back to article Scottish government drafts Cat Welfare Code

The Scottish government has tackled the thorny issue of cat welfare by issuing a Draft Cat Welfare Code of Practice aimed at providing "basic information and guidance to those responsible for cats on how to care for them". This exhaustive document contains essential info for those Scots who aren't feline-savvy, such as the …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Paul
    Thumb Up

    Mr Prattchet would agree..

    "cats will always wrap themselves around your feet when you're descending a steep flight of stairs bearing a large amount of crockery on a tray".

    Good old narrative imperative.

  2. Simon

    **Warning - Not RSPCA safe**

    "...nine lives won't save your pet from if it falls from your sixth-floor balcony."

    I read somewhere that the amount of damage an average domestic cat takes from a fall rises in severity (but is not in and of itself lethal) until you (or the cat) get to the fifth storey, where it plateaus at multiple broken bones and other attendant injuries, IIRC this is due to the low terminal velocity, self-righting abilities and inherent athleticism and (presumably) shock absorbing properties of the general make-up of said felines.


    Sorry - it is a little verbose isn't it?


  3. Fiona

    Flying cats

    "nine lives won't save your pet from if it falls from your sixth-floor balcony"

    No, but anything higher than the seventh floor and they'll probably be fine. I learnt everything I know from QI, don't-cha-know.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    How about a Cat Code of Practice

    This is long overdue. Should contain items such as

    1) keep out of other people's gardens

    2) leave the birds alone

    3) sandpits aren't toilets and neither are bark mulched borders

    4) if guides to encouraging wildlife in gardens continue to have the "presence of cats will discourage <add-small-animal-name-here> from frequenting your garden" statements in them then you'll get an ASBO

  5. Nix

    Creature Comforts

    The only hope from all this is that early next year their is a dossier coming out in england on how to treat others whilst improving ure social skills!

  6. Robert Long

    Cats and birds

    We have a multitude of cats in our cul-de-sac and an enormous number and variety of birds too. Pidgeon-racers (AKA 'tedious toss-pots') like to put about the myth that cats and wildlife can't co-exist, but it's not true.

  7. Colin Millar

    @AC a Cat code of practice

    A cat responds

    1) Other people's things is an unknown concept - all your gardens are belong to us

    2) The birds welcome their feline overlords and are happy to provide for our amusement

    3) Well why do you put sand and bark-mulch in them?

    4) Totally unnecessary I assure you - we are quite happy to be anti-social on a purely voluntary basis.

  8. Chris Hamilton

    Ahh, the Scottish Executive ...

    .... not Government, they live in London.

    Do they have nowt better to do with my money.

    Although my cat will be very pleased at this basic outline of her Feline Rights, and next time I place her into the garden for some quiet time after she has made an attempt at ethnically cleansing the goldfish bowl, she will no doubt appeal to the High Court.... I could see myself up infront of the man in the curly wig for a breach of Feline Rights.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Mars bars

    "essential to provide it with a nutritionally balanced diet from early in its life".

    Deep fried Mars bars then.

  10. John A Blackley

    I've looked and I've looked

    ....but I can't find the Sheep Welfare Code. Shurely they shtarted wif that one?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice to know Scotland is making best use of taxpayers' money

    Isn't devolution for Scotland wonderful? Now that we don't have to contribute to England's coffers we can use our tax money on issues that really matter.

  12. Joe Stalin
    Paris Hilton

    Must ask

    Since a cat will always land on its feet and toast will always land butter side down, what happend if you tie a piece of toast buttered side up to the back of a cat?

    Paris cause this would make her brain explode.

  13. Nick McGowan-Lowe

    Government, not Executive...

    "Ahh, the Scottish Executive.... not Government,"

    Nope: what used to be the Scottish Executive is now called the Scottish Government.

  14. Christoph
    Paris Hilton


    There is already plenty of information on the web about "providing for your hamster's physical needs". But will the Scottish Parliament be providing free Gaffer tape?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    A little cat shit in your sandbox,

    is worth it to get rid of the wretched h5n1 birds, and small bubonic vermin. Good for the Scottish government.

