Kitten Mills are Overlooked in the Fight Against Abuse

Last week I discussed puppy mills, those horrible places where dogs are incarcerated and forced to produce litter after litter for the satisfaction of a greedy human who cares nothing about their health or welfare. We all know they exist, we all hate them, and we all want the suffering stopped. But were you aware that kitten mills also exist?

Cats like these spend their entire lives in crates.

The media has given puppy mills at least enough attention to make the phrase a commonplace euphemism for “bad puppy breeder,” but little attention has been given to kitten mills. The truth is, any type of animal can be milled, and any time people are willing to financially support these mills, there will always be more that crop up and more that win the battles that try to shut them down. Due to a lack of public attention, many former puppy mill breeders have switched gears, and now offer a multitude of cats to the public as well as private organizations without concern for the drastic over–breeding of the animal, the conditions it lives in, or its fate once the kitten leaves their property.

Kitten mills are of course just another example of humanity’s supreme reign over the animal kingdom, we have the power to torture for profit, and thus we do. However, when enough people bond together in an effort to limit or minimize this form of torture, something can be done to prevent the ongoing abuse. While these kitten breeders tend to focus highly on the over—production of “purebred” cats, the truth is that the vast majority of cat owners do not know the difference between most breeds of cats, notwithstanding the most obvious types; Siamese, Himalayan, and the like.

A few startling statistics for the cat world can really shake up our perception of the need for anyone anywhere to breed cats at all, let alone in vast quantities. According to the Humane League of the United States, most cats are adopted via a casual rescue effort. About 48% of human owned cats are taken in as strays, or found by someone who gives the kitten or cat to a friend, or is adopted directly from a rescue league. A much smaller percentage, 14%, adopts their cats from shelters, especially high kill shelters. The remaining percentage goes directly to either breeders or pet stores. However, with all this kitty purchasing going on, 71% of all cats or kittens that find themselves in the unfortunate position of being in a shelter are euthanized before suitable homes can be found. Only one out of every five kittens and cats are destined to live in one home for their lifetime. Most cats find themselves abandoned or left on the shelter doorstep when they are either too much responsibility or lose their cute little kitten appeal.

So, we already know that pet overpopulation is a big problem in this country, and many other countries. Yet, really, what would keep a cat breeder of one hundred and fifty kittens in business. Unfortunately, what doesn’t make it out into the public as a birthday present for a loved one or as a new companion for a home with love to spare, end up being sold in bulk to laboratories and other testing facilities. This statistic alone makes someone like me want to run out and purchase two or three of the kittens I could give good homes to in order to prevent those few a treacherous life of abuse and neglect. However, once I give the kitten mill a single dime from my own pocket, I am giving them my business. And the business of abuse is not one that my dollar, nor anyone else’s who claims to have even a shred of love and compassion in their hearts, should support.

So perhaps you are reading this and you are enraged and affected and you think the human race needs to be taught a great big lesson in compassion and responsible and ethical behavior toward all living creatures.You would be right. But when this article is finished, are you going to stop reading, tell a few important people in your life what horrid things we do to the innocent for a quick and easy buck, and then resume your daily business? Or do you think you might be affected enough to take on a little action?

You have probably just learned something you did not already know. The focus for years has been on puppy mills. Kitten mills fall through the cracks, because people don’t see cats as a commodity in the same way they view puppies. Both so called “business operations” abuse animals, both must be stopped, so why is the focus always on puppy mills? Kitten mills are easier to hide, cats don’t make as much noise as dogs, a dogs bark is louder than a cats meow. People are unaware that kitten mills exist, therefore when they fight such abuse they focus on the problem they know about, puppies.

So today I give you a challenge. You are going to surf the net today anyway aren’t you? That is probably how you ended up here reading this. So now I challenge you to find any information you can on the subject of kitten mills. Inform yourself, share that information with a friend and then decide how you will take action. Will you start a petition? Join your local shelter’s volunteer list? Speak to your senator or MPP? Or will you shake your head and say oh that’s terrible, and move on to the next article? What will you do with the information you now possess? The ball is in your court, will you step up and try to make a difference?

Until Tomorrow Remember.