Cat abuse, in one form or another, is fairly widespread. It doesn't have to be the kind of abuse that hits the headlines, such as air gun shootings. It can be day to day neglect or the occasional beating by an irresponsible owner. The owner could be depressed or ill and therefore irritable and passes that on through neglect and violence. Or the person could just be plain bad. It is sadly part of the human condition.
In many parts of the world cat abuse is a crime. I have compiled some pages on Cats and the Law, which covers the laws on animal abuse in a number of countries. The world has a long way to go before it can be considered truly civilized in respect of our relations with animals.
The United States is becoming better at penalizing cat abuse. The laws are generally effective. I am not sure how effectively enforced they are, however. There is probably room for improvement in enforcement. There is a disparity within the states. According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) the five American states with the best animal welfare laws are: California, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Oregon. The worst five are: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota. The rest are in middle ground. (see Cat Cruelty Laws USA). In the UK there is a low conviction rate.
This is absolutely appalling. Why in the world would anyone want to hurt cats like me?