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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cats Kill Over 1 Billion Birds Each Year in U.S.

Hopefully my last cat and bird post for awhile!

Some folks don't seem willing to accept the magnitude of the cat predation problem. While it is a bit tricky to come up with solid numbers of birds and other animals killed, we can make estimates based on a growing number of studies of cat predation.

The trick is to come up with a calculation based on:

a) The numbers of cats roaming the landscape
b) The number of birds killed by the average cat

There is no agreement about either of these two figures, so the trick is to try and come up with a fairly defensible number.

Here's one quick look at it.

Number of cats
Really there are three important numbers here, the number of pet cats, the number of those cats that are allowed outside, and the number of feral or stray cats. The first figure is the easiest to come close to. The American Veterinary Medical Association provides numbers of pet cats (and other animals)

They calculate that in 2007 there were 81,721,000 pet cats in the U.S.

Now you have to determine how many of those cats are allowed to roam outside and potentially kill birds. According to the $1,195 American Pet Products Manufacturers Association survey 43% of cat owners allow their pets to roam outside (as quoted by the Cat Fanciers Association).

If we accept these numbers (and they are probably the least controversial of all the numbers here), that gives us:

35.1 million outdoor pet cats in the U.S.

Now we have to add the number of feral and stray cats. This number is a lot squishier. We need better numbers here for sure. I haven't seen a good study on this, but the numbers published by feral cat advocacy groups seem to range between 60-100 million cats. In the absence of good numbers, for now it is probably safe to presume that there are as many feral and stray cats as there are owned cats. So lets say 81 million again.

So that's 81.7 million + 35.1 million = 116.8 million outdoor cats

More realistic might be a range of 95.1 to 135.1 million (based on possible feral range). But for simplicity and for arguments sake, lets just stick with 116.8 million cats for now.

How many birds killed by cats?
Here's where it gets trickier, but here are some good options--

According to a study in Michigan by Lepczyk et al, outdoor pet cats across an urban to rural gradient killed an average of .683 birds each week during the breeding season.

IF you can extrapolate that across the full year, that would be an average of 35.5 birds killed by each cat/each year. IF you can use that figure for all outdoor cats, you get a calculation of 4.1 billion birds killed each year.

But maybe cats don't kill birds at the same rate all year long, or at the same rate everywhere that they do in Michigan. But, for example, if we presume that cats everywhere ONLY kill birds during a 22 week breeding season (and we know THAT isn't true!), that would still be 1.76 billion birds killed per year.

Another study in San Diego (Crooks and Soule 1999 cited here) found each cat to kill an average of 15 birds per year (and 41 other small animals). IF you multiply this number by the number of outdoor cats you get 1.75 billion birds killed per year. And that's just in the U.S. and doesn't take into account our migratory birds killed by cats in Canada or Latin America.

You can play this game all day, based on numbers from various studies. The cat advocates will try to cast doubt on these predation rates, but there are arguments to be made that real average predation rates may be higher (these are mostly studies of owned cats which may hunt less, owners may not be seeing all birds killed by their cats and consumed or left elsewhere, etc.).

So what's the number? A calculation of 1.7 billion birds based on either the San Diego study or the MI study seems reasonable. A more conservative statement might be "at least 1 billion birds a year and quite probably higher". That's what I generally say. That would still be an order of magnitude higher than many people will want to accept. But it seems to be a conservative calculation. You can read what the cat advocates think in a series of articles here

From my perspective, the cat advocate positions linked here seem to make many more unwarranted assumptions than these quick calculations based on the best available science. Cat predation of birds in the U.S. seems to be on the magnitude of a billion birds a year, rather than any lower numbers reported elsewhere.


rking8 said...

