A woman in China is facing a merciless backlash from animal rights activists worldwide after she spent nearly $1,500 on plastic surgery for her cat. Reportedly, she considered the ordinary feline to be “too ugly.”
The unnamed woman believed her cat’s eyes were unflattering and needed an adjustment. So, she paid nearly $1,500 for her cat to receive a double-eyelid operation, also known as Asian blepharoplasty.
Photos taken after the surgery show the cat sluggish after surgery and with its face shaved. Both of its eyelids ooze bloody stitches from being cut open.
Elective surgeries of the kind are not unheard of. In fact, sometimes they’re not even illegal. However, this recent development has spurred conversation about the ethics of cosmetic surgery for pets. In the case of this cat, its owner is facing public shame from social media and the animal medical treatment community.
Few veterinarians agree with elective cosmetic surgery for pets. One veterinarian told Jiangsu Television: “We would never agree to put cats and dogs under the knife unless they are sick and needed the procedure for health reasons.”
One social media user wrote on Weibo, the Chinese microblogging site: “The procedure, if just to make it look prettier, is completely unnecessary and causes the animal pain.”
“It doesn’t even look like the same cat anymore. This is plain torture,” wrote another Weibo user.
The only situation in which a pet may need plastic surgery is if the animal cannot breathe well or if they suffer from frequent infection. Surgery simply for the same of aesthetics is not deemed to be worthwhile. If the pet were to receive the wrong dosage of anesthesia, they could be left with permanent health or behavior impairments. Or, they could die from the operation.
“Subjecting a cat to that risk as well as all the associated discomfort and fear, in the name of non-essential surgery for human vanity is certainly irresponsible and not in the best welfare interests of the cat,” Wendy Higgins, director of international media at Humane Society International, told MailOnline. “All animals are beautiful, in whatever shape or size they come in, and their visual imperfections only give them more character. Surgically altering our pets for purely cosmetic reasons is not kind or wise.
“Unless there is some health need for the animal, as there can be for example with some breeds, we should love them just the way they are,” she concluded.
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