Oct 15, 2015

About Us

The Anatolian Cat or Anadolu Kedisi is a campaign to increase the awareness for natural Anatolian cats. 
This project aims to improve lives of natural cats through science and evidence based welfare.

Why research about cats matters?

Cats are one of the few animals that have a very close relationship with humans.
Many people regard cats as family members and believe cats deserve the best veterinary care, that cat welfare should be respected and science should help cats to live better, healthier and happier lives.

Millions of websites, books and other media sources write about the cats every single day. Since cats play an important role in many people's lives, cat owners are in need for a trusted and scientific information that would help them to make better decisions, like what cat they should adopt, which veterinarian should they trust, what medical treatments are really proven to work (and which are not), and what is the cat welfare, and can be done to improve it etc.

Why is the Anatolian Cat project different from others?

1. We care about the natural cats - not only those cats living in Anatolia. Natural cats are the cats living freely outside, not owned by humans, and known as "community", "random-bred" or "street cats". Majority of cats around the world are natural cats, not breeds. However there are not many organizations defend the interests of these cats.

2. We do not sell the idea of a cat "breed", expecting to gain profit from it.

The Anatolian cat project is against racism and segregation of cats based on color of fur. We oppose organizations and individuals that create fictional breeds and attach nationalities and other agendas to them.

3. The welfare of cats is not limited to neutering, rehoming and shelters. We care about the well-being of freely living cats: improving their lives through medicine, reducing stress and pain, proposing solutions to human activities which negatively affect cat lives etc. 

4. We are concerned about the unethical practices of the cat fancy. We oppose any kind of breeding of cats with disabilities caused by mutations and inherited diseases. We criticize individuals, institutions who misuse science and rely on misinformation, pseudoscience to manipulate the public opinion. 

5. We promote the scientific literacy in Turkey. We believe that teaching about the cats from scientific and unbiased point of view, we may help people to think more critically. This could be beneficial for society on a whole.

The Anatolian Cat project research topics:

* Evolutionary biology - what are Anatolian cats? How they relate to other populations? 
Cat domestication - Where cats were domesticated, when and how?
* Ancient Anatolia and cats - what role cats played in Anatolian history and culture? 
* Ethics and cat welfare (examples: encourage responsible ownership, scrutinizing breeding cats with disabilities, shelters, prevention of cruelty, solutions to health problems of natural cats, campaigns for safe driving, (non-surgical) population control.
* Feline behavior
* Cat fancy and pseudoscience (does cat breeding benefit the cat welfare? Or is it prestige or profit driven activity? Are cat breed definitions and standards based on science? Do hypoallergenic cats exist? Swimming cats? are there "Pure" breeds?)

The Anatolian Cat project welcomes researchers and enthusiastic cat lovers to share their ideas and contribute to this project. 

Aims of the Anatolian Cat project:

1) The Anatolian cat project is dedicated to conduct academic research on Anatolian cat’s history, genetics, health, welfare, it’s place in Turkish culture and society.
2) Represent the Anatolian cats correctly and increase interest of Anatolian Cats in Turkey and worldwide.
3) Fight against the white cat racism in Turkey and breeding cats with congenital deafness.
4) Discourage any kind of breeding of cats with disabilities caused by mutations and inherited diseases.
5) Cat research as a tool teaching science and critical thinking for general public, through various publications in media, documentaries, conferences and so on.
6) Evidence based welfare. We believe that the welfare of cats should rely on scientific solutions, not personal beliefs or emotions.
7) Campaign for compassion. Teaching respect for natural cats and encourage communities to be responsible for their cats. Note: The campaign may not be possible without the involvement of other welfare organizations and animal lovers.
8) Critical look at the cat fancy and its impact on natural cats and their welfare.
9) We attempt to inform and educate the general public as well as policymakers, offering them the solutions to the problems affecting Anatolian cats.
10) We want to inspire academic researchers and help provide them with valuable insights into the Anatolian cat related issues.

Photo credit: Ken Safranek

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