  16. martin
    Black Helicopters


    "Since a cat will always land on its feet and toast will always land butter side down, what happend if you tie a piece of toast buttered side up to the back of a cat?"

    perpetual motion!

    the cat/toast will spin forever

    black helicopters as if the government finds out its 'the island' for me

  17. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Cats as Inspiration

    Cats are nature's perfect little predators. They appear cute and cuddly, but employ stealth and cunning to efficiently torture and kill without remorse.

    They have been an inspiration to me and many other I.T. professionals.

    So I guess that's the I.T. angle, for lack of a better one.

  18. Chris Hawkins

    Git yere priorities right!

    Rabbie Burns must be turning in yon grave!


    Nae mention of the Scottish government drafting a Haggis Welfare Code!

    The poor wee thingies need protection from rampant Haggis hunters from over the pond!

    I dinnae ken either what Dr. Finlay, Janet, The Broons or Oor Wullie would make of this!

  19. JasonW
    Paris Hilton

    @AC a Cat code of practice

    Agree 200% - I'm thinking of keeping a European eagle owl purely to remove the cats here since the SuperSoaker™ seems to be losing it's effectiveness.

    If someone can explain to me adequately the cat owners' paradox (ie. how you can "love my cat to bits" and in the next breath open the front door and boot it out into the driving rain for 8+ hours without a thought) I may reconsider.

    Paris because we've probably all seen her "cat" :)

  20. Burbage


    It's the seventh storey. The reason seems to be that cats normally fall paws-downward. For short falls, under six storeys, their legs can, most of the time, damp the shock of impact. However, once they have reached a certain speed, they change strategy and stick their paws out sideways to limit their rate of descent. In a fall of seven storeys, this change of strategy coincides with impact, suggesting it's a reflex behaviour rather than conscious.

  21. Scott Millar

    what a waste of tax money

    There is someone sitting in an office somewhere in edinurgh pumping this bullsh$t out. We are paying for it.

    This was probably consulted on of course so any fee was 4 times as much for creating this bullsh$t.

    I think we need a wellfare code on office IT Admins.

  22. Ross
    Thumb Up


    Terrible thing, jealousy. Another example of the clear blue water opening up between the Westminster Government and the Holyrood one...

    I presume the article is intended as a 'what a waste of taxpayers' money' type of thing; think on - is this kind of attention to everyday life more or less of a waste of money than, say, Trident?

    The reason for the guidance, you miserable, penny-pinching sassunachs, is to give ordinary people guidance and set the foundations for stopping cruelty to animals, either by accident or design. By publishing this type of guidance (which is draft, for consultation, please note) the Scottish Government (not Executive Chris, try to keep up) can protect animal rights and ensure that any examples of cruelty can be dealt with.

    All we're trying to achieve in Scotland is a society that's fair to all. And why not?

  23. Hate2Register

    Cool for Cats..

    It's well known that "dogs look up to us, cats look down on us" (Winston Churchill).

    I think the flea-ridden felines should all be made to wear flea-collars, and should be taught how to cross roads without annoying me. Fü©k their rights.. They're lucky we don't eat them.

    [said in scottish accent]

  24. oliver Stieber
    Dead Vulture

    this is all well and good.

    But if your cat shits in my garden then I'm still going to shoot it.

  25. Markie Dussard
    Thumb Up


    "If someone can explain to me adequately the cat owners' paradox (ie. how you can "love my cat to bits" and in the next breath open the front door and boot it out into the driving rain for 8+ hours without a thought) I may reconsider."

    There is no paradox. My cats come and go as they please through the cat flaps I thoughtfully provide for them. They choose to go out in the rain. They are particularly adept at anticipating the end of a rain storm as this is the best time to be in position to nab the small rodents who come out from shelter early, before the cats presence can be heard or smelled.

    I've never "booted" a cat anywhere. It's more fun to watch what they are up to when they think you can't see 'em. It's like a little safari in your garden.