Hi-thanks for your blog-you rdea on the mark. Birders are going to have to be more political & get this on the front burner. I am forming a non-profit to deal strictly with bird predation issues-and cats are #1 on my list. I live in Brazoria county. We have one of the highest number of species for any county in North America. The American Bird Conservancy's Cat Indoors program does a good job educating kids but they have no director listed for cat indoors. There are no links for Cat Indoors! readily visible on any site for any of their policy board members adn for very other sites. I will save the link to your site and send you a link to view my site when I get set up. I am hoping birders and the groups they have formed will support my efforts. We need transparency in our animal control laws, madatory breeding licenses, trap neuter and release programs should be required to be licensed,bonded, and have mandatory education requirements for all handlers. Some 10 million birds a day are estimated to be killed by free roaming feral and domestic cats. 60% of all citizens have companion animals, 60% have cats, 60% have multiple cats, 2 out of 3 let their cats run loose,and their are just as many ferals as owned. We have something like a 180 million cats in the US. The fact that cat owners are are allowed to let cats run loose in every city in America that many localities will not pick up a stray cats makes for a recipe for future calamity. We need trap neuter asnd elease to a sanctuary for feral cat ranchers. trap neuter and re-abandon is too dynamic a process to be effective. Concerned citizens need to photograph the cats on their property and sue the owners who refuse to keep their pets on their own property in small claims. Don't ask for much-the 1st time. Cats are going to be a huge problem in ten years. Thanks for taking the time to read this-Ron King Founder of the Texas Bird Conservancy.

Eric said...

Hmm, pretty interesting read. I always knew cats were bad, I never knew how big the problem was though.

Anonymous said...

American Bird Conservancy indeed has a link for the Cats Indoors! program at

ABC does not currently have a staff position devoted solely to this program.

Bird Advocate said...

Aha! I finally found your original post of this. Thank you, Birdchaser. I've found your statements and statistics about the dangers to our birds quoted a number of places. I'm raising a glass to you for your activism.

Anonymous said...

Are you serious? Sue someone for not keeping their cat on their property? I'd like to know if any of you advocating for the poor defenseless birds, are vegatarians? It's nature. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said that it is nature for cats to kill birds and that birders should "deal with it". Anonymous is misinformed. Cats are not native to N. America and birds here have no natural defenses to them. Cats are have an upper hand that nature did not give to them. Any animal - cat, dog, or human - left to fend for themselves outside without proper food or toilet facilities will eventually roam and use a neighbor's area for hunting and soilage. The idea that cats like being outside any more than any other animal is a myth that people who are too lazy to take care of a pet tell themselves to make themselves feel better about abandoning a living being to their own defenses.

Unknown said...

Like most activists, you get your facts wrong. Not wanting the truth but simply a "defensible number." To your radical thought, 1. 7 billion seems "reasonable." Your big number for bird predation came from a wildlife canyon (Crooks and Soule 1999) and I'm sure that they were looking for the truth. They got skin in the game too (just like you) so their numbers are bullshit as well. How about in a urban situation where most cats live? How about a real number?

I've had cats and I also like birds in the yard and we construct the habitat to attract them knowing that the average bird is far smarter at staying alive than a domestic cat at killing them. With the two cats I have owned (both are now deceased), I can count on one hand the number of bird kills and have fingers left over. We are talking over 20 years of cat ownership. More birds have died hitting our windows than cat kills. I've caught more rats in my woodshed than my last cat although he may have bested me on mice. He caught maybe five or six in fifteen years.

Like I said, you folks have skin in the game so any fantastic number is good for you as long as it is "defensible".

Truth be damned.

Unknown said...

Looks like we have another bird problem far worse than cats.

Let me quote: "The consultants’ report for PPM Energy and Horizon Energy identified 123 birds, mostly night migrants, and 326 bats found dead over the course of five months last year beneath 50 wind turbines on the plateau between Lake Ontario and the western Adirondacks."

May I suggest that you contact Mr. Obama, Congress and the many advocates of wind power that these amounts of bird and bat kills are completely untenable. The bat kills are particularly bad as they are under habitat stress.

Ed Whisler said...

