Cat owners are using their pets to gain fame in social media clips, charities warn
- Funny cat videos have gone sinister, according to a leading cat charity
- Owners now turn to defiant their pets for advice
- Examples include tapping or disturbing the cat to listen to music
They started out as cute cat clips posted on social media to amuse or please pet lovers.
But “funny cat videos” have become more sinister, with some owners using their felines to become famous, a charity has warned.
Cats Protection highlights videos where owners provoke their pets to provoke a reaction so the images go viral.
Examples include beating the cat with music, increasing rhythm and strength until the animal fights back or scaring the cat by placing unusual objects next to the cat.
‘Funny cat video’ gets even more sinister, as some owners use their felines to try to become famous
The charity said such a clip might look funny but could be very distressing for the pets involved.
Madison Rogers, head of its advocacy team, said: “Some of the things people do are cruel to animals. Even a 30-second clip, cats can’t take that stress. We shouldn’t be using them on social media. Get likes.
“In some of the videos, people tap their cat, almost a tune, and it gets more intense until they almost tap their cat.
“Within 30 seconds, the cat turned around and tried to attack them, they thought it was really funny, but they were harassing their cat.”
On TikTok, a video of a cat being frightened by a cucumber garnered 177,000 “likes” with the caption “Try something to frighten your cat.” When interviewed by the Daily Mail, the owner said: “I’ve only done it once.
‘He’s absolutely fine and taken care of. You act like I’m the only one doing this. chill. ‘
A separate clip titled “How many times can you tap before your cat goes crazy” shows a pet trying to bite and scratch a hand when it hits the animal’s back. It has 450,000 likes.
Speaking at a British Veterinary Association (BVA) live conference in Birmingham, Miss Rogers said: “These owners just don’t understand that it’s not cool for cats. This behaviour is unacceptable.
“There are so many great ways to interact with them by playing with them, which is more exciting and fun for cats.”
Justine Shotton, president of the BVA, said: “We love watching funny videos of happy, relaxed cats behaving naturally, but strongly advise owners not to scare or stress their pets in order to gain attention on social media.”