    Apropos the original story though - I don't think it's the job of any government (Scottish or otherwise) to be telling people how to look after their pets. It's part of the responsibility of pet ownership. They'll be publishing leaflets on how to wipe our own arses next.

  26. Aaron Helton
    Thumb Up

    Not a word about UK quarantines?

    If I wanted to take my cat, who's never been outdoors, anywhere in the British Isles, she'd have to spend six months in quarantine to prevent rabies from entering the Isles. If Scotland were really concerned about the welfare of cats, shouldn't there be at least a mention of that? Such quarantine would likely kill her.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A black op designed to remind the English that the Lothian Question remains ignored by the tax grabbing Scottish Mafia, and to sharpen their votes up in preparation for the next election.

  28. Mike Westmacott

    Nestle in on the act

    Nice to see in the PDF version of the Doggie document that Nestle have kindly contributed some diagrams from their Purina range.

    Yes, Nestle, that kind hearted corporation who feeds African mothers breast milk substitute they can't afford...

    And who now makes stinky factories in England


  29. Herby

    Draft? most likely 'daft'

    Felines are a source of terminal niceness. In fact they make wonderful lap warmers while pecking away on the keyboard. Then again, I suspect that the Scots are trying to heard the feline beasts, which of course can't be done (no matter HOW hard you attempt the task).

  30. Anonymous Coward


    The Scottish government must know its own citizens and have therefore decided the Scottish people require this kind of detailed guidance. A fair judgement if my Scottish father-in-law is anything to go by.

    Anonymous because I don't want to be harrassed by a bunch of short-arsed gnomes in kilts.

  31. Sam

    Point of order

    Do the wee free men know about this document?

  32. Cowardly Custard

    Usual crap

    ... that eminates from the self-styled Scottish 'Government'. All decent Scots have legged it south of the border anyway.

  33. This post has been deleted by its author

  34. Anonymous Coward

    @math campbell

    "They'd also like their oil/gas money back, ta very much."

    We don't get Shell's money either, so the amount is £7 Billion. If you want some of Shell's cash, buy some shares.

    Also, you point out that the Scots gained by £11 billion from the treasury in 2005.

    So using your figures, let's say we have a refund based on that since the oil came ashore =

    (2007-1975)*(£11 Billion - £7 Billion) = £128 Billion

    which you owe to the English, Welsh, and Northern Irish.

    Now get out your sporran and cough up.

  35. Steve Roper

    Cats and buttered toast

    Having conducted extensive studies of the cat/toast perpetual motion phenomenon in our very expensive taxpayer-funded laboratory, my team of boffins and I have determined that this method of generating motive power is impractical, for the following reason:

    While it is true that a cat with a piece of buttered toast strapped to its back will theoretically spin in midair forever, there are laws of physics that prevent this effect from being put into practice; namely, that for the perpetual motion effect to occur, the mass of the toast must be EXACTLY equal to that of the cat. If the cat's mass is greater than that of the attached toast, the cat's greater mass will override the ground-attractor force of the toast, and the cat will hit the floor feet-first. Similarly, if the mass of toast is greater than that of the cat, the mass of the toast will override the righting force of the cat, and the toast will land buttered side down. This holds true even if the mass differential is one microgram.

    Therefore, given that over time, the cat's mass will change (due to respiration, transpiration etc), and the toast's mass will change (due to crumbs falling off under friction from the air as it rotates, or interaction with the struggling cat), the system will bias one way or the other after less than a second even in optimal cases. Repeated tests have demonstrated that no more than one rotation can practicably be achieved before the cat respires or a crumb falls off the toast, thus negating the balance of mass.

    Conclusion: While the theory of the cat/toast effect is sound, practical tests have proven that a cat/toast combination will rotate a maximum of only once before the system becomes unbalanced and the cat or toast falls to the ground. We therefore conclude that it is not possible, using present technology, to utilise this effect for any practical purpose.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo


    We just want to make sure we are looking after the pussy correctly up here :)

  37. xyz Silver badge

    Kill 'em,Kill 'em all

    If you have a 4 legged, furry carnivore as a pet....

