What is it about cats and the internet? I would struggle to name one friend on my Facebook account who has not at some point shared the latest Lolcats pictures or shred a grumpy cat memo. We seem to find hours of amusement online thanks to cats, in fact I have often joked that many years in the future our generation will be known for worshiping cats. However, while we all enjoy a chuckle at that funny cat image, it is easy to forget that out there in the real world many cats are suffering at the hands of cruel owners.
The Difficulties Of Re-homing Abused Cats
According to The Humane Society, around 18% of all reported instances of animal abuse involve cats. Not only do these poor cats suffer physical damage at the hands of their owners, but often they end up emotionally scarred as well. This can make it incredibly difficult to re-home them in a safe environment as they may be exhibiting erratic behaviors.
When it comes to dealing with a cat that has been rescued from an abusive owner, it is best to take a pretty hands off approach. The cat needs to be left to come to you in his own time. He will do so only when he is sure you can be trusted not to hurt him. This is something that can take a long time to achieve and not everyone has the patience. That is one of the reasons why animal shelters are constantly on the look out for people to volunteer to offer a new home to these animals.
Advice For Settling A Rescue Cat Into A New Family
If you are thinking of stepping up and opening your home – and your heart – to a rescue cat, then it is likely that you will benefits from some advice to help you settle your new feline friend into his new home. It is perfectly normal to see the following behaviors in a rescue cat once you bring them home:
- Running away from you and other humans.
- Hiding, often for days on end.
- Suddenly freezing in place.
- Soiling or urinating outside of the litter box.
These are all signs of anxiety, which is surely understandable with an animal who has been hurt by their previous owner. As noted previously, it is always best to leave the cat well alone and allow him to come to you in his own time. Just make sure he has access to food and water while he is in hiding.
It can also help to eliminate the things that seem to cause most anxiety. For example you mat notice that loud bangs are sure to trigger the behaviors, in which case it is best to make the house as quiet as possible so that your new cat feels safe there.
Perhaps most importantly, do not give up on the cat. He deserves a second chance at happiness, but he is going to need time to adjust. It may be hard for a little while, but one the cat learns that he can trust you to care for him and not abuse him he will soon begin to offer some affection. Be patient and stick with him for the long haul.
What To Do If You Suspect Cruelty
If you have reason to believe that an animal in your neighborhood is being mistreated then it is important that you take action. A cat cannot speak up to defend himself, so you must do it for him. You can contact your local police or an animal charity like the RSPCA who can investigate the claims and perhaps seize the animal if necessary.
Cruelty to animals of any kind is a serious matter and one which is all to common. It is important for us all to remember that animals cannot speak up for themselves, so if you suspect that an animal is being mistreated you must report it. Animal charities are always in need of volunteers not just to re-home animals, but also to help care for them in the shelters. Think of all of the times a funny cat picture online has brightened your day – isn’t it time to give something back?
Scot Parris writes for rspca.org.uk, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals which is one of the biggest UK charities. Although Scott likes to act tough, he admits to having a secret soft spot in his heart for kittens.