Researchers: Cats murder everything, keep them inside!
A growing number of nature scientists are starting to see cats as the biggest killers on the planet, with thousands of species that become their victims.
The findings of an April 2020 research have naturalists urging cat owners to keep their pets indoors.
Scientists in Australia found that home cats are exterminating around 230 million birds, mammals, and reptiles each year.
In addition to killing native animals, cats were also hunting down around 150 million introduced animals, most of which are rodents.
“If we want native wildlife in our towns and cities – rather than introduced rodents and birds – then there are choices to be made,” Dr. Sarah Legge, head author of the paper published in the Wildlife Research paper said.
“All we need to do is keep pet cats contained.”
The experts gathered information from 66 studies of predation by domesticated cats around the world (including 24 Australian studies) in order to figure out the predation toll of pet cats in Australia, in addition to the predation pressure per unit area in residential areas.
Plus, they made a comparison of the estimates to those published for Australian feral cats.
According to the findings each feral cat kills about 576 native birds, reptiles, and mammals per year, while domesticated cats kill around 110 native animals each year – 40 reptiles, 38 birds, and 32 mammals.
The kill rate per capita of home cats is 25 percent that of ferals. All in all, this means domesticated cats were killing 82.9 million reptiles, 79.7 million birds, and 66.9 million native birds each year.
And while ferals are still a big threat to wildlife, according to Dr. Lehhe it is simpler for us to control the impacts of domesticated cats than ferals.
“Either keep them inside, or in secure pet runs outside,” she said.
A Cornell University study from 2015 found that cats kill an estimate of up to 4 billion birds and 22 billion small mammals countrywide.
Paul Anderson, president of the Cayuga Bird Club said:
“They have an instinct to kill things, even if they don’t plan on eating it. A cat can kill a half dozen animals a day, and their range is enormous,”
Senior scientific officer for companion animal at RSPCA Australia, Dr. Sarah Zito, added:
“Contrary to what some might believe, cats do not need to roam to be happy. Indoor cats can live longer lives, protected from all these dangers. And, if provided with everything they need, they can be just as happy at home.”
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