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How do you tell a friend they're treating their animals bad?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Okay, here's my situation. I went to visit a friend last night and she's always claimed to be a 'huge animal lover'. So I thought her pets were in good care.... well, she has an elderly cat that is now deaf. This cat climbed up on the table, and my friend took the cat and just dropped her 4 feet onto the floor. She didn't take the time to bend over and set her down, she just dropped her. This cat is at least 15 so you know her joints and bones are sore already... I was really bothered by that but I made light of it because I didn't want to cross a line. I told her she was being mean, but laughed a little. She also said the cat has been throwing up lately but she refuses to spend money on a vet visit... here's the kicker. She just bought a $400 puppy. If she can spend $400 on a puppy, surely she can spend money to take care of the animals she already has. I just feel so terrible and I want her to know how I feel... but I don't want to ruin our friendship.

Any advice on how to address this?
post #2 of 13
I think that if she's a real friend she will listen to you. I'm sure she'll be upset that you've said something but more than likely it is because she's embarassed that you picked up on how she's treating her pets. Good luck.
post #3 of 13
Well thats a tough one, it depends on how good friends you are I think. She is definately showing no consideration for this poor animal and its not fair.
My sister looked after her best friends cat in the summe when she was on holiday. Garfield is about 100 years old, well not quite but he seems to have been around for as long as me.
When Jenna had him, she found that his teeth were so bad he couldn't eat and his paws had several infections fron scratches, cat bites, cuts etc which meant every step he took would have been agony.
My sister took him to the vets as soon as she realised this and the vet said if he hadnt gone in within days he would have died there were so many things wrong with him.
It cost her over £200 to get all his treatment, which she then got back from her friend. TBH her friend was shocked at how bad garfield was, but it was as a direct result of her neglect for him.
My sister just told her, as a friend, she was disgusted with the condition he was in and that if she ever let him get like that again she would take him and find him a new home to enjoy the last years of his life.
This had no effect on their relationship because they have that kind of friendship where they can say what they want.
If you are not as close with your friend, I would just keep an eye on her behaviour towards the cat and if more things happen, you wont have much choice but to say, you know I dont know anyone else who treats their animal like this. Or something to that effect, you could try saying something when she's in a really good mood. or maybe even pick the cat up in front of her and be really friendly with it, tell her what a great cat she is. it might make your friend think...

sorry for rambling!!
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
We're not very close friends... she was a co-worker and one of the sweetest women I've ever known and we just kept in touch after she found a new job. So being blunt with her could get a little awkward. I was just so shocked to see her treat her cat like that! She has another cat that she completely adores and dotes over, and 2 dogs. I just don't know why she's treating this elderly cat like that. It breaks my heart. I picked the cat up last night and held her in my lap and just pet her for a long time. She was so sweet, just purring and purring. I'd take her myself if my husband would allow it.

I did say something to her about dropping the cat like that... and she just dismissed it like it wasn't a big deal because the cat is annoying. Yea, I'm sure the cat is annoying when it meows loudly in the middle of the night... but as a pet owner, you have to expect that. She's old and deaf. She can't hear herself... that doesn't give you the right to treat the cat like crap.
post #5 of 13
I know how you feel. I have a lot of "animal lover" friends that don't care for them right. I just try to lead by example. I say things that I do for my cats and hope they follow suit. A lot of them do what I do anyway. I don't want to tell someone how to raise their kids or care for their animals because regardless of what you say, they will do what they want to (which is almost always what is easiest for them). They've already justified it in their minds, even if they ask for advice. I've realized there are a lot of different levels of animal lovers, from the type that just love cute, furry things to the type that go out of their way to provide the most natural, loving, cat-friendly home possible.

So I don't think there's really anything you can say to her except explain why her cat may hurt. She will probably be embarrassed because no one likes to be called out on something they're doing wrong. I've told people things, like about declawing for example, and they've said things like "You believe that but I don't, and I don't have to believe what you do." What. Ever.

People are stubborn.
post #6 of 13
I'm the sort who doesn't sit on the fence when something has to be said, so i'd be telling her straight!!
post #7 of 13
To put it briefly and bluntly, I think you should let her know. Much easier said than done, I know, but it's got to be done. You are strong, you can do it. Somebody has to tell her, that cat is not being treated right and nothing is going to change unless somebody steps up eventually.
post #8 of 13
I would tell her that she needs to be nicer to her animals. If she loves them so much, she wouldn't want them to be in pain or suffer.
post #9 of 13
Maybe if you do find a way to talk to her about it you can find a way to relate it to a human? Like when she drooped the cat, ask if she would 'drop' her grandma like that? Or even let her grandmother jump down 4'.

Or say something like 'Well gee! No wonder the cat meows! I'd be cryin all night if I was that cats age and took that fall on my legs!'
post #10 of 13
I would say....

"For someone who claims to be an animal-lover, you sure treat your animals like manure".....

But alas, I can be quite blunt and mean when it comes to animal welfare....I lost a good friend because of the absolute abuse she was putting her cat through...Starving him, letting her brother abuse him by sticking sharpies up his nose.....I took that cat..(Emmet) gave him a loving happy healthy home, and havent talked to her since.....

My point is as much as I liked her as a friend...I will absolutly not tollerate animal abuse of any kind.....and if that means an end to a friendship so be it....and in the end do you really want to be w/ someone who could be so cruel to such a defensless creature.......

There I said my
post #11 of 13
Maybe write her a letter? It is easier than a face to face confrontation. It will also be more neutral sounding as there is not emotional inflections in a letter. Just say something like "I was very bothered when you dropped your elderly kitty onto the floor. at her age her joints are stiff anf painful and a drop like that could have been agonizing. Throwing up is a reason to take your cat to the vet and to not do so is considered animal cruelty in this state. Please let me know what the vet says about the health of your kitty as I have been worried since you mentioned her being ill"
post #12 of 13
Originally Posted by Nebula11
I lost a good friend because of the absolute abuse she was putting her cat through...Starving him, letting her brother abuse him by sticking sharpies up his nose.....I took that cat..(Emmet) gave him a loving happy healthy home, and havent talked to her since.....
What the!?!?!! could anyone.....stick a sharpie up it's nose? Trying to get him 'high'??? I almost thew my monitor when I read that! Oh if I'd have witnessed that I'd be posting this from jail! God Bless you for taking Emmett! No creature deserves cruelty like that! I know there are more awful things than that, but that is just like slow torture. The kind that eats at you a little at a time....I need to go have a good cry for Emmett now. (And the poor kitty who's welfare started this thread!)
post #13 of 13
I honestly think that if you care so much about the cats welfare, you should tell the girl how you feel, and show her what damage she is doing to that poor baby. If she doesnt like it, or doesnt talk to you anymore, I wouldnt worry about it, because personally, I know I wouldnt want to have been friends with someone who is cruel towards cats, even more so when the cat is old. In fact, if the cruelty doesnt stop, I would take that cat right off her, and give her a home with people who are prepared to treat her the way she deserves. Just tell her outright, be the voice for the kitty, its probably what the kitty wants :-)
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