic cats are the ones most exposed to abuse by cat haters. These are the cats who walk up to people on the street seeking human interaction because they've not got enough of it with their owner. The cat hater entices the cat towards them and then picks them up and abuses them. Or there may steal them. I've seen cat thieves do this. This is a form of cat abuse because the domestic cat is suddenly placed into an alien environment causing anxiety. These are also not infrequently captured on CCTV cameras. We can see who they are. However, they are rarely apprehended by law enforcement.

I read today, by the way, that in the UK only 6% of suspected criminals are charged. One in 16 crime suspects in the UK were taken to court last year. And only a tiny fraction of the people who commit crimes are actually taken to court. The police are almost doing nothing in the UK. You might as well simply disband the entire police force and live life without them.

Cat haters operate secretively and they are bolstered by the fact that they know they will rarely if ever be caught by the police because in the UK they are next to useless.

Thursday 28 April 2022

Melanism in cats - full discussion

The cat above is a "grizzled" Chausie in cat fancy language or a cat with melanism in more scientific language. She is a silver tipped black Chausie. The cat's name is "Shekinah" and she was raised on Tammy Isaac's Willowind Cattery in South Texas. The photo is copyright protected. The photographer is Helmi Flick.

This post is about melanism in cats. The same principles apply for any form of melanism. Melanism refers to the black pigmentation of melanin.  This pigmentation colors hair, iris of the eye and skin. The pigmentation in the hair, however, is more a very dark, inky, rich bluish/brownish grey as the black coat pattern is still visible as a ghost pattern. Cats that carry the gene mutation that causes melanism are called "melanistic cats". Melanism is caused by a dominant autosomal allele2. The same source says that it is caused by an "autosomal recessive gene"6. This is conflicting information and shows that science is unsure of the genetic mechanisms involved. The conflict may be due to the fact that a different gene is involved in different cat species.

The opposite effect is albinism, when hair, iris and skin lacks pigmentation altogether.

Melanism may be linked to an added resistance to disease. The following wild cats can be melanistic:

Scottish Wild cat
Indian (Temmincks) Golden Cat
African Golden Cat
Jungle cat (dominant gene melanism, silver tipped)
Jaguar (dominant gene melanism)
Leopard ("black panther")
Geoffroy's cat
Clouded leopard
Pampas cat (Cincinnati zoo)


Wild cats

Another phrase that is frequently used specifically for large wildcats is "black panther". Black panthers are melanistic cats. The specific wild cats that this phrase relates to is the jaguar and the leopard (see also: black leopard pictures). These are very similar looking wildcats but they live on different continents. Amongst the wild cats, melanism is most common in jaguars. At one time (incorrectly) black jaguars were considered a separate wild cat species. As mentioned, the pattern is ghosted (see image below). It can rarely refer to the cougar (mountain lion or puma) too. Melanistic pumas are localised or very rare1. A visitor to PoC claims to have seen a 40 lb black cat in Arizona. And please see: I encountered a seven foot long oily black mountain lion...

Melanistic jaguar showing ghost pattern - photo: by ahisgett

However, there are many other wild cats that are melanistic. Melanism seems to be common in some species of wild cat and less common in others. In addition to the jaguar and leopard mentioned above, the serval, kodkod, jungle cat, Geoffroy's cat and oncilla can be melanistic while it is a rare condition or localised in the Bobcat, clouded leopard (in Borneo only) and cheetah. Apparently melanistic Geoffroy's cats are common. Partially black and melanistic African golden cats have been observed3. As to the Bobcat there were reports of 10 black bobcats in southern Florida4. As to the cheetah there is a record of one being sighted in Zambia and one in Kenya5. Melanistic servals are found in the Abedare Mountains of Kenya as are also black leopards. Black leopards are also found in the foothills of the Ruwenzoris, the Ethiopian highlands, Congo and South Africa6.

Melanistic jungle cat (felis chaus) - Photo by Joachim S. Müller

Domestic Cats

There are some good examples of melanism in domestic cats on PoC. The best is probably the F4 Savannah cat that I photographed at A1 Savannahs called "Midnight".

F4 Savannah cat "Midnight" with melanism - Photo Michael 

Another is the F1 Safari cat (a wildcat hybrid). And heading this post is a black Chausie another wildcat hybrid domestic cat.


Information about the genetics behind melanism in cats is very sketchy. I can say this with some confidence because Robinson's Genetics, the premier book on cat genetics, barely refers to it.

Sarah Hartwell on writes:
"Melanism is due to changes in the "agouti" gene which controls blackness (due to bands of colour along the hair shaft). Cats with normal agouti genes have ticked or banded hairs. Cats with 2 copies of the mutated agouti gene have solid colour hairs. In wild species this causes melanism (in domestic cats other genes affect the colour e.g. black, grey, brown). In most cat species, the gene for melanism is recessive to that for normal colour. In jaguars, melanism is a dominant gene."
Clearly the dominant (or recessive) gene that produces melanism causes the pigment, melanin, to be added to hair, skin and iris in a continuous manner at the time that the hair, skin and eyes are being formed. By way of contrast, the agouti gene causes pigment to be added to hair in bands producing the tabby appearance.

Biological melanin is called "eumelanin".


1. Wild Cats of the World page 8

2. Foreman GE 1988 Behavioral and genetic analysis of Geoffroy's cat in captivity as referred to in Wildcats of the World page 206.

3. Wild Cats of the World page 247

4. Wild Cats of the World page 186

5. Wild Cats of the World page 21

6.  Wild Cats of the World page 320 (leopard description)

Michael Avatar

Melanism to Home Page

Monday 25 April 2022

Reason why domestic cats are lactose intolerant

There comes a time when a mother of kittens decides to start weaning them.  This typically occurs in the fourth or fifth week of a kitten's life but it might be earlier in a large litter or if the mother is unwell or stressed.  The mother instigates the process of weaning as kittens rarely if ever decide to wean themselves.

Original photo by Addy Cameron-Huff. Cat is Finnigan. He looks like a Turkish Van.

The mother starts to spend time away from her kittens and/or blocks access to her milk.  She does this by lying or crouching with her abdomen against the ground.

The kittens get hungry and hunger drives them to search for food.  In the wild the mother brings back prey and tears it up to make it easier for the kittens to eat.

