Feline Fun Friday – How Our View of Cats Has Changed Over Time

I’ve noticed it and, if you’ve been on this planet for any length of time, you probably have too. Our view and behavior with cats has changed. Let me count the ways.

We’ve become aware that many thousands of cats are in trouble because of overpopulation and hundreds and hundreds of people have committed their lives to reversing this trend through TNR programs. Bless them. But after years of work in this area, there are still way too many homeless cats still having kittens. And maybe that’s because we’re keeping better track of the numbers—we know where these cats are and how to help them.

People used to dump a litter of kittens or an unwanted cat someplace wild or unpopulated. Well, I’ve never done that, but I definitely know it was done (and it still is), but it was more accepted back in the day. Breaks my heart.

Pet cats were kept mostly outside. There were no (or few) litter boxes inside homes

Even pet cats didn’t live long due to lack of the vaccines we have now, few vet visits, if any, traffic and predators. They weren’t safe even in our neighborhoods—or especially in our neighborhoods.

If the cat had a wound or other medical problem, it was watched and maybe treated at home—often unsuccessfully. Or the cat was put to sleep. Cats seemed hardy then, but not hardy enough to survive some of the dangers we allowed them to be confronted by.

What was a cat’s lifespan in the 1950s and 60s? If they survived their outdoor lifestyle, they might live to the ripe old age of 15 years.

Fast forward to this century. Cats have become ultra-popular. They are coddled and adored. Many thousands of cats (let’s hope millions) live indoors only and are gracing us with their love and antics for 18 to over 20 years. Why? Because of what we’re doing for them—regular vet checks, a vet visit when warranted or suggested, safety measures for cats even indoors, regular grooming, healthy foods, and plenty of opportunity for activity and attention.

There’s not much to improve when it comes to cats, unless it is our care for them—rescue, donate to organizations that do rescue, and take care of the cats in your world.

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