Showing posts with label dog welfare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dog welfare. Show all posts

Saturday 4 November 2023

Young people don't want to smoke which is great for the domestic cat

The young people of Britain, today, are 50% as likely to smoke as their parents were at the same age according to figures released recently.

I've mentioned it before because it is something which is not often mentioned; the passive smoking of domestic cats. A lot has been spoken about human passive smoking but we must think of the animals both cats and dogs who in a home occupied by a persistent smoker will be passive smoking themselves most of the time.


Passive smoking is a known risk factor for several types of cancer including throat cancer and lung cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer is classified second-hand smoke as a group 1 carcinogen. This means that it is carcinogenic to humans AND companion animals (I have added the animals into this statement because they must also suffer from this carcinogenic substance in the atmosphere inside the home). 

Full-time indoor cats are particularly vulnerable as they are exposed to these carcinogens long-term. It needs to be added, too, that cigarette smoke can linger on furniture and other surfaces. The smoke particles can settle on furniture and carpets and floors. This is where domestic cat sit, and sleep and snooze. It will get on to their coat and then they will lick the carcinogenic substances off their coat and ingest them when they groom themselves.

In the news today, in The Times, it is reported that young people are already shunning cigarettes in the UK. And this might apply similarly in other countries particularly developed countries. That's why the tobacco manufacturers are targeting developing countries to maintain their businesses. It is shameful.

But in Britain, there will be a ban on young people smoking cigarettes as promised by the UK government.

But at the moment, only 13% of people aged to 16-24 smoke cigarettes. This compares very favourably with 34% of young people of that age who smoked in the mid-1990s. And compared to their grandparents, the smoking rates are less than one third.

Before cancer was linked to smoking, pre-1950s, 60% of men and 42% of women smoked. Since then, the numbers have gradually fallen to 13% of men and 10% of women in 2022.

RELATED: Dangers to cats.

Source: Twitter. Sunak's feed.

The government will set out legislation to bring the rate of smoking by young people to zero. Smoking is still the number one cause of cancer in the UK.

We don't know how many domestic cats and dogs developed illnesses because of passive smoking. Nobody keeps those records. When these companion animals develop an illness, the cause of which cannot be identified, it is called idiopathic.

It is my contention that in many instances these idiopathic illnesses are generated through inhospitable elements in the environment in which they live inside the home one of which is cigarette smoke. Other substances would be cannabis smoke and chemicals used to preserve carpets or fire retardants in furniture. It's these kind of hidden causes of ill-health which I think people need to address more vigorously.

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Monday 23 October 2023

People care less about their cats than they do about their dogs

If, like me, you are a cat lover and caregiver, it is rather depressing to think that, in general, cat owners care less for their cats than dog owners care for their dogs but the difference depends on cultural attitudes which in turn depends on the country where you live.

To be honest, I've known this for a long time. Many years ago, I looked up what American citizens spent on veterinary services on their cats and dogs. I went to the AVMA website and in quite a shocking revelation, I noticed that dog owners spend a lot more on their dogs then cat owners spent on their cats in terms of veterinary care. This showed a marked difference in emotional connection between people and their pets as this had little to do with disposable income. Although money is no doubt a factor.

And now we have a quite profound study, an important study, published online which compares cat owners and dog owners and their emotional connection with their companion animals.

In essence, they concluded that cat owners really do care less about their cats than dog owners care about their dogs. Although there is a cultural difference depending upon where you live. In this survey they looked at cat and dog owners living in Britain, Denmark and Austria.

They used for different methods of measuring cat and dog owners' concern about caring for their companion animals:

  1. The Lexington attachment to pets scale (LAPS). This is a well-known test for measuring the emotional connection between owners and their pets.
  2. Whether owners had taken out a pet health insurance policy.
  3. How willing were owners to pay for life-saving treatment?
  4. And the expectation of owners as to veterinary diagnostic and treatment options.

The difference between dog and cat owners was greatest in Denmark. Austria was in the middle in terms of treating cats and dogs differently and there was the least difference between dog and cat owners' attitude towards caring for their pets in the UK.

More dogs and cats were insured in all three countries but there was the least difference in the UK in this respect. The difference was much greater in Denmark.

In terms of expensive life-saving treatment, more dog owners than cat owners were willing to spend over a certain amount in all three countries. However, the difference was most pronounced in Denmark compared to the United Kingdom. The researchers felt that this criteria revealed a clear difference in concern for the welfare of cats and dogs.

