Anadolu kedisi project has always been about cats. How come that a project about cats is so concerned about issues related to dogs?
Some people confused when we share and write about dogs, especially if we touch some negative aspects such as dog attacks. We will explain why dog problem matters to our project and why avoiding to talk about would be not only dishonest but also harmful to cats we deeply care about.
A huge number of cat deaths are due to dogs
When we want to protect animals from harm, naturally we consider all the causes that could possibly harm them. Human cruelty towards cats is a horrible thing that should be prevented because we do not want cats suffer and die because of it. But humans are not even the leading cause of death for cats. In fact, a massive number of cats are suffering from injuries inflicted by dogs, and many more are dying as a result. These cases are not “natural” in any way. They are a side product of ever increasing and uncontrolled stray dog population that is becoming a nuisance for humans as well. In addition to this, owned dogs also contribute to cat killings, because owners do not leash their dogs, and there is no effective policies that would force them to do that.
If we chose not to discuss dog related cat deaths, then that would mean we do not care about protecting our cats, we are ignorant about their deaths. So what is the point in continuing our project, if the cause that leads to high mortality of cats is never addressed?
The usual argument is that we shouldn’t worry about dog attacks on cats because it is “nature, “instinct” related a predator and prey relationship. While, it is an instinctive behavior from dog point of view, the dog attacks can not justified as “nature”. That is because dog is not “natural” species. It is a human created animal via domestication and artificial selection. If a wolf kills cat, we could dismiss it as nature. But dogs are not wolves. Dogs are not a part of nature, they exist on the streets and everywhere else because of humans. For this reason, humans are responsible for dogs, meaning that humans are obligated to control dogs and to prevent dogs from harming others.Cats are never treated as separate species from dogs. Cat’s association with dogs is impossible to avoid
The organizations that work about cat welfare do not exist in this country. Even worse, cats are always included in the same category as dogs. They are either pets or “street animals”. Despite of being unrelated to dogs species, having a very diffident behavior and needs, cats are judged according to the standard of dog. The animal law makes no distinction, so do people who supposedly help cats. Cats are excellent hunters, and yet it is believed that they can’t survive if not people who feed them. Cat houses idea originated from dog houses, although cats are not social species and they are not territorial.
Cat and dog history and evolution could not be any different. While some street dogs originated from abandoned pets and are even mixed breeds, that is untrue about cats, which are not descended from Persians, Norwegians or Russian Blues. Cats living outside were not influenced by human selection and closely resemble their wild ancestors. Dogs, on the other hand, are no longer wolves. Domestication has left deep marks on dog’s behavior, genetics and appearance.
While, it is not difficult to understand that cats and dogs are very different animals, they are still judged as the one and the same animal everywhere. Whatever happens, cats are almost never separate from dogs. The term “Street animals” erases the existence of cat. If street dogs attack people and spread diseases, and authorities decide to deal with that problem, cats are automatically included with dogs. If dog population has to be controlled, the same is applied for cats. Nobody asks a question. “if it is about dog attacks and nuisance they cause, why are we including cats into that as well?”. After all, other urban animals like pigeons, crows and hedgehogs do not become a part of street dogs management plans, even if they caused a troubled. The reason is because they are not considered to be homeless pets, just the way cats are.
Cats are combined with dogs wherever we look. It is unavoidable, yet deeply troubling combination, because we would expect cats to be treated as separate entity. Unfortunately, many people internalized cats being a part of “dog pack”, and they feel uncomfortable when we try to challenge cat’s association with dogs. But if we want to explain what cats truly are, we have to distance them from dogs. We have to destroy the term “street animals”. Otherwise nothing we say and do will not make any sense.