The concern over feral and roaming domestic cats is nothing new. In 1916 ornithologist E.H. Forbush wrote a report called he "Domestic Cat" for the Economic Biology Bulletin No. 2. And in C.H. Wilson and F.K. Vreeland wrote a paper in 1917 titled "License the Domestic Cat." in the American Game Prot. Assoc. Bul Vol 6, No. 1.

Anonymous said...

The Catskill Mountains, an area in New York State northwest of New York City and southwest of Albany,Costa rica toursare a mature dissected plateau, an uplifted region that was subsequently eroded into sharp relief.

Kerry said...

Thanks for your completely unscientific and biased study! It is convenient to blame cats, isn't it. The data you provide is not only biased, it is not provable. It is much less that a hypothesis. It is pure conjecture. You extrapolated data to fit your very needs. Any reputable scientist would see though this. See Steve's post for more information.

There truly is no way to calculate how many birds are killed by feral or even tame cats. It also would be wrong to say that cats don't kill ANY birds. Silly. But I doubt that they kill nearly the number stated. Still, feral cats WOULD be MUCH better off in a controlled ranch or shelter.

I am glad you are not advocating killing the cat colony because these animals have been placed here by HUMANS who continue to obliterate entire foresting areas killing BILLIONS of creatures including tens of millions of birds. Yes, there is proof of that.

The solution to 99% of the problems in the world is Zero-Growth-Population. Almost 100% of our problems are man caused. Mother nature can't even keep up.

I do see some of your points. But the cat is just a product of humans. STOP blaming other species and look into the mirror.

birdchaser said...

Kerry, this isn't a study. This is how the estimates for the continental scale of cat-caused bird deaths is calculated.

But each of the figures used in the calculation is based on surveys and studies.

If you want to question the original surveys or studies, that's fine. If you want to question how these figures are then used to estimate the total number of birds killed, that's fine too. Feel free.

While we don't know everything about this, what we do know is that it is a huge problem.

Bringing up the OTHER problems birds face doesn't diminish the problems posed by cats. It actually makes it even more important that we deal with the cat issue--since birds already are facing so many other risks.

Kerry said...

We are supporting a "closed colony community" for cats as a solution. I am just so tired of humans passing blame to another animal. It is the ultimate scapegoat. I will never believe, for example, that 1 BILLION birds were killed by cats alone. There is no forensic evidence to support this claim.

Our house cats are indoors 99% of the time and we installed bells and they have only killed maybe two to four birds a year and all were pigeons and doves, very common in this area.
I do NOT like them killing birds because it isn't good for the cat, let alone the bird. A bird is the last choice of food for a cat because of the difficulty in actually catching one. Their diet if wild will be rodents and smaller critters, even bugs sometimes. Birds are a difficult and energy expensive manner for them.

I do remain committed to solving both issues with cats and birds. If we stop expansion of HUMANS, I can guarantee we won't have a feral cat issue in the bird-lands.

This is also true for just about every creature out there EXCEPT humans. One day mother nature will take action but we must do what we can to stop human propagation and limit expansion into wetlands and forests that contain a large number of birds and other wildlife. ZPG is the first way to do this.

birdchaser said...

Kerry, I agree that it isn't useful to just blame cats and not do anything else--either to address the cat problem or the other human-caused problems. And the cat problem really is a human-caused problem.

Thanks for what you are doing and your commitment to both birds and cats.

Tell me more about your closed colony community.

Kerry said...

Well, my support is currently being used in some communities. My DW and I are just exploring this issue, especially in the hundreds of trailer park places here. Man, it is sad. I don't think these cats are out killing huge numbers of birds because there is no evidence. I suppose they do get some, but their plight is much worse. As soon as we come up with something, we will post it. We do support a local woman and her closed colony of 15 cats, all feral. It is just our starfish we throw back.

Mary said...

My mother had an indoor cat, a well-fed one who enjoyed napping on the living room furniture. He was allowed in the back yard a few times a week, unsupervised. On the average, the fat cat would bring a dead bird to the back door every week. That's much more than 15/year. It was his sport / instinct. Finally fed up with "door prizes", Mom stopped allowing her fat cat outdoors. Took a few years for her to get there...

