Cat News Roundup: Smithsonian USFAWS Study on Cats Killing Wildlife

Cats have been blamed for killing birds and wildlife at greater rates than ever before. Read the original study and hear reactions here.

By Anastasia Thrift | Posted: February 8, 2013, 12 p.m., EST

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Tabby Cat Stalking
How much are cats to blame for bird deaths? Listen to the debate and determine for yourself here.
Recent reports in The New York Times and other news outlets about how cats kill birds and small mammals at a rate higher than previously thought are making cat owners wonder what the truth is. Does the study by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Division of Migratory Birds, published Jan. 29 in the journal "Nature Communications," prove that cats can be considered the biggest threat to U.S. wildlife populations?

Cats Blamed for More Bird Deaths Than Ever Before
Our news team has covered the original story. Read on to see the initial reports.

Cat Advocates Respond to Claims of Cats as Killers

The story of cats as killers generated a strong response from cat supporters.

Feral Cat Advocates Push Back Against Predatory Cat Study
Feral cat group Alley Cat Allies found the study so defamatory that it created a petition to stop the Smithsonian from funding further studies into the subject.

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Cat News Roundup: Smithsonian USFAWS Study on Cats Killing Wildlife

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Reader Comments

M    Lake City, FL

2/22/2013 11:55:24 PM

Wow- thanks for having the integrity to bring up such a controversial subject! On the one hand you've got wildlife, but on the other you've got cats in need of homes.
I guess what everyone really needs is the truth of what's going on between the 2. Thanks for the awareness article!

Victoria    Concord, NC

2/21/2013 5:15:56 PM

I don't why every one is so like "Awwwwwwww. The pour little mice and rats!".
Mice and rats carry germs....that make people sick. Cats have a good stomach for that kind of stuff so when they kill birds, rats, mice, etc. They are making one less person get sick from lice and other germs every week. I held a bird once and got sick because the lice got on my hands.
My 3 cats are the strongest killing cats ever! I like that they are making my house and family safe from mice that eat and germ up our food and counter tops. Mice poop and eat on our food. They can get in the tinniest places. One got in my freezer once. It crawled all over our food. We had to throw out everything.
Thank you.

Dennie    Atlanta, GA

2/20/2013 10:48:08 PM

It's heartbreaking. I have been TNRing a colony of about 25 cats that I feed every day. I feel terribly guilty about the ravages on wildlife and yet the thought of euthanizing the cats is heartbreaking. (I've named quite a few.) I know there aren't enough homes for these alley cats.

Cathy    Hubbard, OH

2/19/2013 5:26:24 AM

In defense of why don't they find homes for the kitties instead of tnr program? Have you seen the shelters? Their overflowing. There are not enough people out there adopting the kitties already there. Also, some feral cats, you just cannot socialize them. They are wild. I commend people like Alley Cat Allies that at least neuter/spay these cats so the colony will die down after time. Cats do kill birds, but I do not believe they are the largest cause of deaths in birds. They are just one of many.

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