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Behavior

Think This Viral Video is Funny? Think Again.

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If you’ve been on Facebook this past week, you’ve probably seen this viral video called “Vengeance Meow” being shared among people who have cats. It’s even possible it gave you a smile, and that’s okay… it was meant to be funny! Don’t worry, we aren’t uptight – we get it. But we wanted to take this opportunity to explain why it’s not really as funny as everyone thinks.

But first, the video – just in case you missed it:

 

In the video, the guy sneaks up on his (really cute) orange cat and wakes him up with an obnoxious meow. The cat looks adorably confused. Revenge – for the cat meowing at him and waking him up in the middle of the night. That’ll teach him! Right?

Wrong. Actually, that won’t teach him at all. We asked our good friend, trainer Steve Reid of S.R. Dog Training, who had this to say:

What the man did in this video was definitely not “training” in any way shape or form.  It was simply an attempt at creating a short viral video (which I am afraid he may have been successful in accomplishing), at the expense of an innocent cat.  Training any animal is NOT based on fear.  It is based on fundamental principles, starting with teaching and shaping desired behaviors.

Too many people attach human emotions, such as “spite”, “jealousy”, etc. to actions of animals.  In turn, the human takes the actions of their pet personally.  This is the wrong thing to do.  Animals are not looking to “get back at you”, they are doing what they either have learned to do (i.e. what you have deliberately or inadvertently taught them to do) or what they feel they need to do out of instinct. 

Animals do not inherently know how to navigate the constructs of our human society, it is our responsibility to help guide and teach them.  If someone is not prepared to do this, then they should not own an animal, or if they do not know how to properly do this, they should enlist the help of a qualified professional.

Although cats are commonly called nocturnal, they are actually crepuscular, meaning they are active primarily at dawn and dusk. They are typically asleep in the middle of the night just like their humans – unless there’s a reason for them to be awake. So if your cat is keeping you up at night, figure out why and fix it.

For example, our Ask the Vet columnist, Dr. Liz Bales answered this question from a reader who’s cat was howling in the middle of the night. She explained that sometimes there’s a medical reason for cats to vocalize at night – the most common reason being hyperthyroidism – so a vet check could be in order to rule out a medical cause for it.

Some things to ask yourself if your cat is keeping you up at night are:

  • Is your cat sick?
  • Is your cat hungry?
  • Is your cat bored?
  • Is your cat seeking attention?

Some small changes that might have a big effect on you and your cat’s sleeping habits:

  • Darken your room
  • Make your room off limits to your cat while you’re sleeping

When it comes to cats – always keep your cool. Never yell or punish your cat for doing anything you don’t like. Don’t wake them up while they’re asleep for “revenge.” They simply don’t learn that way, and it only serves to hurt your relationship with your cat, and might even cause your cat to act out. Focus on positively reinforcing good behaviors, increasing daytime activities to tire your cat out, and increase affection and you (and your cat) will be on your way to getting a full night’s rest!

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Sis

    Dec 12, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Sorry I didn’t find it amusing, or interesting. The guy’s a jerk and thinks he’s too clever. Really, you just had to have a video online. Again, jerk!

  2. maryann

    Dec 12, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    I found this video really upsetting and I was furious what he done to this poor cat the poor little cat was terrified what a prat of a man stupid idiot that comes under cruelty in my books this idiot shouldn’t have animals my cats wake me up all the time I wouldn’t dream of doing that to them I’m furious after seeing that it makes me wonder what he’s doing to the poor cat off camera

  3. Charity Love

    Dec 12, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    That pond scum doesn’t even deserve to have a cat! What a horrible, horrible person he is. The cat had absolutely no idea why he was doing that. If pond scum doesn’t like being awakened in the night by a cat, then she shouldn’t have a cat. What a loser.

  4. Jen

    Dec 12, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Are you people serious? Get a life. The cat is fine. It’s a joke.

    • Della Williamson

      Dec 12, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      It’s a cruel “joke” and can have serious physical consequences to the cat’s health. Mentally and physically. As with people rem sleep, deep sleep, is necessary for good health, a strong immune system and generally repair and regenerate his body. It’s a good idea to let your cat be during these sleep stages unless you feel moving him is absolutely necessary. Also. Yelling at an animal, teasing an animal can crush it’s spirit, and ruin your relationship with your pet. And with people in general. It also makes them more aggressive. He is supposedly trying to teach his cat a lesson? Unless you tell a pet they did wrong WHEN they do it. They will have no idea what is going on except for 2 things. You do not like them and therefore dangerous. And you cannot be trusted. As this video proves. Animals are often far more compassionate and caring than people. If that jerk just did this this one time for the sake of being on the internet. No harm done. But if he keeps it up? The cat will become depressed and fearful. No matter how you look at it the reality is this is an act of cruelty. And no joke

  5. Rose Ann

    Dec 12, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    What an A$$hole. He’s an adult and should know better…doesn’t deserve an animal.

  6. Jim Smith

    Dec 13, 2016 at 2:54 am

    If this guy thought that was something funny to do to an innocent animal, then he has problems. Actually it is animal cruelty to frighten a poor animal in that manner. I hope he learns from these comments that scaring an animal, especially since the cat was sleeping, is very cruel. The poor animals meow at night cause that is their normal reaction. If the owner got mad cause the cat meows at night, then he should allow another person to adopt his cat. It’s bad enough that humans taunt other humans but please don’t do this to poor, innocent animals. They deserve better treatment. Thank You.

    • Rich

      Dec 13, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      All of you, get over yourselves. This cat was NOT harmed. This cat feels completely safe with this guy or he would have done the fight or flight sort of thing. Instead, he just casually got up and meandered over a few steps, laid back down and went back to sleep.
      So! Get! Over! It!

  7. kathryn s nitz

    Dec 19, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Dumbest thing i’ve seen today ..if you don’t want the cat to bother you at night keep the door closed where it can’t come in. simple.

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