Good post.

Jim said...

I started hunting back in the 1950's
when I was 12. Older hunters told me if I came across a cat in the woods to shoot it. Cats will kill baby rabbits, quail, and other small animals just for the fun of it. A cat, pet or otherwise,does not belong in the woods.

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battycatty said...

Window-strikes, NOT predation (by both domestic and wild species), are BY FAR the #1 cause of bird mortality around the world. Some (respected) authors estimate the number of birds killed by buildings/windows to be 10x the number from cat kills. Ten times! Ultimately, though, habitat loss (indirectly) leads to far more bird deaths than that.

There are lots of studies documenting this but, seeing as David Sibley is so well-known & respected by birders, I thought his summary might be particularly persuasive:
===> Or better yet: and

And yes, I do have cats. But I'm also a conservation ecologist with lots of experience in ornithology and a deep love of birds & recreational birding.
So I figure it all balances out ;)

battycatty said...

Oh ya, and...
==> humans aren't native to North America either (evolutionarily speaking, of course)
==> it's spelled "vegEtarian"
==> ALL hunters kill and most do it with full bellies & plenty of access to other foods
==> I may agree with Ron's points about animal control laws & education but TEN MILLION BIRDS KILLED PER DAY?? wtf?
==> the SINGLE most effective way to prevent cat-related bird deaths is responsible pet ownership... specifically spaying & neutering ALL pets including cats, dogs, indoor, outdoor, male, female, purebred or mutt
==> Cats aren't "bad". Cats are cats, just like dogs are dogs and birds are birds. Just because their instinctual (& learned) behaviours don't fit YOUR values doesn't make them any more "bad" than it makes you "good"
==> your dinner (the chemicals, land, water use, packaging, & transport needed to make it) probably led to the death of more birds than could be killed by all the cats in my neighbourhood.... ever.
==> you're right, your treatise is NOT a study but "this" is also not how statistical values are calculated nor how scientific extrapolations are made. Your logic sucks and your conclusions aren't valid. I hope your blog readers don't take your 'math' as fact without doing a little digging themselves...

Sandi said...

We are not native to North America either. Humans are the single most serious threat to bird populations 10's of millions of birds are killed by human habitat alone, take responsibility and look at the big picture and don't put cats in a bad light. The SINGLE most effective way to prevent cat-related bird deaths is responsible pet ownership... specifically spaying & neutering ALL pets. Fight for responsible pet ownership and to stop sales of unaltered animals from pet stores or stop the sales of animals from pet stores completely which would be much more humane. Shelters that adopt out unspayed or unneuterd animals, etc. If there is a bird problem it is humans fault, not the fault of an innocent animal. It really irks me that you have used cats as a scapegoat for human ignorance.

birdchaser said...

Sorry folks. I like cats too. But they kill a lot of birds. So you can blame the cats, or you can blame the people who let them out to kill birds. But based on estimates from the best science available (with repeated studies) windows and cats each kill about a billion birds a year in the U.S.

Cats kill birds. Lots of them.

So we can't let cats roam free. End of story. You can love cats. Hate cats. It doesn't matter what you think or feel about them. If we want to protect birds (and other native wildlife--cats are even bigger killers of small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians) we have to get them out of the environment.

Keep cats indoors. And eliminate feral cat colonies.

Anonymous said...

Having been a cat owner (3 over the past 24 years), I can attest to the bird-killing behaviour. My cats were all outdoor/indoor cats and had free range of our urban yard and our neighbour's yards. They all killed birds and mice. Especially worrisome was fledging time for robins and chickadees-we kept the cats indoors then. Also spring and fall migration times were high-kill times. The boreal songbirds had no familiarity with house cats and were easy prey.
Our cats are all gone. Even with cats, we always had birds nesting in our spruces, until the grey squirrels moved in! Zero fledglings.
I live-trapped 5 squirrels in 3 weeks and relocated them to an island in the river. Like cats, the squirrels are non-native to Calgary and are devastating to eggs and young birds in the nest.
I have seen a black adult squirrel climb a cottonwood to access a starling nest inside a cavity. It pulled a new hatchling out of the nest, crawled down to a fence top, and proceeded to eat the nestling alive. At least cats have some redeeming qualities.