Prey is meat, the flesh of (usually) small mammals.  This forces kittens to develop their ability to eat and digest meat.

These developments include a change to their digestive tract.  The flesh of animals takes longer to digest than milk so kittens' intestines become lined with villi.  These are small finger-shaped projections which increase the amount of nutrients that can be absorbed through the lining of the intestinal wall.

Also, the enzyme that breaks down milk sugar, lactase, is permanently substituted by sucrase which breaks down the sugars in muscle which is meat.

As a result, the adult cat does not have the enzyme lactase in their digestive system to break down milk sugar and therefore it is indigestible or what we call “lactose intolerant". 

Cats are lactose intolerant to varying extents depending on the individual. Humans can also be lactose intolerant. I am. We are not designed to drink cow's milk. It's for cows.

Comment from Christine:
"Many who think they are lactose intolerant find this is only true when they consume pasteurized dairy products. This applies to cats as well. Pasteurized milk appears to remove the enzymes that help digest it."
The classic image from years ago of giving a domestic cat a treat of milk was a misconceived idea. I am sure that there were many cats with diarrhoea in those days although the owners would have been unaware of it as cat litter had not been invented.

Note: early weaning in domestic cats can cause behavioral problems.

'Clingy cat' - an alternative viewpoint

If you do a Google search for the word “clingy", Google throws up a list of possibilities for what you are searching for.  Google extends the search term and finds searches for information on "clingy babies", "clingy girlfriends", "clingy toddlers" etc..  When Google adds to your search term it bases its information upon what people search for. Obviously, people are searching for information about clingy toddlers etc.. The word "clingy" proceeds a human but not a cat.

Clingy? Insecure cat needing reassurance or a loving cat who likes to be with her human?
You decide.

This reinforces my beliefs about articles on clingy cats.  I don't believe there is such a cat as a clingy cat or if there are clingy cats, they are rarer than people believe.

I believe that cats who want to be with you a lot and who wish to interact with you when you're at home simply want to do that. They want to be with you, close to you and interact with you and why not? This is why people look after a domestic cat, isn't it? Some cats will be more independent-minded than others and they won't be so "needy", to use a human expression, but some cats will in human parlance demonstrate that they are needy but in my opinion they're not.  They simply want to have some fun with their human caretaker.

This may come about because, as is often the case, the cat's owner is out for a large part of the day. If that is the case then it is completely natural that a domestic cat will want to be with their human companion more than usual.

Sometimes, the cat may make a nuisance of himself with his owner by pestering her. Once again, I do not think that this is attention seeking or a cat that is needy or clingy. I think this is a cat that either wants to play or be with their human companion, or want something else.

On occasions, you may see a cat that is genuinely clingy meaning insecure in the same way that a person who is insecure may seek attention and be needy. However, I believe these cases are relatively rare and I also believe that cat behaviourist can and often do mistake the behavior of insecurity in a cat with a cat who likes to be around their human companion.

If a cat does interfere too much with the activities of their human caretaker, I believe that the onus is on the human caretaker to resolve the matter by looking at what they are doing to see whether they can improve their performance in relation to their cat.

What I mean by that is are they interacting with their cat enough from the cat's standpoint?  And are they feeding their cat enough?  Those sorts of things should be a priority and if they are all dealt with satisfactorily, perhaps look at the possibility that the cat is genuinely insecure and figure out ways to make the cat feel more secure.

Sunday 24 April 2022

Siamese cat behavior - 7 topics covered

Classic Siamese. Seal point. Not extreme.
Photo: in public domain

Siamese Cat Behavior does have a certain reputation but this may be slightly exaggerated. There are 7 areas to cover when discussing Siamese cat behavior if you want to do a thorough job 😉.
  • What the experts say about the Siamese family of cats.
  • General cat behavior.
  • Differences in behavior from cat to cat (individual personality). This is probably greater than any differences from breed to breed.
  • Siamese cat behavior.
  • Whether there are any differences in the behavior between the types of Siamese cats of which there is an endless spectrum. There are though essentially 3 types, the Modern and Traditional, with the Classic in between. Is the classic body conformation the Thai cat?
  • Spaying and neutering - the effect on behavior.
  • Illness - modern Siamese cats have the most inherited diseases of all the cat breeds.
As this is a very long page in which I discuss domestic cat behaviour generally as I must when discussing the behaviour of a cat breed, you might like to dip into the early part in which I report on what an expert says about the behaviour of the Siamese cat family. And there is a Siamese cat family because the Siamese cat is within a number of other cat breeds such as the Balinese, Oriental Shorthair and Oriental Longhair. And there is a range of Siamese cat types. It is a pretty big topic.

Expert opinion on the Siamese cat family

Gloria Stephens who is a past cat breeder and cat show judge (book: Legacy of the Cat) states that cats of the Siamese cat family "are vocal to the point of loudness and are quite active". They really like to sit on their owner's lap and sleep next to their owner at night. In her words, "They want to be as close as possible, and their need for closeness verges on the desperate."

And as they are intelligent, they like to investigate and "comment on everything their owner does". This makes them "demanding cats". But then to satisfy this demand all you have to do is to be close to your Siamese cat, hold them and stroke them. In short love them as an excellent cat caregiver.

General cat behavior

Obviously, a Siamese cat whether Modern or Traditional will have common domestic cat characteristics, which will be more pronounced than the particular breed characteristics. Realistically all purebred cats are very similar in character. It is usually the exotic wild cat hybrids that show some differences such as the Bengal cat.

Cats will act instinctively, which means reacting to what is going on around them. They are essentially, if one goes back thousands of years, domesticated wild cats. This is relevant as what they do is rooted in wild cat behavior. Their hunting skills come readily to mind. They are adapted to hunt so they have great senses. Play can lead to a scratch if it is too rough, for example. Play is a learning process for hunting.

Intelligent cats - and some breeds are I believe more intelligent than others (although there is no hard evidence to support this) - will be more inquisitive and generally more active than less intelligent cats. 

The Sphynx cat is thought to be more intelligent than average. We know that the Persian cat is affectionately known as a piece of furniture (i.e. static and undemanding). I wonder how cats feel about this? Being thought of as being a lesser cat breed in terms of intelligence. 

