Sunday, December 2, 2007

Mass Produced Cats

I'm talking about kitten Mills of course. The same applies to Puppy Mills. Apparently 90% of puppies sold in pet stores are from mass produced factories. There are possibly a similar number of cats created and sold under the same conditions.

I am sure there are a wide range of standards at kitten mills. Perhaps some are well managed with at least a degree or more of concern for the cats' welfare. One has to be careful in criticizing in a general manner. But even if a highly commericalized cat factory is good on welfare and the socialization of the cats in their charge it is still, I am afraid, wrong.

Time and time again we read about the feral cat population and its relentless rise. A high percentage of these cats are destroyed. The sterling behavior of true cat lovers picking up the pieces by trapping, spaying, neutering and releasing or re-homing to inject some form of control is heart warming. There actions deals to some extent with the end product problems but the true fix to the problem is to deal with the supply

There is no place for the commercialization of cat production in this world. You can buy too many cars and throw them away or too many shoes and leave them in the wardrobe if you tire of them, but you adopt a cat for life (as the well worn adage goes).

It isn't just the fact that we need to cut the production of cats it's the misery caused by producing unhealthy cats that are badly socialized. It seems that kitten mill cats are often unhealthy and some have congenital defects. This is a recipe for disaster as an unhealthy cat will require more input from her human carer and money, which is not the kind of response hat you can necessarily expect from a person who buys a cat from a pet store.

What I find surprising is that it is so much better and just as easy to adopt from a rescue center. Many rescue center cats are well socialized and healthy and even if they are not they need love and TLC the same and in fact more than the rest.

Perhaps one answer is this. If you are set on walking into a pet shop and buying a cat then at least ask some well directed questions about where they come from. Can you visit the place? A proper cattery will let you see how they socialize their cats etc. The answers to a few careful questions will give the clue as to whether you proceed or not. You won't.

The USA is the biggest pet market place. Minnesota is apparently one of the worse States for mass produced cat creation. They are doing something about it. They have introduced 2 bills S.F. 2292 and H.F. 2469 introduced by Senator Don Betzold and Representative Frank Hornstein respectively with the intention of injecting a high degree of control of what is largely an unregulated market place. I am not sure how far advanced through the law making process these bill are but I am pleased to see this.

Visit this page of my website about buying a cat. The advice is from Helmi Flick a world renown cat photographer and knowledgeable cat lover. Please heed her advice.

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