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Is your cat a killer?

Tuesday, 5th February 2013

Every cat owner has at some point received a ‘present’ of a freshly killed mouse from their feline friend, but a new report has shed light on the true extent of cats’ killer instincts, raising concerns over their impact on wildlife and the steps that owners can take to prevent this.

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service carried out a study into the predatory instincts of domestic cats, revealing that they are responsible for the deaths of up to 3.7 billion birds and 20.7 billion mammals every year.

Dr Pete Marra from the SCBI commented that cats are “the top threat to US wildlife”, and is urging owners to do more to prevent their pets from killing other animals, such as fitting a bell onto their collar in order limit their ability to silently stalk their prey.

Mammals such as mice, shrews, voles, rabbits and squirrels are among cats’ top targets, although owners should try and make sure their pet does not eat any of these animals, instead keeping them well fed on a diet of high quality pet food.