Cats don't mind as they're more tolerant than humans. We should agree that intelligence has a say in cat behavior generally. Siamese cat behavior will be subject to these general cat traits and Siamese cats are intelligent. This should include close relatives such as the Oriental Shorthair, Balinese and Javanese.

Susan Ford, daughter of Gerald Ford, and the family's Siamese cat, Shan, in 1974.
Photo: Wikipedia under CC license. Image: A1206-12A, Courtesy: Gerald R. Ford Library

Personality traits 

Due to nature (genetic traits) and nurture (environmental impact) individual cats will have differing temperaments. For example, difficult early years will or might make your cat more defensive. This will translate to being more static and less adventurous. This in turn may lead to weight problems. Or, a cat may be more prone to being nervous. This might translate to poor litter habits. These are individual traits which are similar in their variety to those found in humans. 

Siamese cat behavior (as a cat breed) will be substantially modified or completely altered by possible individual traits. This is less likely to happen in a cat bought from a quality Siamese cat breeder as the breeder will ensure that cats in her charge are well socialized (well-balanced characters and good with people and pets). A quality breeder will effectively take out of the equation the variation in character due to environmental factors.

Persian Siamese and non-pedigree cats. Human participants in a study believed that the Persian and Siamese made better pets than the non-pedigree. Is this a true result? Is it distorted by purchasing cats compared to adopting a non-pedigree from a rescue centre?
Persian Siamese and non-pedigree cats. Human participants in a study believed that the Persian and Siamese made better pets than the non-pedigree. Is this a true result? Is it distorted by purchasing cats compared to adopting a non-pedigree from a rescue centre?

Spaying and neutering

Cat breeders keep unaltered cats for breeding purposes. They often keep their male cats in outdoor pens. That just about says all you need to know about the behavior of male unaltered cats. Castrating a male cat eliminates the natural sex drive which has the pleasant effect of reduced territorial fights and injuries. Spraying urine (scent marking) is also reduced significantly. The lack of sex drive makes them more inclined to stay at home, a trait which makes them more domesticated, in effect. 

In other words, it makes domestic cats less like wild cats and more like domestic cats; the cats that we like to live with. As for females they spray too and there is no pregnancy to worry about once neutered. Altering as some breeders call it, is pretty well essential despite seeming a little cruel. It is really a consequence of living as a domestic cat.


Illness can affect Siamese cat behavior. Sometimes unexplained behavior, perhaps untypical aggressive behavior can be put down to an illness or injury. A vet is the only person to decide the best course of action in this instance. Illness though can affect behavior generally. I wonder if the propensity of the Siamese cat to having a squint (cross eyed) affects this breeds behavior?

Siamese cat behavior

I mentioned cat intelligence earlier on. It is not surprising that Siamese cats are at the top end of the intelligence league. This is reflected in this breed's vocalizations and attachment to humans. This is a cat that is involved in the human/cat relationship and the Siamese is not backward in coming forward in asking for something when the occasion demands. So, all other elements being equal and on the assumption that your Siamese is well socialized and well balanced she should be a little more inquisitive, involved and interactive than the average mixed-breed cat and the majority of the purebred cats. This means more input for the person keeping the cat.

This "people orientation" may translate into an issue if another cat joins the family. I immediately think of Helmi Flick's F1 Chausie that lived with her for a time. An F1 Chausie is a wildcat hybrid and quite demanding. They form close relationships with people. They are intelligent. I could see a disturbance to the balance in the relationship if another cat or person was introduced into it. 

One site called it jealousy but this is not an emotion that cats feel (or am I wrong?). However, cats love routine and if the cat has a close relationship with a person and this is disturbed it would cause upset that could be seen as jealousy. Cats take a long time to settle into a routine. Routine provides a comfort zone, something all animals (including humans) like and don't want disturbed.

Siamese cat behavior is considered by some to be extrovert in comparison to some other cat breeds perhaps because Siamese tend to be more vocal. Their need for human companionship is expressed in their vocal demands. But let us remember that all domestic cats depend on us, as that is what makes them domestic cats.

In truth cat breeders and the cat associations tend to exaggerate the characteristics of a cat breed, particularly the breed they are breeding to distinguish the breed from others. It is important to distinguish breed from breed to justify the breed. The variations from cat to cat will sometimes outweigh the differences from Siamese cat to another cat breed.

The Wikipedia author proposes that the Siamese cat coat (white with points) contributes to this breed's character in that the coat makes this breed less well camouflaged and therefore more dependent on people for survival. Hence the desire for a closer connection with humans. This begs the question as to the development of the coat color and pattern. It is certainly not the best for survival. That accolade for that must go to the tabby cat coat.

From the point of view of people living in the West the history of the Siamese cat starts late in the 1800s on the importation from Siam of a Siamese cat. This cat was a Traditional cat. What happened in Siam (now Thailand) to create the pointed coat? The pointed coat is probably due to a genetic mutation. 

If this happened naturally in Siam (and the history of the Siamese cat goes back a long way in Thailand) then this theory could have merit. It is a development that leaves the Siamese more vulnerable. Think of all the wild cats (except the big cats) such as the Scottish Wild cat and the American Bobcat .They all have the best tabby coats you can see. These provide great camouflage. The top cats like the Tiger are not well camouflaged as they have no predators.

There are a number of posts on cat behavior on this website, which discuss cat behavior from various aspects. You can use the labels panel to select these posts. Here is one on cat breed characteristics.

The Different Siamese cat types

There used to be one Siamese cat, the standard regular looking cat as imported into the UK in the latter part of the 1800s. Now things have changed. This change was brought about entirely by cat breeders breeding for a more "elegant" and "extreme" or plain skinny figure. These contemporary cats that I have called "Modern Siamese" may have altered characters.

My research indicates that they are less robust from a health point of view. But do they have different characters from the Traditional Siamese cats? The answer is probably not. There is certainly no obvious evidence that Modern Siamese behave differently. But being noticeably thinner and therefore more prone to being affected by ambient temperature may affect their character and eating habits (greater heat loss). Modern Siamese are in my opinion less healthy and this will be manifest in an altered behavior (depressed and less active). The Modern Siamese may also be nervous.

