We have all seen it, at least once. Our gorgeous pet cat shows up at our doorstep, holding a dead animal in its mouth. While certainly nothing to be worried about, it does show us our cute pets in a new light. However, it is to be expected from animals, and no one should be worried if or when it happens.
Still, it is hard not to wonder how many animals on average do house cats actually kill. The answer to that question may astound you. According to a relatively recent study, cats in the United States kill billions of birds, mice, and other small animals every year.
House And Feral Cats
The exact number is not easy to determine, but the research results state that cats kill anywhere between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds every year. The number of other animals is even bigger! When it comes to small mammals like mice and chipmunks, cats kill between 6.9 billion and 20.7 billion of those tiny rodents yearly. It is believed that the number of birds killed by cats accounts for around 15 percent of the entire bird population in the U.S. Not a small number by any margin.
However, these numbers include feral cats as well as house cats, so the number of animals killed by house cats should not be that big, right? Well, it depends on what you consider big. House cats still account for a large chunk of those dead animals. According to research, a house cat kills up to 18 birds per year and up to 21 small rodents annually.
The feral cat numbers are more extensive, up to 46 birds get killed per year by a single feral cat and up to 338 small creatures. When we compare these numbers, we can see that feral cats kill noticeably more animals, especially mammals; however, that is to be expected. House cats get plenty of food at home, so you would not expect them to look for food in the wild at all.
Cats As Ecological Calamities
This research was limited to cats in the United States; however, these numbers could be even larger in other countries. There are even certain environmentalists that tried to call for a “ban” on cats, demanding that cat owners neuter their furry pets. They also requested that all cats be registered because of the damage they can do to the wildlife by killing other animals.
Most notably, a campaign like this was organized in New Zealand. The United States never saw any attempts at such drastic measures. However, a conversation intervention was advised, since the impact on the environment is noticeable and should be dealt with.
For instance, it is believed that cats in Australia had a significant impact on the decline and extinction of certain animal species. Most notably, several species of ground-nesting birds and small mammals have had their numbers severely reduced by cats. There were cases where certain threatened species were reintroduced into nature, and cats have reportedly hunted and killed these animals. A large number of environmentalists claim that feral cats are an ecological calamity in Australia since they can be found in most ecosystems.
How many animals do house cats kill?
Cats kill almost 4 billion birds and 20 billion small rodents every year in the U.S.
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