In Denmark and Austria, dog owners expected more veterinary treatment options to be available than cat owners. But the difference was not noticeable in this respect in the UK.

The researchers concluded that in all three countries, "people care more about their dogs than their cats but with a clear cross-country variation and a very modest difference in the United Kingdom. Therefore, it does not seem to be a universal phenomenon that people care much less about their cats than their dogs.".

What they're saying there is that there is a clear difference between how people care for their dogs compared to their cats; the former getting better treatment than the latter but this difference in caregiving depends upon cultural attitudes in different countries and in Denmark there was the greatest difference whereas in the UK there was the smallest difference.

My personal opinion as to why people care for dogs better than they do cats is because the dog is a pack animal and they look to their owner as the alpha leader for guidance. This helps to generate a better connection between owner and companion animal. And with that better connection on an emotional level the person is more likely to spend more money on their pet because the emotional bond can be greater.

Conversely, the domestic cat is seen as independent which by the way is a misguided myth in large part, and therefore there is less of a close connection in many homes between owner and cat. This leads to the belief that the domestic cat can be left alone to live their lives and come into the life of their owner as and when they need to. This automatically leads to less caregiving and therefore less expenditure in terms of veterinary care.

There are misconceptions about both dogs and cats. For example, the media: books, movies and advertisements and online adverts et cetera can stereotype the dog as being loyal, affectionate and in need of care and attention. They are a "man's best friend". Conversely, cats are sometimes depicted as aloof, independent or less in need of human companionship. This may portray the concept that they require less care.

Tuesday 16 May 2023

Chinese citizens bravely protest to improve animal welfare in China

This page shows two separate incidents of Chinese citizens protesting about the lack of animal welfare in China. The first photos shows leaflets which were thrown from a high building (a tower block in an urban area). The report says that the person who did it lived in the block and as they walked down the stairs, they threw the pamphlets out of the window. 


Here is a better image:

We don't know exactly what the pamphlets say but they are to do with a desire to improve animal welfare in China. They may be concerned with the cat meat business in China which occurs in the south. I'm not sure but we do know that there are almost no animal welfare laws in China so it is fair to presume that the leaflets are demanding an improvement to the law.

In the second protest you can see a rather poor-quality video which was taken direct from my computer screen because I could not embed the video from Twitter (subsequently I was able to carry out the embed - see tweet below). It shows very brave women protesting about the lack of animal welfare laws in China as I understand it.

I say that they are brave because China is a democratic dictatorship of some sort. I'm not sure quite what it is but in effect it is a dictatorship. A one-party state. And I sense that it is difficult to protest about anything in China which concerns criticising the government. I suspect that they are always vulnerable to being arrested on a false pretext or some drummed up pretext in order to silence them. Any dissent by citizens is normally squashed pretty quickly in China as I understand it.

For me and I hope many others this is welcome news. These are well motivated people taking a risk on their health and welfare to help animals whose health and welfare is always at risk in China. The Yulin dog meat festival comes to mind as one example. There are many others. 

How can the 10-day dog meat market in Yulin be called a FESTIVAL!?

It is an international scandal that China refuses to introduce proper animal welfare laws as have been in existence for decades in the West.

The Communist Party don't want animal welfare laws as they go against the general attitude in China that animals are to be used. The government doesn't want to upset the citizens I guess and in any case the government agrees that animals are to be used and don't want interfering animal welfare laws and they don't care about how it looks to Westerners.

There is a horrendous couple of photos of a crucified cat being burned from I believe China. I am surprised Twitter allows them. I can't publish them here. I am appalled. 

Monday 8 May 2023

If you have a swimming pool this hack could be a lifesaver for your pet

Damn. I wish the weather was good enough where I live to have a swimming pool but it falls far short on that requirement. But in California, this 'hack' could be a lifesaver as it allows a cat whose found their way into the pool for whatever reason to find a way out which would be all but impossible normally. And it doesn't have to be a domestic cat. I have seen many wild animals in pools in America being rescued by the home owner. I am not sure if this hack would work for a larger animal but it might. Whatever, I think it is a nice and considerate idea to improve animal welfare.

If you have a swimming pool this hack could be a lifesaver!
If you have a swimming pool this hack could be a lifesaver! Image in the public domain on Reddit.com

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