Are cats prejudiced against the disabled?

 |  Mar 11th 2008  |   3 Contributions

I just adopted a kitten who had to have his back
left leg amputated after an accident. He doesn't
seem to notice the lack of a limb and is very
active and playful. However, my boyfriend's two
cats (one is 1.5 years, one is 3 months) are
extremely wary of him -- especially the younger
one. Are they just being skittish around the new
guy, or could they be naturally disinclined to
make friends with a "disabled" cat?

Philadelphia, PA

I am happy to report that most pets are marvelously tolerant of individuals with disabilities. Although children must trained by their parents not to stare at those who are different, our four-legged friends generally take no notice of creatures that do not fit "average" stereotypes.

This is a fortunate thing for human beings. It means that pets will condescend to be our friends, even though we have only two legs, we are massive, and we have freakishly little hair.

A cat that's missing a leg shouldn't raise many eyebrows among his compatriots.

However, one thing that will always get under any cat's skin is the addition of a new cat to the house. I suspect that your boyfriend's cats are reacting to your cat's newness, and not his disability. And, in time, I suspect that they will all become friends.


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