Wednesday, August 08, 2012

House cats kill more critters than thought

From USA Today courtesy of a facebook friend:

Wildlife advocates say it is a frightening level of feline foul play. Based on a U.S. house-cat population of 74 million, "cat predation is one of the reasons why one in three American birds species are in decline," says George Fenwick, president of American Bird Conservancy.

"The previous estimates were probably too conservative because they didn't include the animals that cats ate or left behind," University of Georgia researcher Kerrie Anne Loyd says.

The cats brought home just under a quarter of what they killed, ate 30% and left 49% to rot where they died.


Cats aren't just a danger to others, they're also a danger to themselves. The cats in the study were seen engaging in such risky behavior as crossing roadways (45%), eating and drinking things they found (25%), exploring storm drains (20%) and entering crawl spaces where they could become trapped (20%).

More here.

So, of course, my cats, Frankie and Sammy, who you've seen countless times with my Friday Cat Blogging posts, are utterly useless when it comes to pest control. They know how to get their food in this environment: scream at me and disrupt whatever activity in which I am engaged at the moment until I feed them. On the other hand, I don't really have any pest problems, anyway, so maybe they are good for something other than food oriented love.

But then, this study is about inside/outside cats, the felines who are only partially civilized, the kitties who keep a sort of wild man life on the down low. And they are apparently having an impact on the ecology, which is something of a drag to hear. I don't let my cats outside because, as I've said many times, the world is a death trap, which the study confirms, too, but felines love running around the outdoors. Actually, I've often felt bad about depriving them of this one thing that appears to make their lives worth living. I mean, not too bad, mind you. I don't want them to die or suffer injury when I can prevent it, but it is a cause of sometimes angst. But this news about the declining bird populations is something to ponder. I mean, really, they're saying domestic house cats might be part of the problem. Another reason to deprive them of the most joyous thing they could possibly experience.

At any rate, you should click through to watch the video, which includes footage from the cat-cams used in the study. The world really is a death trap.