the five freedoms for pets

Five Freedoms for Our Pets

Written by: Judy Karnia, DVM

We all want the best for our pets. We want to believe that we provide a great home for them and everything they could need to be happy and healthy. For the most part, we all do this. Cats though are very complicated creatures and don’t usually show when they are sick or in pain. They are also stressed very easily, sometimes by living situations that we are not aware are stressing them.

To ensure all pets are provided with the best care, many animal welfare and veterinary organizations are trying to raise awareness of the Five Freedoms. These were first formulated by the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council to use in the care of livestock. They certainly apply to pets of all kinds and are a good guide to what our pets need.

Five Freedoms:

  1. Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor
  2. Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area
  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment
  4. Freedom to express (most) normal behavior by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind
  5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering

Part one and two are published. Look for future blog posts that will address how you can provide the Five Freedoms for your feline family.