Saturday 23 April 2022

Aggressive behavior in a cat - focusing on psychological damage

Aggressive behavior in a cat is almost always going to be because of something we (as humans) have done, on the basis that the cat is healthy. If she is sick or injured, she may be aggressive for that reason. Note: this article was initially published on Jan 19, 2008 😊. It remains useful particularly for the section about a cat being psychologically damaged which results in what humans would regard as untoward behavior. It comes from first-hand experience.

I believe that she had experienced mistreatment by her previous owner which came out in mild aggression under certain circumstances
I believe that she had experienced mistreatment by her previous owner which came out in mild aggression under certain circumstances. I loved her and rescued her from a neighbour who had abandoned her. Photo: MikeB. She was about aged 15 at this time and it was about 2008.

I have a quick fact check page on feline aggression which covers all the causes and treatments for cat aggression which you can read by clicking on the link below:

A lot of people have misconceptions about cats and being scratched and bitten by them. Aggressive behavior in a cat is often misunderstood I feel. My partner (human partner I mean) had misconceptions until she met my girl cat and learned how to interact with her and communicate with her. She now loves her whereas before she loved only dogs.

I really have to draw on my own experiences here. They are usually the best way to learn about cats. I currently have two cats, or perhaps one and half cats. My second cat is a stray (as was the first), but the second is not quite settled in yet (comes and goes).

See a new page on Aggressive Cat Behavior which significantly expands on this page.

Cat has psychological issues due to past experiences?

My first cat, a girl (now about 15 years of age - as at 2008) is slightly mentally damaged. She has nightmares. I can tell because she constantly wakes up with a start, sometimes with a shout or scream. It is the same nightmare each time I think (the signs are it is anyway). I'm not particularly observant but it pays to get to know cats generally and your cat well, as it avoids problems.

I decided that my damaged girl cat was hit by her previous owner, probably on the backside near her thighs. This may have happened when she sat on the person's lap as she does not go on laps and she does not like to be touched too much or in certain ways on the rear of her body. I think the sensitivity to touch at that position and her nightmares are possibly linked.

I might be wrong but I am always careful when I stroke and comb her. This avoids irritating her which in turn avoids her being aggressive towards me; an aggression born out of a bad life experience. Although her aggression is a mild form of aggression. Aggressive behavior in a cat is as I say above a reactive action. It is not something that comes from the cat as an instigator of the action.

Sure, she may be damaged (by a human perhaps) which makes her more sensitive (but aren't we humans all damaged too to some degree). It is up to us as the supposedly more intelligent animal to behave in a manner that does not provoke our cats natural instincts.

Cat aggression towards humans
Cat aggression towards humans. Montage: MikeB. See link below.

Play - a well-known source of aggression

Sometimes, for example, I can play too firmly with the boy cat. There is a moment in play (if you are doing it with your hands) when you should sense that you have gone far enough because play is a form of hunting training for a cat and play can turn to the point when your cat starts hunting and killing your hand :)

Our boy cat is young and strong so if I go too far, I pay for it. And that is correct. Personally, I see no need to reprimand my cat for overstepping the mark in play - it's my fault. Nor should you hit your cat or cuff your cat in my opinion. Cuffing is recommended by the cat expert. I disagree with her. The idea in cuffing (as a mother cat would) is to train your cat not to scratch or bite your hand. It is almost impossible to replicate what a real mother cat would do and reprimanding or punishing a cat can alienate that cat from its human caretaker.

It is us who actually need training and not the cat - cat behaviorists nearly always alter human behavior not cat behavior. It is worth noting that when a cat bites or scratches in play it is usually not "full-on" but tempered (less effect). When my cat oversteps the mark, I sometimes just make a certain noise, not aggressively but a noise that she recognizes as a request to stop, please.

If you do that and let your hand, go quiet and dormant, she will calm down fast. Don't pull your hand away as you will do more damage to it.

In conclusion, love and understand your cat, she is at heart a wild cat, and make sure her reactions are the ones that you want to see. We dictate the reactions, the cause and effect.


Update: If we are behaving correctly and our cat is still aggressive despite being in good health (we think) it may be stress. Your cat may be in unfamiliar surroundings, for example, or in hunger and/or physical discomfort and stress. In which case a cat might demonstrate defensive aggression. We should also remind ourselves that we are giants to cats. It is not easy for us to frighten cats simply on the issue of our size and movements.


There is also, of course, the issue of socialization. Cats when young should be familiar with and comfortable in the company of people. If not it will produce stress and defensive behavior. Feral cats are aggressive sometimes but there are many tales of people rescuing feral cats and the cat becoming the best friend they ever had. It is a form of late socialization but it is possible and very rewarding, of course. See the feral cat page and the submissions by the visitors on the main site. Submit something yourself, why not? Here is the link: Feral Cat Submissions.

An illness that can cause aggression is thyroid problems. One last point. You should not try and forcibly try and calm a cat down. The best thing to do is to leave her or him alone, create calm surroundings and speak quietly. This is on the basis that the cat is not ill. A vet should be consulted if in doubt. Aggressive behavior in a cat always has a reasonable cause as is not simply a cat being nasty. Cats are not "nasty" in a human sense.

Friday 22 April 2022

Why does a cat wag its tail? Indecision.

Note that I am referring to a specific tail movement, that of wagging, which is back-and-forth on the same plane. Cats will move their tail for other reasons and in other ways but the movement is not true "wagging" 😎. Often, you will read articles on the Internet which state that a cat wags their tail because they are angry. This is only partially true. It's more about indecision perhaps leading to frustration.

Cat stalking and tail wagging. The open ground does not provide cover for the cat which leads to indecision as to whether they should advance or not. This can result in tail wagging.  Photo: in public domain with arrows added.
Cat stalking and tail wagging. The open ground does not provide cover for the cat which leads to indecision as to whether they should advance or not. This can result in tail wagging.  Photo: in public domain with arrows added.

A domestic cat may be more irritated than angry when they are wagging their tail because they are in a state of mental conflict. The cat wants to do two things at the same time and is unsure which is the best choice. 

I remember seeing my late, now deceased, female cat sitting on a lawn where there was no cover for her to hide while she had a mind to stalk a bird. She wanted to chase the bird but did not have the cover to do it successfully and was in two minds whether to go or stay, and so she wagged her tail.