    ...and it's called a dog, you have to pick up its crap, stop it biting people, walk it on a leash and generally treat it as some sort of mobile disease fcatory liable to run rampant at any moment.

    ...if it's called a cat, you just lob it out the back door and let it do whatever the damn thing feels like.

    Guns...we need lots of guns

  38. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    What is a human ....

    but a convenient tool to open tins for cats?

    Terry Pratchett's insights are brilliant as ever

  39. Mark Roberjot
    Paris Hilton

    Cats / Toast

    Apologies to the origional author - but I thought this wothy of reposting here

    When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet, and when toast is dropped, it always lands buttered side down. Therefore, if a slice of toast is strapped to a cat's back, buttered side up, and the animal is then dropped, the two opposing forces will cause it to hover, spinning inches above the ground. If enough toast-laden felines were used, they could form the basis of a high-speed monorail system.

    I've been thinking about this cat/toast business for a while. In the buttered toast case, it's the butter that causes it to land buttered side down - it doesn't have to be toast, the theory works equally well with Jacob's crackers. So to save money you just miss out the toast - and butter the cats. Also, should there be an imbalance between the effects of cat and butter, there are other substances that have a stronger affinity for carpet. Probability of carpet impact is determined by the following simple formula:

    p = s * t(t)/tc


    p is the probability of carpet impact,

    s is the "stain" value of the toast-covering substance - an indicator of the effectiveness of the toast topping in permanently staining the carpet. Chicken Tikka Masala, for example, has a very high s value, while the s value of water is zero.

    tc and t(t) indicate the tone of the carpet and topping - the value of p being strongly related to the relationship between the colour of the carpet and topping, as even chicken tikka masala won't cause a permanent and obvious stain if the carpet is the same colour.

    So it is obvious that the probability of carpet impact is maximised if you use chicken tikka masala and a white carpet - in fact this combination gives a p value of one, which is the same as the probability of a cat landing on its feet. Therefore a cat with chicken tikka masala on its back will be certain to hover in mid air, while there could be problems with buttered toast as the toast may fall off the cat, causing a terrible monorail crash resulting in nauseating images of members of the royal family visiting accident victims in hospital, and politicians saying it wouldn't have happened if their party was in power as there would have been more investment in cat-toast glue research. Therefore it is in the interests not only of public safety but also public sanity if the buttered toast on cats idea is scrapped, to be replaced by a monorail powered by cats smeared with chicken tikka masala floating above a rail made from white shag pile carpet.

    Paris - because she just wouldn't understand it all..

  40. Chris Hamilton

    @ Nick McGowan-Lowe

    "Nope: what used to be the Scottish Executive is now called the Scottish Government."

    Yes, as a Scotsman I am aware of this. My point being, that they are not the Government. The election was a sham, they have a minority and quite frankly, the only Government is HM Government in London, they are merely an executive branch of said HM Gov, able to take decisions on its behalf.

    This type of legislation along with their pitiful rebranding of everything that offends the hearts of the nationalist minority just show what a useless bunch of money wasters my fellow countrymen have elected.

  41. Slaine
    Thumb Up

    telling the cat what to do

    I was wakened late one night (early one morning) by a strange scuffling outside of the bedroom. I rose and made my way to the hallway to investigate, to find one of the cats, huddled in a corner.

    I knelt down to investigate, bringing my face up close to the feline that had become like one of my family, and enquired, "whatchagot-therethen-poooos?"

    The cat stopped and turned his head a little, enough for me to see the large (not song) bird he had clamped between his jaws and for him to stare straight into my eyes... and then he broke it's spine in a sickening crunch of avian bone and feathers. I swear I saw him smiling at me.

    What is the point of advising people what to feed their cat? Wouldn't it be better to teach them what to feed their children. The deep fried marsbar sounds like a good idea.

  42. Anonymous Coward

    @Markie Dussard

    "My cats come and go as they please through the cat flaps I thoughtfully provide for them."

    So you wilfully allow your uncontrolled animal to shit on my lawn - time to apply for a shotgun certificate to control the vermin.

