Physical abuse of cats & how to stop cats being picked on by angry humans

Physical abuse of cats is sickeningly common, with many stories of cats around Ireland being deliberately injured by people. From air gun wounds, to tail pull injuries to simple kicks, vets see all sorts of types of physical abuse of cats.

Cats are far more likely to be harmed by humans compared to dogs. This podcast discusses the reasons for this and tries to suggest alternative, kind ways for people to deal with cats that may be causing problems.

Click on the play button to listen.

As the podcast mentions, one of the controversial aspects of cat behaviour is the damage that they can do in gardens – to local wild birds, and to seedbeds. Many bird lovers and gardeners would prefer cats to stay out of their garden completely. I have written another blog with suggestions on what may be able to be done to achieve this without hurting the cats.

Physical abuse of cats is upsetting: obviously, the animals themselves suffer, and for their owners, it can be devastating. They see a gentle, friendly, furry friend, and the thought that someone deliberately caused pain and injury is hard to understand and to forgive. Ultimately, the only safe way to prevent physical abuse of cats is to keep them indoors, but this has its own problems. Stress levels in cats kept indoors are higher, and although they live safer lives, this does not necessarily mean that they live better lives.

Listen to the podcast:

1 Comment

  • An opportunity missed to mention Trap Neuter Return (TNR) – the humane, long-term solution to the overpopulation of cats in Ireland . Reduced numbers means reduced irritation and opportunity for cruelty.

    TNR involves Trapping, Neutering (or spaying) and Returning feral cats to the location they came from. These cats are the same species as companion cats, but feral cats are not adoptable. Feral means that the cats are not socialised to people and generally avoid contact with humans. Under TNR, these unadoptable cats are neutered, health checked and treated for parasites. As a result, the feral cat population stabilises and decreases.

    Find out more about TNR here:

    Also, whenever I’ve moved house I’ve introduced myself to the neighbours and given them water pistols to use to disencourage my cats from their gardens. I stress not to aim at the eyes. And, if possible, not to let the cat be aware of their presence when they’re using the water pistol. Works a treat. And is a good way of creating an atmosphere of co-operation if there’s future problems.

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Please note that I am unable to answer veterinary questions in comments. If you have questions or concerns about your pet's health it is always better to contact your vet.

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