New Zealand’s War on Cats Escalates to Name-Calling


New Zealand has received the dubious honor among cat lovers as being the nation that hates cats. A coalition of cat-hating groups has already announced that it wants to extirpate all feral cats by 2025, which is bad enough.

A cat resting on gravel
Photo CC-BY-ND Harry Li

But Matt Heath, a columnist for the New Zealand Herald, released another salvo in that ongoing war by declaring that cats are “the Donald Trumps of the animal kingdom. Furry, smug, self-serving, and dishonest.”

Regardless of what you think of Donald Trump (and let’s please leave the political “discourse” elsewhere), it’s quite clear that Heath despises cats as well as Trump.

Heath reports that he caught two of his cats “cheating” by getting food at neighbors’ houses and going by different names, “not to mention the torture and murder of native birds. Asses.”

Well, Mr. Heath, there’s one easy solution to keep your cats from being such “asses.” Maybe you could be less of an ass yourself and keep your cats indoors if you’re so concerned about their effect on native wildlife.

A tabby cat in a window
Photo CC-BY GPS 56

He goes on to say that dogs are “great people” because they’re “cute, friendly, and happy,” as compared with the allegedly evil cats.

Dude, if you hate cats so much, why do you even have one, let alone two or more?

If Heath was trying to be funny, it was a pretty sad attempt. Why prey on cats with this so-called humor when your countrymen are already trying so hard to blame them for crimes including bird murder and tidal waves?

I know that letting cats roam is sort of a culture thing — in England, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, many cat guardians believe that cats should go outdoors to do what they please in their journeys. I don’t get it. Here in the U.S., most people, myself included, believe that it’s safer to keep their cats indoors — not just for the sake of wildlife but for the sake of avoiding things like, oh, say, getting hit by cars and attacked by dogs and other predators (including humans).

A feral cat in a tree
Photo CC-BY Tim Lenz

But even that is beside the point of Heath’s article. The real issue is that he apparently believes cats are the destroyers of everything good, not only because of his cats but because an “evil neighbor’s cat” led his apparently pretty darn stupid dog on not just one but two merry chases under the house while the dog was trying to “herd” (which apparently is New Zealand-ish for “eat”) two of his rabbits after they escaped their cage.

Again — hey there, genius, how ‘bout you keep your cat indoors, and keep your dog on a leash and build your bunnies a secure cage while you’re at it! When you let your pets out to roam around, you must know that trouble will soon follow, even if a cat isn’t involved. Little dogs like your Jack Russell/Miniature Schnauzer mix can get in plenty of trouble in their travels, too. And rabbits that escape their cages? Yeah, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that they’re a meal waiting to happen.

Photo CC-BY-ND Ben

Rather than using his unfortunately widely broadcast voice to call cats “a bunch of arrogant, full-of-themselves, blowhard asses who wouldn’t listen even if they could, Donald Trumps of the animal kingdom,” Heath should get a clue and try being a responsible pet guardian instead.

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