WLPA campaigns to achieve social change in neglectful and ambivalent attitudes towards cats, both owned and unowned, in urban Australia. It challenges the tendencies of Australians to demonise cats leading to the abandonment and maltreatment of them. It also challenges the tendency to trivialise ‘cat people’ and the work of cat rescue.
Just as most Australians are appalled by the slaughter of whales, this campaign asks that people ‘step up for cats’ to protect and care for them in a variety of contexts and ways. It will convey that it is no longer acceptable for people to assert, ‘I’m not a cat person’ and will communicate that it is morally unacceptable for any person to ignore a cat in need in their midst e.g. a lost cat outside their home or an unowned cat with kittens in their garden.
Step up for Cats is a long-term undertaking (2012-2020); we must educate people about all the issues that lead to the overpopulation of cats, that in turn leads to the euthanasing of healthy cats and kittens and educate them about what needs cats have and how to meet those needs.
This national electronic and social media campaign 2012-2020 aims to deliver key cat welfare messages and urges Australians to step up for cats in the following ways:
- removing landlord-imposed barriers to pet ownership
- increasing cat desexing
- increasing cat security to reduce road kill
- increasing responsible pet ownership in culturally sensitive ways
- promoting no-kill responses by the authorities to community cats
- engaging the community for resourcing cat welfare.
To ameliorate the suffering of cats we must enhance the capacity of citizens to care about and to care for cats. ‘Step up for Cats’ tells people directly what to do at the level of individual ethics and action. Importantly, it is a generic slogan and umbrella campaign name under which selected messages can be delivered year to year and in different communities and contexts as needed.