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January 29, 2013

Cats Are Ruthless Killers. Should They Be Killed?

Scientific American - Posted: January 29th, 2013, 6:07pm EST
[caption id=attachment_602 align=alignnone width=599 caption=On islands, cats are the primary cause for at least 14% of bird, mammal, and reptile extinctions and the principal threat to almost 8% of critically endangered animals. Photo by Flickr user vastateparksstaff] [/caption]Every few months, the fact that domestic cats are ruthless killers hits the news. This past summer it was the Kitty Cam, memorably explained by webcomic The Oatmeal , which saw nearly one-third of cats kill 2 animals each week on average. In 2011 a study found that domestic cats were responsible for nearly half of predation on baby gray catbirds ( Dumetella carolinensis ), a shy bird common in the mid-Atlantic and named for its cat-like call . And this morning, Nature Communications published a large analysis estimating how many animals are killed by cats annually in the US: 1.4-3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals each year (1). a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=killer-cats[More]/a

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