A recent article in LIVING BIRD Magazine reported that cats kill more than 2.4 billion birds each year in the United States. Their numbers came from the book, CAT WARS, by Peter Marra and Chris Santella.
use cats are fascinating animals that are loved by 600 million people worldwide who keep one or more as pets. They’ve been part of the human experience since at least the dawn of agriculture. Descended from a species that remains wild in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and other Middle Eastern countries, cats were informally domesticated as early as 10,000 years ago. Probably the earliest semi tame cats were wild individuals who lived near cultivated fields and hunted mice and other pests. At some point people began taking them into their homes as pets.
House cats followed humans as they spread around the globe and today are common wherever people live. Unlike many domestic animals that long ago lost their ability to survive in the wild, cats often go wild. These “feral” animals have a high reproductive rate and can create a large wild population in a relatively short time. Often these colonies of feral cats prey on animals that have no defense against them.
Cats never lost their ability to hunt and continue to catch animals, especially mice and other small mammals. Unfortunately they are also effective bird predators. Cats kill more birds than collisions with buildings, power lines, and wind turbines combined. They pose a serious threat to some bird populations.
There is a simple way that cat lovers can enjoy their pet while reducing the impact of these fascinating animals on birds…….keep them indoors.
For more information:
Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer. Princeton University Press.
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