by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

Your reader who defended the woman who threw a cat into a trash bin made some good points but used a couple of lousy examples.  I love cats and own three, but I most certainly don't place their well being higher than a human's. However, it's pretty well known that serial killers start with animals.  The kid your reader mentioned has some serious problems if he's setting cats on fire.  Yes, he had a harsh past and should be getting treatment rather than incarceration.  And those cat lovers sending him hate mail need to chill out.  But torturing an animal is a huge big red flag for future, much worse behavior.

As to labeling a cat as "cruel" because it "plays with" a mouse, that's just plain ignorance.  It's survival instinct, not cruelty, when a cat lets go of and recaptures its prey. Explanation here.

From that article:

A cat will “play” with her prey to tire it out in order to reduce the risk of injury to herself, but she is not actually playing in the human sense. She is simply doing the job that her instincts tell her she must do in order not to starve, and protecting herself in the process. If the prey is lively, the cat could suffer a serious bite that might become infected and lead to death. Only when the prey is sufficiently tired and dazed is the cat able to make the kill.

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