Are Fat Cat Owners Abusive

Are Fat Cat Owners Abusive?

We’ve all seen fat cats on the internet, they’re squishy and soft and generally “chonky”. They can be adorable and make us go “squeeeeeee!!!” but are fat cat owners abusive? Is it okay to own a fat cat?

If you want to figure out if fat cat owners are abusive, you first need to understand what the term “animal abuse” means.

According to the Humane Society, “[animal cruelty] encompasses a range of behaviors harmful to animals, from neglect to malicious killing…. Intentional cruelty can run the gamut from knowingly depriving an animal of food, water, shelter, socialization or veterinary care to maliciously torturing, maiming, mutilating or killing an animal.”

So one must ask… is being overweight considered ‘cruel’?

Are Fat Cat Owners Abusive

Having philosophical discussions about what ‘cruelty’ is can be quite nuanced; but in general it encompasses situations where an animal is suffering.

So then we must ask ourselves, …is being overweight making an animal suffer?

And this is where our own biases love jumping into the party. People who see any type of fat (whether it be on an animal or a person) and have internal biases that “fat=bad” will jump to the conclusion that an animal being obese is akin to the animal suffering. But that’s simply not true.

Are Fat Cat Owners Abusive

Are Fat Cat Owners Abusive? 3 Acknowledgements

Let’s be clear about 3 very important things here:

#1 – Yes, being overweight can increase risk of developing certain diseases and disorders.

But risk is just that – it’s a greater chance of something. It does not mean that it will absolutely be occurring with 100% certainty.

#2 – Yes, there are other things beyond weight that can increase risk of diseases and difficulties in cats.

A perfectly slim Persian cat, for example, can have such a smooshed in face (because this is a characteristic that has been bread for) that it’s suffering from breathing problems. Or Scottish Fold cats who have been bred for their “floppy ears” (ie: a cartilage defect) that have an increased risk of Osteochondrodysplasia, or Munchkin cats who have bone and joint problems for similar reasons.

Why the mention of all of these? Because if one is only concerned about the risk to a cat’s health when it’s overweight but it also not advocating for risk reduction in other places (like improper cat breeding) then your issue isn’t really about the cat’s health… it’s about anti-fatness.

#3 – Yes, it’s important to call out behavior that may be problematic – but if you’re not actually doing something about the problem, you’re not a part of the solution.

A lot of folks will get behind a keyboard and turn into fat cat justice warriors; they blame, shame, and shout at fat cat owners. But then that’s it. They don’t take any action by trying to find the correct authorities to contact nor do most of them even bother looking beyond the one post they see to find out if there’s a background story about the cat that can help them understand what they’re seeing. A lot of people use “concern for the cat’s health” as an excuse to be mean to people on the internet.

Are Fat Cat Owners Abusive

So what’s the verdict? Are fat cat owners abusive or not?

Most of them are not abusive, but there absolutely can be a small subset of fat cat owners that are truly, willfully, negligent. That subset of people should have appropriate action taken against them only after an extensive and detailed fact finding mission leads one to have irrefutable evidence that contacting the proper authorities is a valid option. We absolutely do not condone purposeful negligence.

For the most part, though, cat owners are aware that their cats may be chonky and many are currently working on a diet or a maintenance plan with their vets. Dieting a cat is an extremely long process and can have many setbacks, especially if the cat has other problems to consider. Education and support go a very long way in this world, and if you think that fat cat owners are abusive, instead of thinking “what education and support do fat cat owners need to help their cat slim down” then you need to check your own biases and assumptions before going after a fat cat owner.

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