Anonymous said...

This is all very interesting. Although the banter over numbers, habitat loss, collisions with plate glass or wind turbines seems to be (at least from my vantage point) moot.
I think we can all agree that large numbers of cats kill large numbers of critters (birds included).
As an individual I can't really do anything about plate glass skyscrapers or habitat loss, I can try to educate friends and neighbors about this one particular subject.
I am not going to quote statistics as no matter which studies you choose to use someone will shoot it down.
So lets just look at this from a Rancher's mentality and I think the simplest thing is to repeat that if you have Millions of Cats you are no doubt going to have multi-millions of predations.
I find it interesting also that Cats are the only "Domestic" animal we allow to leave biological infectious waste anywhere they "GO" in our communities.
The days of "Free Ranging" ended near the beginning of the 20th Century for all domestic animals (except Cats) so that we would not have Horses, Cattle and Pigs leaving their special prizes all over our streets and lawns.
It's time to be responseable (and educated) pet owners and accept the fact that free roaming Cats is just a bad idea all around.
And by the way on Zero Population Growth (which will never be achieved without massive plagues)....I only have one child.

Breathing said...

Seriously, without cats and windows the planet would be covered in bird poop. It's practically that way already. I mean, I like birds, but they only do four things--eat, poop, make noise and have sex. They aren't exactly disappearing either. Plus, they are lazy. They'd much rather have sex than eat. If I had to depend on the red tail hawks to keep the pigeon population down at my place, I'd be buried. So I appreciate it when I see an enterprising feline coming down from a tree with a flying rat in its face. You people should leave the world alone and work on your own personal mentation, which is a lot more dangerous than anything an animal does.

Hazel said...

Just reading "Birdchaser's comment. I think answers to the problem of keeping songbird populations healthy have to be realistic first and foremost. Realistically speaking there is never going to be legal mass elimination of all feral cat colonies. Its not going to happen.Trap Neuter Release DOES have statistically valid studies done on it and has shown to hugely impact the growth of these colonies. That is the best available option to buy into as, as much as you might wish and hope, feral cat colonies are always going to exist.

birdchaser said...

Sorry Hazel, but your assertion just isn't true. Millions of dollars spent by Alley Cat Allies buys good press for feral cats, but the studies do not support claims that TNR limits size of feral colonies, in fact feral car populations often increase when feral cats arr fed and otherwise supported. Feral cat feeding and care is a hobby that is being promoted to the detriment of native wildlife.

Hazel said...

There definitely are conflicting view points and conflicting studies, although I must say I can find more scholarly publications which support TNR. It seems that the pro bird/rabbit/rodent sites promote the anti TNR where the pro cat sites promote the pro studies. The City of Los Angeles has just commissioned a study to investigate the effectiveness of should be interesting to see what conclusions they come to.
It saddens me that more pet owners, especially cat owners do not neuter their animals. There are subsidies available just about everywhere so It rarely costs more that $25.Also neutered animals are much less likely to display predatory (bird killing) behaviors. It seems to me that would be a good area to push legislation that way when people want to "dump" their pet cat at least it would not be able to reproduce.

Hazel said...

I had not been to the "Ally Cat Allies" site prior to you mentioning it, but if you do want to independently research scholarly articles on TNR there are certainly more of them that support TNR than claim it does not impact. I have found Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab Utah to be pretty reliable as they are bird as well as cat advocates. I try to keep an open mind on these kind of thing because when you cloud your opinion by preconceived ideas it does not benefit anyone, least of all the song birds. I challenge you to come at this from another angle. Pretend you are researching TNR to support the claim that it is beneficial, if you can do that. Best Friends has commissioned many statistically correct scientifically unbiased studies and you may want to just check them out, as I say they are very pro bird also.

