A viral video of a cat acting in a strange manner while under a car is making the rounds on the internet. But while folks debate what the unaccompanied feline is actually doing (sit-ups, really?), many may not realize that the animal is in imminent danger.
While some call the video—which media outlets billed as an encouragement to hit the gym—“cute,” it’s unclear whether the cat is in distress, stuck under the car, or simply in the middle of a grooming session. However, we do know that a parking lot is a dangerous place for any unaccompanied animal and that cats left to fend for themselves outdoors are vulnerable to life-threatening hazards.
Make no mistake: Cats are domestic animals who rely on humans for their every need, from food and water to medical care, warmth, and safety.
Horrific fates await most homeless cats—they don’t die of old age. Outdoors, they’re vulnerable to contagious diseases, parasite infestations, starvation, dehydration, freezing, heatstroke, attacks by dogs and other predators, and being hit by vehicles. During winter months, automobile engine fans cut through cats who seek shelter from the cold under car hoods.
— PETA (@peta) February 21, 2016
Humans themselves are a massive threat to roaming cats. Every day, PETA’s office is flooded with calls about cruelty to animals because, across the country, free-roaming cats are mutilated, shot, drowned, poisoned, beaten, set on fire, used in ritual sacrifices, stolen by “bunchers” for medical experiments, and used by dogfighters as “bait.”
Instead of viral notoriety, cats like this need great guardians.
Never allow cats to roam unattended like the one in this video. They can have a rich and stimulating life indoors. If you want your feline friend to enjoy the great outdoors, think about building a “catio” or take the time to leash-train your cat for walks!
If you have the time, resources, and love to give an animal, adopt one from a local shelter. Never buy animals from pet stores or breeders, and be sure to stop the influx of unwanted animals in its tracks by spaying and neutering them.