In another example, your domestic cat might like to go outside. You open the door and your cat encounters pouring rain and thinks twice about whether to go outside or not. Their mind is in conflict and this mental state is made visible in a wagging tail.

The interesting thing about a cat wagging her tail is how it originated. Desmond Morris, the well-known animal behaviourist and biologist, says that it originated from the fact that the cat's tail is a means of balance; the tail helps the domestic cat to balance.

You will notice that the tree dwelling wild cats have thick and long tails. The most noticeable tail on a wild cat is the rope-like tail of the snow leopard. The snow leopard has to negotiate very steep rocky slopes when hunting. You will notice that the snow leopard's tail moves from left to right all the time to help the cat to keep balance.

The argument is that the physical action of keeping balance through a swishing tale has evolved into an expression of the state of the mind of the cat when the cat's thought processes are in balance because he or she is uncertain about what to do next. Of course, not all cats all the time will be in this state of emotional indecision when stalking prey. It depends on the cat and the circumstances.

You can recognise the nice symmetry in the argument. Both physical and mental balancing is expressed in a wagging tail movement. It is really neat.

Cat overpopulation in the United States - a FULL discussion

This is a comprehensive discussion about cat overpopulation in the United States. Core information comes from The Welfare of Cats (ISBN 978-1-4020-6143-1). If on occasion I sound like someone who fervently believes that we can do better and that the current situation is untenable then it is true, I am. I think people have to become more passionate about this subject because we can't ignore it.

Cat overpopulation
A well-known picture signifying cat overpopulation! Image in the public domain.

I will minimise stating my opinion but will refer to the opinion and work of Americans in studies. I can't quote what they say because that would be a violation of their copyright. What I write will be a précis (a summary in my words). That way no one can criticise an outsider for commenting on something he knows nothing about. I actually know quite a lot about it through reading.

It is a grizzly subject but one that has been around so long and become so entrenched that is has been normalized. All the problems and issues about cat welfare in the USA pale into insignificance next to the welfare problems associated with cat overpopulation because it leads to their mass euthanasia.

Apparently, every minute of every day, four cats are killed at shelters in the USA (2012). Makes you think, doesn't it? Since first addressing this issue things have improved but there is a long way to go.

It is ironic that 90% of Americans think of their cat as a family member. A lot of former family members are being deliberately killed every day. It seems that cats are more disposable than dogs as there are some shelters where demand outstrips supply - something that is unheard of in the cat world.

Cat overpopulation is dictated by:
  1. Overbreeding
  2. Breakdown of human/cat relationship leading to relinquishment
  3. Failure to sterilise cats
  4. Requirement to increase adoptions from shelters.

America is divided into people who see the huge numbers of unwanted cats that are deliberately killed each year (euthanized) as a tragedy and those who act irresponsibly and who regard their cat as disposable. The latter group are indifferent to the mass slaughter and to the suffering that their actions cause the cat. Perhaps many are blind to it. They just don't think about it.

The attitude that cats are disposable is handed down from generation to generation. The cycle remains unbroken to this day. The origins of this mentality are unknown. I have made some tentative proposals (first and second). Comment: one comes to mind while writing this. 

If veterinarians set standards that undermine respect for the cat, it must be a contributing factor. It may be a major factor because what the vet does is a form of education and leadership to cat owners in the US. If vets treat cats as a commodity by which a profit can be earned it sends out the wrong message. Vets have an important role to play that goes well beyond treating cats with medical problems. Declawing cats is indicative of treating cats as commodities. 

Vets don't realise that when they declaw, they not only mutilate cats unnecessarily but they also teach cat owners that cats are customizable. And that is a bad lesson to learn. It means they can be discarded as and when necessary.

Cat Overpopulation Defined

Some people refer to a 'surplus of cats'. Others say that there is no cat overpopulation problem but an organisational problem of placing relinquished cats with homes that want a cat. Others just turn it around and say there are not enough homes. The fact is that if millions of cats are euthanised in America each year we have to conclude that there is a cat overpopulation problem and it is irrelevant how you interpret it. We have to work within the circumstances that we find ourselves.

P.H. Kass defines "cat overpopulation" as:

The existence of cats that are at risk of euthanasia because they are both unwanted and not owned.

As he says this includes the large number of cats at shelters.

Feral cat
Handsome feral cat. Image in public domain.

Vets Feral Cats and Numbers

Veterinarians in America are "frequently" presented with unwanted pets. They are sometimes asked to euthanise the companion animal. Some agree to do it and some don't (comment: I would have thought that killing a healthy cat - euthanasia is the wrong word - is a major breach of the veterinarian's oath and so I am shocked to hear that. It seems that the vet's oath has no meaning amongst a minority of vets or is it the majority as nearly all declaw cats in breach of the oath).

Many of the reasons for a breakdown in the human/cat relationship that can be overcome by cat owners working with veterinarians. This option is not taken up by the cat's owner and it seems that the vet does not always or even sometimes use his or her best efforts to sort things out.

Feral cats are a massive subject. Their beginnings are in abandoned domestic cats. They are ultimately part of the "disposable cat" mentality problem. The feral cat may have become part of the landscape and part of the US ecosystem. I don't know. They may serve a hidden purpose in keeping down rodents which is ironic as that is the original reason why the wild cat was first domesticated. Whatever we think, the feral cat also divides Americans. Some loathe them, others see vulnerable animals requiring help. The division in attitude is along the lines of disposability and respect for the cat mentioned above.

Comment: some kind people adopt colonies and feed, trap, neuter and return feral cats while others look on in disgust and want to criminalise this behavior and/or simply exterminate feral cats. There is a raging battle between bird conservationists and cats supporters. The feral cat and domestic cat are considered invasive species damaging native wildlife. They are in the internet news almost daily. Feral cat numbers are the single biggest news story regarding the cat after cat hoarding.

Whatever, they are part of the American cat overpopulation problem and millions join domestic cats to be killed at shelters. How many shelters are their? We don't know apparently. Some are privately owned making it difficult to work out total numbers. 

The Humane Society of the United States says that there are 1,800 while the American Humane Society says 3,000 to 5,000. Also records on numbers of cats at shelters are suspect even if it is obligatory to keep information (for local authority shelters) or it is not available to the public (for private shelters). Comment: I am told that shelters are reluctant to assist in providing information on any issue. I know this from personal experience in collecting data through this site about declawed cats at shelters. Personally, I am suspicious about shelters and the commercial aspect of shelters.

