WindStar Wildlife Institute
niversity of Wisconsin
researchers found that
cats kill an estimated 19
million songbirds each year in
that state alone.
Nationwide, rural cats
probably kill over a billion
small mammals and
hundreds of millions of birds
annually. Urban and suburban
cats add to this deadly toll.
True, many of these kills are
mice, rats, and other species
considered pests, but many
are native songbirds and
mammals whose populations
are already stressed by other
factors, such as habitat
destruction and pesticide
Cats are contributing to the
endangerment of populations
of birds such as least terns,
piping plovers, and loggerhead
shrikes. In Florida, the
population of marsh rabbits in
Key West is threatened.
Although rural free-ranging
cats have greater access to
wild animals and undoubtedly
take the greatest toll, even
urban house pets take live prey
when allowed outside.
Extensive studies of the
feeding habits of free-ranging
domestic cats over 50 years
and four continents indicate
that small mammals make up
about 70% of these cats' prey,
while birds make up about 20%.
The remaining 10% is a variety
of other animals.
Observation of these cats
shows that some can kill more
than 1,000 wild animals per
year. Free-ranging cats living in
"Free-Ranging Cats"
and Pets Take Huge
Toll On Wildlife
Worldwide, cats may have been involved
in the extinction of more bird species
than any other cause,
except habitat destruction.

Free Ranging Cats:

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