Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Different cultures

Here in England most people believe in giving their cats their freedom if at all possible.We've had cats for over 35 years now and never a thought of always keeping them in the house, to keep them safe. So when I first came across Yahoo Answers, which is mostly USA questions, as well as the shock when I discovered cats are still being declawed there, I also found out that many people are adamant that cats should never ever be let out. Looking into this, I can understand why, if there is danger outside, such as busy roads, I think the USA roads are far busier than ours, and also wild animals out there which could kill a cat.But many of these people were asking questions about 'bad cats' when in reality, these 'bad cats' are simply bored out of their skulls ! These people don't seem to learn about cats before they get a kitten, they don't have the slightest idea how to look after them or when to get them vaccinated and neutered.Worse still are the ones who feel it's routine to have a kitten declawed ! Or that it's compulsory, kids as young as 13 replying to questions on Yahoo Answers and 'advising' people to 'get it declawed' or 'why isn't it declawed yet?' They have no idea what they are saying, and thankfully when they are told about it by the many anti declaw members, there's shock and horror from most of them 'But I didn't know they did THAT to the cat' And some don't even provide a scratching post for their kitten, why should they bother to train the cat when it's so easy to have it crippled so it can't scratch their precious furniture.Or another excuse'It might scratch the baby'
Of course not everyone is like that, many USA people I've come across and stayed in contact with, don't have their cats declawed and they give them the best life an indoor only cat can have, with plenty to do, scratching posts, toys, and kitty grass, and these cats are content, we know cats adjust to their lifestyles. But cats on leashes and cats in strollers, having a sniff or a sighting of freedom but not allowed to enjoy it,to roll in the grass, to climb a tree, we can't understand. Here in England, leashes are for dogs.And I don't visit the dogs section of Yahoo Answers very much but sometimes see in passing 'how do I crate train my dog?' That seems routine too, that dogs are shut in crates instead of having the freedom of the house and garden as our dogs do here.
I think once declawing is banned and I have my life back, as my every spare moment is spent on this project now( and YES it WILL be banned one day as the USA must soon catch up with the rest of us in the civilised world .....we have Pet Welfare laws here now, maybe the powers that be in the USA will realise that animals are not mere possessions to be adapted for human convenience and will pass some new laws, once they admit that declawing a cat IS animal abuse) When I do have time,it will be interesting to study various cultures and the different ways they treat their pets.
But back to cats and their freedom, our cats are always kept in at night and never left out if we go anywhere,they enjoy the garden and the embankment and trees opposite where we live,we are very lucky,it's a cat friendly place. Our old home was cat friendly too, until some cat hating neighbours moved in......we soon moved out, but meanwhile we stood on guard while our cats were out in the garden ! Our cats are the most important things in our lives and deserve the best life we can give them.
I'm not saying anyone is right or anyone is wrong, it's not clear cut like declawing is, that IS wrong, no question about it !
Just musing over the diferences in culture, that's all.


  1. Very true, I answered a question on Y/A the other day something about a dog and it turned out it was "crated" for 8 hours a day while the owners were at work and then overnight as well! That probably means another 8 hours, so out of 24 hours that dog is in a cage for 16! Why have a dog? Why not a canary or budgie? As for putting cats in strollers....I wouldn't dare write my thoughts on that!

  2. Horrifies us the number of times we see "crate training" mooted as the cure all for all dog behaviour issues. It's tantamount to treating the dog like a commodity and putting it back in the package. I don't think it has anything to do with creating a safe den for the dog, more like another cheap fix for lazy humans.

    Same with abomination of declawing. Some humans will always go for the lazy option. Temple Grandin has some interesting things to say about why people revert to bad/cruel methods of training and animal management. She takes an holistic look at the range of animal and human emotions in the immediate environment. There isn't an "animal problem" that can't be solved by humans getting a grip on their emotional drivers. But that takes effort....


    Whicky Wuudler