Are the figures from government shelters on "euthanasia" understated? They are certainly imprecise.

What are the figures at 2007? They vary widely. Comment: indicative of a lack of real concern by the authorities?
  • 5.7 - 9.5 million cats euthanised at animal shelters in 1990 (source: Kahler 1996)
  • 5 - 7 million cats (American Humane Association 1993)
  • 4 million (American Humane Association as referred to by Patronek 1996)
  • 3.18 million
  • 3.62 million (Rowan 1992)
Sometimes someone wants real, hard figures! California gathered some hard data in 1992 from government shelters:
  • 81% of the almost half a million cats at shelters were euthanised in 1992 (391,435/484,173 x 100).
  • 73,935 were adopted or claimed by their owners.
  • 4% of cats were unaccounted for.
  • 12% of the American population of cats are in California. Extrapolating these figures to nationwide figures results in 3.6 million cats euthanised yearly.
Note: as some cats at shelters would have been euthanised for genuine reasons the numbers killed at shelters does not necessarily = the number of adoptable cats. Some were not adoptable for health and/or behavioral problems (comment: the assessment of behavioral problems is problematic to say the least. Cats at shelters are often stressed. How do you assess adoptability accurately under these conditions?). Anyway, what are the numbers in this respect?

The estimate is that 17% of cats euthanised at shelters are for genuine reasons and therefore this percentage should be deducted from the total figures above (source: Kass 2001). Apparently, people come into shelters to have their cat euthanised rather than go to the vet as it is cheaper (free in fact) and more convenient. The average age of these cats is ten.

Comment: Ten years of age is not old, although technically a cat is in old age at ten, so I am surprised at that figure. How do we know how many of these cats have terminal health problems that require euthanasia? How are they assessed? By shelter staff and the owner? I can see a lot of subjectivity taking place under these conditions. What I mean is the shelter staff will be happy to please the cat's owner and also be used to euthanising cats by the tens of thousands. Don't people become inured to death under those conditions? Personally, Kass's figure of 17% should be substantially reduced in my opinion. Also, it seems a little uncaring to me to walk into a shelter to have your cat euthanised.

There is a need for far better record keeping at shelters which should be made public. The records should accurately compile data on input/output, numbers euthanised, reasons for euthanasia, numbers of cats euthanised on request of owner etc. This would allow the effectiveness of local programs to reduce cat overpopulation to be assessed properly. Comment: Shelters are a vital source of information on cat populations and cat ownership trends.

Uncontrolled Cat Breeding

Some cats are not spayed or neutered. These cats breed sometimes. That is a major factor in the cat overpopulation problem.

But for the fact that more than 80% of domestic cats in the United States are sterilised the cat overpopulation problem would be a lot worse, obviously. The problem is that it is only about 80% of the cat population and not 100% because it is the remainder of cats who are not fixed that are sometimes allowed to breed. Although cat haters like to exaggerate the breeding rate of cats, both feral and domestic, they are good survivors and therefore good breeders.

One important issue is the age at which a kitten or cat is sterilised. Some cat caretakers believe that a female cat should "experience parturition" (give birth) before being sterilised. Some people believe it is good for the cat's health. Some vets say a cat is potentially healthier after the operation. Or the cat has a right to reproduce. A study revealed that about 20% of cats give birth to an average of 2.43 litters of an average of 4.3 cats before being spayed.

Comment: and as for male cats there is a discussion as to whether early neutering (before sexual maturity) affects the development of the male cat's characteristics making him more feminine in appearance.  In fact, some people equate declawing with neutering and spaying. If the former is bad so is the latter. Looking at the situation totally logically it is sad that we have to sterilise all the cats.

Another reason for not sterilising a cat is financial. However, many places offer discounts on the operation. Perhaps there is a need to extend discounted spay and neuter operations across the nation. There is an argument that says it should be obligatory.

Why People Relinquish Their Cats to Shelters

Why are cats given up to shelters? I don't think the scientific community can provide a complete answer to the question.

However there have been several studies. In one 50% of the owners who relinquished did not have plans to adopt a cat. Comment: most cats are given up when they are young indicating a lack of preparation, knowledge and proper expectations. The figures in this study (Miller and other in 1996) and others are as follows:

Without wishing to generalise and over simplify, the studies indicate that cat relinquishment is in part or substantially due to:
  • inexperience
  • ignorance
  • incorrect expectations (my comment)
  • poor education
  • low income
  • lack of role models on cat caretaking
  • lack of access to veterinary care
An added complexity is the diversity of cultures of the American people (heterogeneity). People should seek help. Here are some resources:
Factors Affecting Adoptions

More work needs to be done in this area. One study (Lepper and others in 2002) indicated the following: Kittens under one year of age were:
  • 4x more likely to be adopted than cats aged 1-2 years
  • 5x more likely to be adopted than cats 3-5 years old
  • 19x more likely to be adopted than cats over 5 years of age.
  • Sterilised cats are preferred over unsterilised cats
  • Spayed females are 4x more likely to be adopted than intact females
  • Neutered males are 6x more likely to be adopted than intact males
  • Neutered males are preferred over spayed females by a factor of 1.56x
  • White cats are the favourite colour
  • Next favorite was pointed and then grey cats
  • Least favorite were black and brown cats (half as likely as tabby cats)
  • Purebred cats were favored over random bred cats
  • Cats described as being geriatric, ill and having behavioral problems reduced adoption success.
  • Men who adopt are more likely to give up their cat than women within 6 months of adoption.
  • More first time adopters gave up their cat subsequently than people who had previously cared for a cat.
  • People rejecting their adopted cat were on average younger than people who retained their cat.
Ways to improve retention rates of adopted cats are:
  • Provide information about cat care and training
  • Ensuring person has correct expectations
  • Ensuring better understanding of cat caretaking
  • Ensure person is committed.

Wednesday 20 April 2022

Picture of a giant cat in the middle of the road!

A nice bit of photo-editing from Matt McCarthy in North Carolina, USA. I should imagine that it was quite time consuming to do this photo-editing. You have to get the edges clean and that means a lot of meticulous deletions unless he uses software that does it all for him. But in my experience the best software is imperfect. I am probably wrong but this looks like three images sandwiched together: the background buildings, the cat and the foreground people. He has built up the image from the background creating three layers in all. 

