Katz Tales: Movement is vitally important for the health of animals

Animals need space to run around and explore, and very often they need companions of their own kind. — 123rf.com

Do you feel happy being cooped up at home during the MCO? One of the issues that's being brought home to many people is that movement is vitally important for physical and mental health. Exactly the same thing is true for animals.

Scientists have long spoken about the cruelty of caging animals. Badly run zoos are filled with pacing animals that self-harm, pulling out their fur, banging their heads against bars and walls, and other signs of anxiety and bad mental health.

In the 1990s, Gus the polar bear in Central Park Zoo, New York, began swimming compulsively. Concerned, the zoo keepers consulted a behaviourist and found the bear had serious mental health problems that came from having an enclosure that was too small. Gus became the first animal to be treated with antidepressants.

If you know animals, you will see that they become physically and mentally ill very quickly when confined. And wouldn't you go insane if you had to live in a space the size of a bathroom or cupboard?

As we consider locking people away a punishment reserved for the most serious kinds of offences, this is a good time to consider how we treat our pets too.

If you have an animal in a cage or on a chain, reconsider their environment. Being safe from predators and having food is not enough for a happy life. Animals need space to run around, to explore, and very often they need companions of their own kind.

So please, think and make some changes to help your pet be happier. This pandemic is a disaster but with some thought, we can leverage an opportunity to make the world a kinder place.

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Cat behaviour , cat health


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