Cats and Birds

A recent study by Environment Canada published in Avian Conservation and Ecology estimated that human activities accounted for about 270 million bird deaths in a year. Cat predation accounted for about 75% of the total bird deaths – just over 200 million. At the same time, some bird species in Canada have declined by up to 90%.

 

Preventing cats from roaming, day and night, could lower that number of bird deaths and help save some species.

 

Keeping cats from roaming– keeping them in the house or in a kennel, just like dogs, could save more than just the birds. Preventing cats from roaming, particularly at night could prevent the deaths of the cats by predation. Food habits studies of coyotes show clearly that coyotes prefer cat two to one over any other food. Food habits studies of fishers show that cats seldom appear in their diet. It’s coyotes that get them – and cars.

 

Cat owners commonly argue that it’s natural for cats to catch birds and therefore it’s fine to let them roam. Not so. The huge numbers of cats brought into nature by humans is extremely unnatural. Domestic cats are too numerous and are supported by our affection so even if they are short of prey, we take them in and feed and cuddle them. If you believe hunting by cats is normal, leave them outside all the time and don’t feed them and let the coyotes do the regulation. Otherwise, don’t let them roam and become the cause of loss of bird species.

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