Giant cat sleeps in the middle of the road. Image: Matt McCarthy.
Giant cat sleeps in the middle of the road. Image: Matt McCarthy.

You can see his work on Instagram: link.

The world's first cat breeders were Ancient Egyptians and they were ignorant

The ancient Egyptians may well have been the world's first cat breeders. Also, they may have bred by far the greatest number of cats at any time in the history of cat breeding.  They were world record holders when it comes to the domestic cat but in a very uncomfortable way.

This was not a nation that worshiped the cat in the way you do when you respect the cat as a sentient being; no, it was worshiping the cat as a deity and breeding millions of cats for ritualistic sacrifice. As I said this was a nation of cat abusers not cat lovers.

Bastet - Ancient Egyptian sculpture - Louvre museum

I think the word "worship" has been misused in relation to the cat in ancient Egypt. The worship of the god Bastet (a statue in the shape of a cat - the god of beauty) was not due to a respect for the real cat, the domestic cat as a useful companion animal. It was about using and abusing the domestic cat to try and please a god with the intention of improving the life of the worshiper. It was buying good luck. 

It just so happens the god was a cat in this instance and they devised a way to please the god: kill cats. By enlightened modern standards, it is all a completely fabricated load of nonsense at the expense of the vulnerable cat. Note: there are still millions of people who believe this sort of stuff in 2022. For instance, drinking tiger bone wine to improve health etc. is very similar in the underlying superstitions.

If there was a reverence for the domestic cat it was born out of a desire to please the god Bastet. Perhaps they believed they had to have reverence for the cat. That reverence did not translate into respect. These are two completely different concepts, obviously.

At the root of all good cat caretaking there is respect for the cat as a cat. To see the cat as an animal that can be breed in the millions for sacrifice to a god is not a demonstration of respect for the cat. It is the opposite.

Photo: AFP.

Clearly the mentality of the people in Egypt some 2,200 years ago and more will be different to modern people. We have to adjust for that. However, I say that we have to view animal abuse in an absolute sense regardless of the era and by the highest and most enlightened standards. 

This is because being cruel to animals and killing animals for the convenience of people is an absolute act. It is black and white. The cat is alive; the cat is dead. All creatures have a right to life. I don't believe that we can criticise the ancient Egyptians for killing cats for sacrifice but I do believe that we can say that it was cat abuse, full stop.

Ancient Egyptians worshiped Bastet for various reasons; the reasons changed over time indicating the fickle nature of the whole process. Latterly Bastet was a protector of motherhood and fertility. Bastet was a protector of pregnant women and children. Ironic then that the necks of kittens were ritually broken to seek favours from this god (votive offerings). 

Votive offerings are still made today (2012) and are offerings to supernatural forces or beings for favors in return. Personally, I see votive offerings of deliberately killed kittens as an expression of self-indulgent, misplaced beliefs resulting in cat cruelty. 

I know that is a tough judgement but where animal suffering is concerned, I feel I have the right to make tough judgements. It is horribly depressing to realise that similar things happen today. Think about eating a tiger penis to improve your sex life! True. Or killing the domestic cat in a certain brutal way and eating it to improve your health.

This abuse of the cat in ancient Egypt would not have happened if the cat had not been domesticated. It is probable that the god Bastet would not have been invented but for the domestication of the cat. It is argued that domestication of the cat gives power to the human that can lead to abuse of the subservient partner. The relationship between cat and human became potentially distorted.

A study extracting DNA from cat mummies in researching the origins of the domestic cat by Jennifer Kurushima and her colleagues indicate that the domestic cats of ancient Egypt are the forerunners of today's domestic cats. It confirms what we knew already.

Cats were bred in catteries and sold in their millions for sacrifice, Jennifer says. The thousands of mummified cats in tombs and catacombs usually had "ritually broken necks".

"Millions of mummies were offered and buried in areas throughout Egypt", she says. My personal opinion is that we need to adjust our view of the ancient Egyptian's relationship with the cat. Perhaps we think that because the Egyptians were the first to domesticate cats, they liked and respected the cat.

I think it was more to do with using the cat to their advantage both as a utility animal in reducing rodent populations etc. and, as mentioned, to improve fertility or beauty or whatever else they desired through votive offerings. A harsh assessment but probably more truthful that a lot of the regurgitated platitudes on the internet.

The Egyptian Mau is interesting too, being the first domesticated cat - domesticated it is said from the African wildcat. In 2012, the feral Egyptian Mau - you could argue the true and purest Egyptian Mau - is abused and persecuted on the streets of Cairo etc.. There is a charity (EMRO) that has been set up to help and protect them.

By the way, as an afterthought, the cats that were bred in their millions for sacrifice would have been Egyptian Maus; not the sort of refined purebred cat we see today but a cat that was in fact nearer the truer Egyptian Mau simply by the fact that it was nearer the wildcat. They were not breeding for appearance (selective breeding) but for numbers. They were kitten mills or factories.

Associated: My lovely Egyptian Mau in Egypt. Egyptian Mau Belly Flap.

Monday 18 April 2022

Cats That Live in Trees

This is a list of cats that live in trees. I am referring to a group of wild cat species, of course. The first sentence should be qualified by saying that no cat species lives in trees all the time. There are wild cats that live in forests and spend time in trees and hunt in trees. These cats also live on the ground (terrestrial cats). All cats are good climbers. Some are better than others. Tree dwelling cats are the best climbers for obvious reasons. They are usually slender and have long tails for balance. The picture of the margay below illustrates this admirably.

These two wild cat species are the best climbers and most associated with tree dwelling:
  1. Margay
  2. Clouded leopard
Margay resting in a tree, typical behavior - Photo copyright Adriane Taylor
See more of Adriane's work

Other wild cat species that spend time in trees are:
  • Ocelet - hunt on the ground, rest in trees and escape to trees
  • Leopard cat - likes forest cover and can be "quite arboreal in their habits"¹
  • African golden cat  - thought to be arboreal but short tail and stocky body indicates otherwise. More needs to be known about this cat.
  • Marbled cat - more arboreal than the average wild cat species.
  • Leopard - we have all seen leopards taking prey into trees and resting in trees.
All but one lives in Asia, where logging is destroying their habitat. See cats that like water.