Hazel said...

Being a stastician I have read now all the major studies on Trap Neuter Release (TNR), wondering why different studies came to such differing conclusions. I can tell you for a fact that TNR does work. Some "studies" out there being quoted by folks with an anti TNR agenda are pretty laughable and incredibly shortsighted in their extrapolation of data.
Here is where they fall short. A female cat can have up to 3 litters per year, each with up to 8 kittens . The low average is 4 kittens per year the high 24. Say you have a colony of 100 feral cats 50% of them female. That would mean an increase in population size of 200 to 6000 per year. Presuming 50% of those born are female and a cat can get pregnant at 6 months..well you get the idea, the colony growth would be exponential. Volunteers trap and neuter cats in the colony but obviously cannot trap and neuter all at once so during the studies there is inevitably going to be some growth in the colony. There is going to continue to be some growth in the colony until the colony is fully TNR'd and the older members of the colony start dying off.
What several (the ones quoted by anti TNR folks) studies fail to do is factor in the projected colony growth without the TNR measures. Instead they observe, and quite correctly, that the colonies have "grown" while the TNR was taking place. What they fail to mention is that the growth was < 2% of the projected colony growth after 5 years. So what they are telling you is that the colony has grown. What they are not telling you is that 1. The colony would have had 8,000 more cats in it if it was not for TNR and 2. That in 8 years (when the full effects of TNR on the colony will be felt) the colony population will start to decline as birth rate will no longer be higher than death rate. No study extrapolated out that far..instead they just present the misleading statistics of "colony growth". Better to have a colony grow by 10 than 10 thousand or greater. The sad part is that people are running with this flawed data and saying "TNR does not work" when TNR is the best bet for songbirds as it really will have a large impact on the feral cat population given a chance. I challenge anyone who does not believe this to actually check the studies and compare what normal growth would have been without TNR to what it was with TNR.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I really don't see what you think can be done about the "cat problem". It is not natural or fair to keep pet cats indoors 24/7, they are hunters and natural wanderers that get destructive and depressed if left inside too long. I make a conscious effort to keep my cat from mauling small creatures such as birds and voles but it's ridiculous to think the prey drive can be suppressed entirely. Apart from culling or imprisoning a vast part of the cat population, nothing can be done. It is nature.

birdchaser said...

First off it isn't strictly Nature. Check out the latest Washington Post Op Ed by a Smithsonian biologist Peter Marra. Cats are present in numbers that are UNNATURAL in the environment. Nowhere on earth do you have a predator like this in these quantities.

Hazel said...

Hence the need for TNR

birdchaser said...

Uh, sorry Hazel, read the Op Ed. TNR will not solve the problem.

Alana loves all animals said...

Hey, I have an idea! Let's blame the decline of bees on cats too! It makes about as much sense... It's not our pollution, insecticides, pesticides, takeover of habitat ... it's those goddamned cats, right??

Hazel said...

Birdchaser. Expand your mind a little and read other studies on TNR. Just saying TNR does not work and then referring me to data which I already have explained is seriously flawed is not the answer. TNR does work. It just takes a few years for its effects to sometimes show. I suggest that if you really feel that cats are a problem for birds then come up with a viable solution or assist with those that are already in operation. There is going to be no "leash law" or mass extermination of cats. So are you a part of the problem or part of the solution? I don't see you doing anything worthwhile to defend your position.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking of opening up a bird watching sanctuary at my West Virginia farm of 98 acres. I think it would be a good experience for bird lovers to see with their own eyes the amazing variety and sheer numbers of birds that live here along with my several dozen free roaming outdoor cats. I have lived here for 14 years and I have always had literally dozens of cats that live here on the farm. There is room for both here on this farm and I'd just love to see the cat haters on this blog confronted with a real life fact that habitat destruction NOT cats are the cause of declining bird populations.

birdchaser said...