  43. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    RE: Math Campbell

    That would be the Scottish oil bizz created and developed by the English then? As for it being "Scottish" oil, I think you'll find the bit of the North Sea it came out of belongs to the Crown (again, that's us English). Exactly which Scottish force do you think will come sailing out to claim the North Sea when the Royal Navy is again sworn to serve the same Crown? The Edinburgh Rowing Club? I suggest the Scots Exec stops wasting money on protecting cats (there's plenty of UK laws already covering animal protection, set by us English), and spend more time re-educating the bitter Scots into realising they are lucky the English saw fit to wander up North and introduce a bit of culture, technology and education, let them ride our coat-tails through history, and stopped them becoming just another third-world European country (which they surely will become within years of us English finally getting rid of them via independence). After all, the Romans committed plenty of massacres and general nastiness on the land, but we look back on the technical and educational benefits they brought to us, so why can't the Scots just admit that rule by England has been for their good?

    /me laughs at the anticipated screaming and foaming.....

  44. Campbell

    Shut up!!!,,2204566,00.html

  45. Anonymous Coward

    Rebuild Hadrians Wall

    The sooner we get a decent border guard for Hadrians wall the sooner we can leave the idiots to deciding that they will nationalise an Oil field in terminal decline, promote feline welfare over national defence and bankrupt themselves within a decade.

    Scots are just like scousers. They spend their entrie lives away from the place or trying to get away from the place, telling everyone how great the place is.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ AC - Hadrians Wall

    You do know why they built the wall, don't you?

  47. Lozzyho

    @ AC - Hadrians Wall

    STFU you idiot. The SNP got in purely because the electorate got fed up with Labour and (stupidly) protest-voted SNP to get labour out.

    The vast majority of Scots are NOT anti-English or separatist.

    Just give Alec Salmond a few years to prove what a complete fool he is, and come next election we'll be back to good old corrupt, swindling, tax-happy labour before you know it.

  48. Steve Wehrle

    @ AC - Hadrians Wall

    The wall *is* going to have cat-flaps in it, isn't it?

  49. Anonymous Coward

    @ AC - Hadrians Wall


    OK, just let us know when you're coming to collect your nuclear missiles and we'll be willing to let you have them.

    Hell, give us co-ordinates and we can deliver!

    And you can find somewhere to park the rotting nuclear submarines while you're about it!

    Mind you, you'll probably site them somewhere in the North-East as you strike me as one of these Metropolitan types who doesn't care two farthings for anyone outside the M25!


  50. Sweep

    @ Mark Roberjot

    "it's the butter that causes it to land buttered side down"

    It's actually nothing to do with the butter, it's due to the period of rotation of the bread as it leaves the kitchen counter: knock it off a surface twice as high and the bread will land butter side up most of the time.

    A fun experiment for all the kids.

    And yes, i'm bored and just back from the pub.

    Och aye the noo an aw rat.

  51. Chief sub

    bloody cats...

    Daughters of Satan, all of 'em

  52. Anonymous Coward

    @ AC - Hadrians Wall

    FYI - Hadrian's Wall was constructed by the English in a desperately unsuccessful attempt to keep the likes of me out of your sinking crummy thieving arrogant whore of a county.

  53. Lol Whibley


    such sentiment...

    ah well.

    I like cats.

    I think if you're a good human, you get to come back as a cat.

    They're bendy in ways that defy anatomy.

    Honest hedonists.

    Laser pens make good distractions.

    They can trained to fetch.

    And you would have trouble giving a dog a name like Sponge.

  54. HFoster
    IT Angle

    Re: Hadrian's Wall

    Wasn't that built by the Romans to keep the Caledonians out of England? Having spent 6 years in Aberdeen, I can tell you it only half worked: many of Scotland's finest have buggered off to England, America and Canada.

    As to feline welfare, I think Salmond would do better to find a way of doing something about obesity, heart disease, poor (pre-university) educational standards, drugs, alcoholism, and car accidents. I never liked that silly fat wanker.

This topic is closed for new posts.