Outdoor cats kill more than 4 billion animals per year and are partly the reason that one in four bird species are in decline!
About one-third of free roaming house cats are capturing and killing wildlife. Kittycams were attached to 60 cats and recorded in all four seasons. The participating cats averaged about six hours outside every day. About 30 percent of the cats were successful in capturing and killing prey and averaged a kill every 17 hours resulting in about two killings per week.
They only brought 23 percent of their kills back home, too, which was very surprising. It meant that the initial amount of killings thought to be done by cats was less than 75 percent of the truth and counters previous thoughts on the impact they have on wildlife. The cats killed a wide variety of animals, too, including lizards, snakes, voles, chipmunks, birds, and frogs.
The information was startling to researchers and explained some things for them. Cats are actually responsible for about 500 million bird deaths each year. The information gathered also enlightened researchers that cats are partly responsible for the decline in one in four bird species. It is a pretty serious issue.
With all the information collected from the experiment, researchers made a brochure for cat owners to inform them of the problems and dangers caused by cats in hopes that owners will be proactive and try to curtail the problems.