Cats Kill Billions of Birds a Year
And even more mammals: study
By Liam Carnahan, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2013 8:56 AM CST
Cats aren't all about cuddling.   (©)

(Newser) – Forget the adorable YouTube videos—cats are cold-blooded killers, or so says a new study that attempted to quantify the toll felines take on birds and other wildlife. NPR has the numbers: Of the estimated 84 million pet cats owned by Americans, researchers determined as many as 47 million are outdoor hunters, and then added feral cats (another 30 million to 80 million) to the mix. They then pulled data from previous studies and came up with a big annual number: Cats are responsible for the deaths of 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion birds and "upward of about 15 billion" mammals (think mice and rabbits) per year. That crushes previous estimates, which put bird deaths at 500 million or so.

Researchers say domestic cats are the "single greatest source" of human-related bird deaths, surpassing collisions with wind turbines or windows, reports USA Today. To safeguard hundreds of threatened bird species, the study's authors are calling for "scientifically sound" policies to reduce cat populations, and argue that the effort to neuter and spay feral cats isn't cutting the mustard. Cat lovers, however, maintain felines are simply being made the scapegoat for bird deaths. (Meanwhile, in New Zealand, one man is on a quest to eradicate pet cats altogether.)

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Cats Kill Billions of Birds a Year is...
27%
11%
27%
14%
3%
17%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 125 comments
iq145
Sep 19, 2013 9:27 PM CDT
http://www.catsrcool.org/
cracked_grill
Apr 26, 2013 12:45 PM CDT
I say get more cats. They are the best.
iq145
Feb 8, 2013 10:16 PM CST
Such destructive beasts! Destroy these horrible monsters! It's like they said... They're blood-thirsty natural-born killers... especially THIS one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs3HBZC-AY8 Oh my.