Cat owners are exploiting their pets on social media to become famous

Cat owners are exploiting their pets in social media clips in bid to become famous, charity warns

  • Funny cat videos have become sinister according to a leading cat charity
  • Owners are now turning to provoking their pets in order to garner views
  • Examples include tapping or disturbing the cat to the sound of music 

They started out as cute clips of cats posted on social media to amuse or delight fellow pet-lovers.

But ‘funny cat videos’ have become more sinister with some owners exploiting their felines in an attempt to become famous, warns a charity.

Cats Protection highlights videos where owners provoke their pets to garner a reaction in an attempt to make the images go viral.

Examples include tapping the cat to the sound of music, increasing in tempo and force, until the animal strikes back or scaring the cats by putting unusual objects next to them.

‘Funny cat videos’ have become more sinister with some owners exploiting their felines in an attempt to become famous

The charity said such clips may seem amusing but can be very distressing for the pets involved.

Madison Rogers, head of its advocacy team, said: ‘Some of the things people do are cruel to the animals. Even if it’s a 30-second clip, that’s not okay for the cat to experience that stress. We shouldn’t be using them to get likes on social media.

‘There are videos where people tap their cat, almost to a tune, and it gets more intense until the point where they’re almost slapping their cat.

‘And within 30 seconds that cat turns around and tries to attack them and they think that’s really funny, but they’re harassing their cat.’

On TikTok, a video of a cat being terrified by a cucumber has 177,000 ‘likes’ with the title saying it was ‘trying that thing where you scare the s*** out of your cat’. When approached 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 who’s done it. Chill.’

A separate clip titled ‘How many taps can you get before your cat gets mad’ shows a pet trying to bite and claw at a hand as it hits the animal on the back. It has 450,000 likes.

Miss Rogers, at a British Veterinary Association (BVA) Live meeting in Birmingham, said: ‘These owners just don’t understand this isn’t cool to the cat. This behaviour is unacceptable.

‘There are loads of nice ways you can interact with them by playing with them, which is far more stimulating and fun for the cat.’

BVA president Justine Shotton said: ‘We love to see fun videos of happy, relaxed cats behaving naturally but strongly advise owners not to scare or stress pets just to gain attention on social media.’

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