Electric cars are quiet and for cats who like to hide under cars, it can be dangerous. A veterinarian wants to alert on the phenomenon.
This is not yet an epidemic, but Dr. Jarek Szczepaniak, a veterinarian in Toulouse, could not help noticing that for a few months, he has been hosting cats who have been victims of a very particular domestic accident: in his clinic, it welcomes more and more felines who are crushed by their owners who ride … in an electric vehicle.
“Cats crushed by their owners, it already happened before the arrival of electric or hybrid vehicles. But since a year, I see that there are more and more cases related to this type of cars. They are so quiet that cats do not hear when the driver starts and get crushed.”
More and more hybrid and electric vehicles
Cats particularly like to take shelter under vehicles that offer shelter in the shade in summer, or a warm place when the temperatures cool and the engine of the car has just stopped. Due to environmental awareness, electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming more and more popular with motorists.
According to the National Association for the Development of the Electric Car, the electric vehicle market has increased by 54% between the summer of 2018 and the summer of 2019.
From the fright … to death
Dr. Jarek Szczepaniak explains that he hosts in his clinic animals sometimes very bitter after this type of accident:
“The cat can be left for a big fright. But there are also more serious injuries: broken paws, stretching of the tail which can lead to paralysis afterwards, crushing of the pelvis … And of course, there are cats that die as a result of this type of accident.”
Trauma for the owners
And losing your cat in such circumstances is often traumatic for the owner. “People who come to the clinic after such an event are hysterical,” says the vet. There is a real notion of guilt, a trauma that is not negligible. ”
Dr. Szczepaniak reflected on solutions that could avoid such dramas.
“Be careful, I do not scream wolf: I myself have an electric vehicle and I’m very happy. But the accident happened quickly, I missed crush my cat a few days ago. You have to stoop to check under his car before getting in, it’s a reflex to take absolutely. And I believe that manufacturers and equipment manufacturers should also look into the problem .”
For the Toulouse veterinarian, simple adjustments on vehicles such as the introduction of ultrasound on startup or presence detectors could prevent many dramas.