There aren't any cat haters on this blog, but there are some folks who can't see that cats AND habitat destruction are both problems. In fact, the more habitat is destroyed, the more cats become a problem since the birds are already having a tough time trying to survive in a world with fewer opportunities and new dangers.

Hazel said...

Birdchaser you sound like a broken record. You have made your mind up and that's it for you. You say this blog is not for cat haters but it does seem to promote extermination of feral cats which is implied. I notice you are quick to respond to anyone who is against your position but do not respond to the guy who posts that he shoots cats.You present completely flawed data as fact and when someone challenges you on those "facts" you basically don't have a leg to stand on. You have lost all credibility with me.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, and San Diego--where this study did work--has winter, too, I suppose. Migratory birds are only passing through and/or breeding in our Northern climes, excepting gulls, crows, and chickadees which stay all winter.

Made-up numbers, as usual, with assumptions that may or may not be true.

Why aren't you bird people talking about pesticides and other industrial chemicals, which kill many more birds than any number of cats? Easier to blame cats, I suppose, than take on the chemical corporations.

It's only the Felix Domesticus cat that isn't native to this country; bobcats and lynx cats are extremely effective predators on many small wildlife, including birds - and they're native.

Europe got tired of so many stray cats back in the Middle Ages, so they trapped and killed thousands.

Then came the Black Plague from rat fleas. It's here, too (in Texas and Southwest), but outdoor cats keep rats in check, as I, a farmer, can testify. Without cats, we'd be overrun with mice and rats, believe me.

Cats prefer to catch and eat mice - no feathers - but if a bird gets careless, well, that's Nature. Most birds know full well that a cat is around.

Pay more attention to birds' actions and voices when a cat is in the area. They do know.

birdchaser said...

We are talking about pesticides and other problems, but cats kill way more birds than those other problems.

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تحميل أغاني said...

I have seen this in national geographic before , it says the more birds/other animals are killed , the more of them will be born later .. its the circle of life :)

Anonymous said...

Goodness me the way people contest the number of kills, and poster Kerry touting humans as the problem - not cats, off course it's Humans that create the problem, so what is your point of going on about it... Diversion to & for your cause?
I personally think feral cats should be captured and put to sleep as they are a detriment to birds especially ground feeders ... thus the issue is not how they came to be, but what will we do about it, sterilizing them is not the answer as they continue to wreck havoc on Birds.

Gunterl Lavinia said...

Really?! Are you sure does statistics where good?!

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Wizims said...

stupid catss thats why I also hate them

Anonymous said...

People saying "TNR" works are deluded. Their measurement of TNR working is stabilization of cat poulation. What they don't talk about is having 100s of cats living in the bushes and wooded areas where song birds are - all day everyday with nothing to do but hunt and kill small prey, they do it for sport/instinct not hunger and they torture the prey, as anyone can see if they watch any cat domestic or feral killing.

Elimiinating feral cat populations, yes killing them. I don't understand why everyone is afraid to say that - but they are ok with denying that their cats or feral cats are killing animals during outdoor time, feral cats are not natural, there is nothing natural about 10s/100s of millions of cats in North America. House cats indoors, feral cats caught and killed, that should be the policy of everyone who actually cares about natural ecosystems in the US.

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@Kerry. Your notion that halting human expansion will stop feral cat expansion is absolutely ludicrous and supported by nothing. Australia is one of the most sparsely populated pieces of land on the globe. Australia also has one of the worst feral cat problems in human history. Once feral cats get a hold they need no human interaction to prosper and spread.

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Anonymous said...

Interesting post. I live in a city that had a feral cat population living in a city park that was cared for by humane people who practiced trap/neuter-spay/release. I say had, past tense, because very recently someone, or more likely some people on the birder side of the fence, wiped them out. They are all gone. We have reason to believe (the city is still investigating) that they were killed, not transported to another location or located to the local shelters.

