Training a pet is no mean feat. But these pet owners are drawing flak for hitting their cat when frustration got the better of them — and sharing it all on social media.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) confirmed on March 11 that it is investigating the case after a video of a man hitting a cat for urinating went viral.
In the clip, which was originally filmed and posted by a woman on her Instagram Story, a man could be seen holding a ginger cat by the scruff of its neck. He shouted at the cat and smacked it, saying in Mandarin: "If you urinate, I will hit you."
The cat started urinating in the middle of his tirade, prompting the woman filming to laugh and zoom in on it.
The man then lifted the cat off the floor by the scruff of its neck before the clip was cut.
Scruffing an adult cat, or holding it by the skin of its neck, is not recommended as it can cause fear, anxiety and even aggression, according to veterinary behaviourist Stephanie Borns-Weil and veterinary technician Michelle Damon.
While the woman's Instagram account has since been deactivated, the video was reposted to Twitter where it racked up over 300,000 views and got Singaporeans all riled up.
Commenters accused the pair of neglect and abuse, speculating that the cat had urinated as it was scared.
In response to reporter's queries, the executive director of SPCA Singapore, Jaipal Singh Gill said on March 11 that the organisation is in touch with the cat's owner and is currently investigating the incident.
It was "very likely" that the cat was urinating out of fear, Gill said.
"It is unfortunately not uncommon for animals to be physically abused if they have done something wrong in the eyes of their owner. There is no need to shout at, terrify or beat an animal in the name of training.
"This old school approach is completely counterproductive. There are effective humane and science-based methods to train an animal. If any pet owner wants to find out more, they can contact the SPCA."