Note: "Arboreal" means: living in trees. (1) Wild Cats of the World.


This is probably the best feline tree dweller. They tend to prey on other animals living in trees and terrestrial animals. They often feed on birds, rodents, insects and fruit. Yes, fruit. Most of the prey of the margay are nocturnal and arboreal. However, they also hunt on the ground feeding on mice, rabbits and young pacas and agoutis for example.

Cat Hell Dog Nightmare Human Norm

WARNING: this is about dog and cat meat and the brutality of the business. It's just horrendous. The pictures are from a horror movie only it's real this time. And for the perpetrators it is all normal but got the cats and dogs it is a living hell until they are mercifully killed. You have to click links to see the pics as they are too horrible to have on this page. 

The brutal and ignorant behavior by the humans (sub-humans) who kill cats and dogs for meat reminds me of Putin's behavior in his manic desire to invade Ukraine and the subsequent death, destruction and rape perpetrated by his troops. There is not much difference in attitude which is why Russia is matey with China and vice versa.

It is tough to face up to humankind's weaknesses. People in one country don't like people in another country criticising them. They say "you don't understand our culture" and "what right have you got to criticise". That sort of thing. At its root, this article is not about a country's culture. It is about obvious animal cruelty of the most heinous kind. It is about base human behavior dressed up as part of an area's culture. All of us have a right to criticise that wherever we are. Despite that I will be ostracized by someone, somewhere.

This website never shirks from spelling out the truth. A lot of people don't like that. Humankind is very good at self-denial and finding ways of covering up the truth. Millions of examples take place every day. The current classics in the cat world are:
  1. The mass slaughter of unwanted cats at "shelters" while we have fancy cat shows showing gorgeous, purebred cats bred for the purpose. You cannot justify having the latter while the former takes place.
  2. Declawing of cats. A modern aberration and horribly distorted human behavior that one day will look ridiculous - hopefully.
To the above two I'd like to add something that is worse than both but which takes place at the opposite side of the world, in Asia. There are some horror pictures below the text. This is as bad as animal cruelty gets. See also cat meat name and shame.

Warning: Don't read on if, like me, you become upset at gross animal abuse. But please spread the word to try and stop this.

I received an email from Ольга Брундасова. I have published the contents verbatim. I believe that is what she wants me to do. I expect that you will find these words on other websites. They need to be.


Update: these petitions are closed now as this post was written many years ago but it has been updated (see below in yellow highlighter).
The $2 billion dollar-a-year South Korean dog and cat meat industry, which extinguishes the lives of approximately two and a half million dogs a year for meat or gaesoju, a dog wine or broth, and thousands of despised and doomed cats for so-called “health” tonics or goyangyeesoju, and soup, operates in a sordid and illicit world where farmers and butchers kill with frightening impunity in the most abominable fashion. Dogs are killed with high-voltage electronic rods (which does not kill immediately), hanging, or even beating the dog to death at the request of customers who believe that the meat is more tender and tastier the greater the dog suffers (one of the most pernicious of myths) and that the medicinal properties are enhanced. 

They are most often killed within sight of their cage mates. They are then thrown into a tub of boiling water, often still alive, and then into a rotating drum for the removal of their fur, and finally blowtorched. At Moran Market, South Korea’s largest open air-market for dog meat, dog carcasses are on display next to the cages of live dogs. Cats are thrown into boiling water while alive. At the farms, dogs are fed germ-infested, rotting, and fermented human leftovers, a health risk to both the dogs and those who eat them. In South Korea, dogs and cats’ lives are short and ferociously heartless until they tremble no more at the hands of their slaughterers as cage mates look on.

Legitimacy of dog meat in Korea

Dogs are defined as “livestock” according to the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAF). The purpose of keeping them as livestock--for breeding, killing, or whatever--is irrelevant to the law.

However, dogs are not defined as “livestock” under the Livestock Processing Law. That is, they are not listed as livestock that can be officially processed as food. Therefore, it can be inferred it is illegal to process dogs for food, but there is no law expressly forbidding it.

It might be argued that since Korean laws are usually strict in listing what is allowed or prohibited, and since dogs are not listed as animals that can be processed as food, then it is illegal to produce dog meat.

The current Animal Protection Law does not ban the slaughter of dogs for meat, nor does it protect dogs on dog farms from abuse. It only applies to dogs kept in a house.

Tens of millions of animals are slaughtered and butchered in China each year. Animal fur is in high demand, and the Chinese deliver. What does not get exported outside of China usually ends up on a dinner plate. The sad fact is that the animals suffer horrendous torture. They are captured on the streets, and packed by the dozens into small cages, without ability to move. 

They are then tossed like inanimate objects from the trucks, onto the ground, hitting each other and the steel cages. These cages are later stacked, and the real nightmare begins. The animal is brutally pulled out of the cage, and tied to prevent resistance. It is lightly stunned by a blow on the head, but still alive. If the animal is not heavy, the worker holds it by its hind legs, waves it in the air and then bashes its head against the ground. Once the animal is subdued, a new and incomprehensible stage in this ongoing nightmare begins. 

The worker cuts a tiny incision in the animal's rear, and then methodically peels away the skin. This skinning process takes about a minute, during which the worker actively keeps the animal alive, as it is believed that it is easier to skin the animal while it is still warm and blood flows through its veins. The nightmare does not end here. 

The final stage in this unbelievable horror is when the animal is tossed aside, and slowly, amidst a heap of its dying friends, it perishes as it is no longer able to withstand the pain. In other cases, when the animal's fur is not needed (mostly with cats), the animals are put in a sack, and are then cooked alive in a barrel of boiling water.

Back in the day, there was a series of photographs below this text. But the policies regarding the kind of pictures you can put on websites has changed over the years. Nowadays, advertisers don't want their adverts to be in any way associated with pictures which are difficult to view. Accordingly, below, you will see a series of links to these photographs. You remain on this page and will be able to view the pictures on another page where there are no adverts. Sorry for the inconvenience.

These are all brutal photos. Horrible. A complete breakdown in morality. It's ignorance and cruelty.

Image 1 - dog being beaten to death
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