What do those of you devoted to the protection of animal life have to say about that?

BTW, I love birds too and have dual feeders in my backyard. I live in a neighborhood with LOTS of strays, outdoor domestics and feral cats. I have yet to witness any influx of these insidious predators invading my yard to decimate the MANY birds that feed on my property. Seems to me that would be the natural course of events according to those citing the so-called "data" in support of the notion of cats being attracted to areas with lots of birds and killing large numbers of them.

Obviously this is an anecdotal observation, but it's just as valid to me as some of the conjecture and spotty scientific evidence cited in this blog post.

Anonymous said...

Human activities, resulting in diminishing habitat, glass windowed sky scrapers, airborne pollutants, cars and trucks, rats, and pesticides all singly outnumber cats as avian killers. By your estimates, my 2 outdoor cats would be puking up birds and contracting parasites weekly. They're lucky to catch a bird once a year at best in treed zones, or at most 4-6 a year in a developed urban setting. Owners couldn't possibly keep up with the illness and mess if what you say were true.

Cull the cats and you get the Black plague. Cull the cats and rats get the birds or their eggs. and then fail to grow in numbers. What nonsense. You're so painfully biased.

I love dogs, but the domestic dog bites 5 million North Americans a year. No cries to cull them 'cause they appeal to your egos. I don't believe in culling any animal, but the one who kills the most birds and all other wildlife is the human. So, witch hunters, you're targeting the wrong species, and education will serve you better.

Anonymous said...

Out for my morning walk and just saw a cat kill a bird. It was upsetting as all the other birds seemed upset. I then googled the issue and came across your website.

I have no idea if these work, but apparently there is a Cat Bib that prevents cats from getting birds and other mammals. It looks pretty silly on the cat from the site but if it works who cares?

I am happy to say I keep my cats indoors but I might be one and offer it to my neighbour.

Anonymous said...

I live in pa. I have cats, indoor cats.. The car next door is ruining my life. I built a frog pond and attracted beautiful northern leopard frogs. The had babies and last year 21 went down to winter over and 26 came up this spring, several were babies from the year before that matured over winter. There is one very sad one left. the cat next door despite despite fences and baracades and my best efforts, killed them all along with the bunnies and a brood of finches. I went to the owner and he refuses to keep taz in he is an outdoor cat. The police will do nothing. HELP

The Paralegal said...

Also, this cat don't even eat the poor frogs and birds and bunnies it kills several a day thousands a year no doubt, he just tears them apart and leaves th blood and guts behind. Sorry, My most beloved cat Mr. Smoke dies last year, he was 24, and as far as I know, never killed a things because he was AN INDOOR CAT and lived a long happy life.

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Anonymous said...

Why don't any of you pushing for human depopulation ever kill yourselves?!?! Lead by example!

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Aha! I finally found your original post of this. Thank you, Birdchaser. I've found your statements and statistics about the dangers to our birds quoted a number of places. I'm raising a glass to you for your activism.

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Are you serious? Sue someone for not keeping their cat on their property? I'd like to know if any of you advocating for the poor defenseless birds, are vegatarians? It's nature. Deal with it.

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damn, now I'm sure cats are evil

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Anonymous said...

Tell that to the people who dumped it there

Anonymous said...

But you can do something about windows. It’s not just skyscraper windows- it’s ALL windows. There are decals you can buy that make the birds aware that there is a window there. They are inexpensive and can barely be seen by humans. You can also do something about the cat problem by supporting your local TNR volunteers who are most often doing all the TNR work for free and at their own expense. You can also take a photo of the license plate if anyone you see dump or abandon a cat as that is a crime and also the cause of this problem in the first place ( humans). There is never going to be any sanctioned mass killing of cats in this country so support your local TNR folks. They work their asses off and usually spend most of their money and time doing this.

Anonymous said...

Sorry not Hazel but “ op eds” are exactly that. Someone’s OPINION. She gave you plenty of well done studies and you respond with an op-ed? Please. You are part of the problem.

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