Why Do Americans Love Shooting Cats?

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people in this country?

American cruelty to cats is even more upsetting within the context of human behavior elsewhere. In Turkey, where it’s practically a national pastime to care for felines, people build shelters for strays, welcome them into their shops with food and affection, and kitties are so trusting of humans that mother cats have on several instances brought their kittens into human hospitals and clinics for help.

Then we have ‘Merica, where apparently it’s a sport for people to sit on their front porches drinking beer and shooting stray cats with pellet guns.

Like, for instance, in Long Island this past weekend, where some stain on the human race shot a ginger tabby named Abraham and left him with a pellet lodged in his spine. Or in northern California, where a couple brought their cat to the vet because they thought he’d been attacked by a coyote, only for x-rays to show the little one had been shot several times by someone with a pellet gun. Or Augusta, South Carolina, where a cat was shot with what appears to be a bullet from a 9mm handgun. Or tiny Brookville, Pa., where a man shot his neighbor’s cat for the unthinkable crime of exploring his porch.

hipster with tattoos stroking cute cats on stony fence
Credit: Dmitriy Ganin/Pexels

I have Google News alerts set up for cat-related stuff to mention here on PITB, and a lot of it is great: Compassionate rescues, feline hi-jinx, heroic cats saving kids.

But those stories are always sandwiched in between articles about people shooting cats. Constantly, incessantly, apparently without a thought about the suffering they’re causing sentient animals who have feelings just like we do and experience pain, anxiety and fear the same as us. That’s not conjecture, contrary to what some people might believe, but objective scientific fact as proven experimentally many times over in recent years.

When Americans aren’t shooting cats they’re stealing them, mutilating them and killing them, like the recent nightmare case out of Tennessee: A woman left her cat in the care of a friend while she was traveling, and the friend allowed the cat to roam outside. Another woman saw the cat wandering, didn’t like what she saw and stole the kitty, eventually giving it away to 19-year-old Deamion Robert Davis via Craigslist. Davis now faces charges of animal cruelty for allegedly binding the cat’s paws and stabbing it to death with a screw driver, according to police. Detectives said they traced the killing to Davis by lifting fingerprints from the tape Davis allegedly used to bind the cat.

So because some busybody saw a pet cat on the street and decided a random, sketchy 19-year-old who responded to a Craigslist ad would provide a better home, a woman’s cat was brutally killed.

Meanwhile hatred for cats continues to be driven by bad science, like this meta-analysis of 202 toxoplasma gondii studies by researchers who need to be reminded that correlation does not imply causation. The research team looked at data on toxoplasma infections recorded in wild animals, then with no evidence whatsoever framed their study around the suggestion that cats “may” be and “probably” are transmitting the parasite to wild animals because the rates of infection are higher in urban areas.

Never mind that humans are much more likely to be infected by eating under-cooked food, certain meats, touching contaminated soil, or using utensils that were used to cut contaminated meat and shellfish. The study ignored that fact and posited — again without evidence — that cats are the primary vector for other animals and humans.

It would be nice if people in the scientific community took responsibility for the fact that their research influences the behavior of others, and blaming cats for everything from bird extinctions to parasite infections drives people to do cruel things like cull cats or poison their food. If they’re going to publish studies drawing a link between cats and extinctions or diseases, scientists have a responsibility to make sure there’s a connection more substantial than “we think, therefore we publish.”

That will conclude this rant on human cruelty to animals.

10 thoughts on “Why Do Americans Love Shooting Cats?”

  1. Cruelty to all creatures is everywhere, including here in the UK, fortunately, Guns are basically banned but that doesn’t stop other scumbag humans from hurting and killing cats with other methods. Junk Science and Human cruelty is a disastrous combination that leads to nothing more than things like Covid (started because of human cruelty to living animals for food) and that’s just 1, we had Mad cow disease, Avian flu, the list is endless all due to cruelty and neglect. Bella is also furious at the treatment of her species and others ( as am I) and the junk science from humans that are paid to make up crap about felines

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    1. Even with COVID, it would be nice to know definitively whether it was zoonotic or a lab leak, and the fact that politics gets in the way of a straight answer is concerning because if we don’t know how it happened, how can we prevent it from happening in the future? As for the junk science, it really is concerning. I know a lot of that stuff gets published in open-access journals, and has been heavily criticized by other scientists, but it makes you wonder what kind of standards these journals have in the first place if they allow “studies” that wouldn’t pass muster in a graduate program.

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  2. Chris Hedges has a video titled “American Sadism.” It’s worth looking into.
    It occurred to me that the phenomenon of injuring cats is part of a bigger picture.

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    1. I’ll check it out, thanks Susan. I’ve written most of a post about animal abuse on Youtube, in fact I wrote it months ago, but the stuff is so vile and so upsetting that I haven’t gone back to it. I really need to finish it so people are aware of what Youtube allows on their platform. Unfortunately words do not do it justice…the fact that a major American tech company turns a blind eye not only to people sharing animal abuse videos, but to a growing animal abuser community on one of its platforms, is infuriating.

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  3. ANYONE .. I don’t care what country you’re in. “IF” you enjoy shooting innocent cats (or any other animal for that matter). Then .. YOU .. ARE .. A .. WORTHLESS .. POS! I hope you die. I wouldn’t care how it happens.
    Just as long as it’s EXTREMELY, EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL & takes AWHILE!!!

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  4. Big Buddy,

    Thanks for the information in your post, harrowing though it is. We have 4 cats now, 2 black kittens, an older black cat, and a grey matriarch who is still grieving for her brother and daughter, who both crossed the rainbow bridge earlier this year. The 2 kittens are house cats; the grey goes out, but only into the garden. The senior black cat, however, goes out in the morning and often stays out until about 4.30 in the afternoon. He has a tracker on his collar so we always know where he is, but I still worry about the sadistic nut jobs out there who like to hurt cats. As we get closer to Hallowe’en Nero will be restricted to the garden like the kittens, for several days either side; same with Bonfire Night (November 5th) when some idiots like to scare or hurt animals with fireworks. Trouble is Nero is such a friendly cat that it would be easy for some sadist to get hold of him. I wish I could keep him as a house cat, but after being able to go out all his life, he gets very distressed if he’s kept in. At least everyone on our row of houses knows him and they all like him.

    Keep up the good work and love to Little Buddy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leslie: Thank you for the kind words. I’m guessing you’re in the UK by your use of the word garden instead of “backyard.” I think you’re making the right choice keeping little Nero close on Halloween. I’m sorry to hear about your cat’s brother and daughter crossing the rainbrow bridge. Thanks for reading PITB

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  5. Big Buddy, thank you for being a sane voice in the wilderness of madness. You are doing an amazing job of shining a light on the situation without being overly graphic. It sickens me and I do what I can on my end. But some of it, I just cannot handle. I know that wastes of skin exist, but I wish people were how I dream, not the monsters they are. Love to Buddy from lovely little Lana.

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