And yes, widespread social approval is what is relevant here. Norms of the society that this kid was raised in indicate a distinct difference between a pet and livestock for food consumption. That has everything to do with the issue here. His detachment from those norms suggests a severe lack of empathy with his fellow man, even if it doesn't have an ethical bearing on whether the cat was worthy of his empathy or not.
And before you start caterwauling about a fallacy you seem to be very confused about, let me remind you from Logic 101 that the exceptions to the argumentum ad populum fallacies are those points of discussion which innately rely on numbers or acceptance by popularity. For example, democracy, free markets, and social conventions.
Now you may continue preening and adoring your own immense brain power but I, for one, am done with your posturing and pestering.