Cats are superstars of Internet videos and in millions of Americans’ homes. A new report released Tuesday also shows they are major league killers.
All you have to do is do a search on YouTube for “cute cat videos” and you’ll see their star status. Or talk to a cat lover about how cuddly her favorite feline is.
The New York Times reports scientists have uncovered some shocking statistics that show cats are far deadlier than anyone knew before now.
A new report scaled up local research to national dimensions, and scientists form the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Fish and Wildlife Service found some astonishing information that paints cats as major killers.
Domestic cats in the United States, whether they’re fluffy pets that spend part of the day outside, or strays and ferals that always stay outside kill 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals a year.
Those numbers are two to four times higher than previously thought.
It also means kitty is one of the single greatest human-linked threats to wildlife in this country.
Peter Marra, one of the report’s authors, described the figures as shockingly high.
According to the report more birds and mammals die as a result of getting caught by cats than from automobiles, pesticides and poisons, collisions with skyscrapers and windmills and other similar causes.
The report appeared in the journal Nature Communications Tuesday.
The findings are the first serious estimate of how much wildlife America’s enormous population of free-roaming domestic cats kills each year.