I love cats but they are wildlife-slaughtering machines that should not be let outdoors. Even your cute will Fluffball who has never brought a dead bird or chipmunk into the house – she kills things, too.
I’ve made this argument several times over the years and also get lots of “not my cat!!!!” or “it’s unnatural to keep them indoors!!!” responses from people who don’t want to deal with the hassle of keeping a cat from going outside but don’t want to feel guilty about the ecological damage they’re doing.
Here’s another study, using trackers and cameras, which confirms how much damage that is:
Researchers distributed GPS tracking backpacks to pet owners in six countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. They collected data on both how far 925 pet cats roamed and how many animals they hunted down.
Pet cats kill between two and ten times more wildlife than native predators, the researchers found. The study appeared Wednesday in the journal Animal Conservation.
You can read more about it here.
Domestic cats are healthier and protected from the travails of the wild so of course they’re better predators than some beast which has to fend for itself 24/7. Keep your cat indoors.
Our cats were killed by native wildlife.
Our chickens were killed by native wildlife.
Our one remaining cat is aging gracefully indoors.
A good point – the return of bobcats and coyotes to much of NH means your outdoor cat is much more likely to become somebody’s dinner.
We have a hermit thrush in our woods. It sings sweetly every evening. Like a long and varied flute concert. I feel sorry for people who never hear this lovely song. Hermit thrushes nest on the ground. If a predator approaches, they freeze in place, counting on camouflage. There is no hope for them anywhere a cat is wandering. The saddest part is that most people now don’t know what they are missing.
Thank you for spreading the word! I am a wildlife rehabber and have seen it time and time again with all types of species. Outdoor domestic cats wreak havoc on ecosystems and are the leading cause of bird deaths year after year. Please keep your cats indoors and save our native wildlife.
> Keep your cat indoors.
Not only do domesticated cats kill numerous birds, they also kill rodents that wild predators, such as owls (which are birds, too, by the way) rely on for their food. Sometimes cats like to kill merely for the fun of the activity, and in many cases, they catch birds and play with them just enough to injure them. An injured bird (e.g., broken wing) will struggle to escape, but the cat enjoys the opportunity to continue playing with a suffering bird. Think of what the bird experiences.
I don’t care to hear people saying: “Oh, but my kitty doesn’t kill birds.” If you let your cat go outdoors, it probably does at least injure birds, if not kills them.
Cat owners should always feed their cats sufficiently to reduce their need to kill for food. When cats are hungry, they don’t go into the corner and cry about it–they go hunting, which they love to do. Also, it can help to attach a bell to your cat’s collar.