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The Truth About Cats and Birds: Should Humans Be the Only Invasive Species Allowed to Kill Birds?


Offbeat  (tags: environment, animals, cats, wildlife, killing, birds )

Cher
- 834 days ago - greenerideal.com
Cats can no longer hide behind their sweet meows and irresistible eyes-half-closed purring stares. A new study proves deceitful felines are not the peace-loving vegetarians they would like us to believe.



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Comments

Allan Yorkowitz (447)
Friday August 10, 2012, 10:31 am
There is nothing shocking about this article. Cats, like their lion cousins are hunters. This article although, wandering brings up the point that the more feral cats there are, the more birds will be killed.
People who have indoor/outdoor cats are irresponsible. When your cat if outside all day, you have no idea what its been involved in. Did it kill a bird, a mouse? Then you would let it back into your home? What if you have other cats who do not go out? You are subjecting them to germs, ticks, and anti social behavior as a preditor.

If you own a house cat, that's where he belongs.
 

Constance F. (430)
Friday August 10, 2012, 11:16 am
Hmm, I thought the point of this article was this.

Perhaps the most destructive non-native invasive species birds – and all natives for that matter – have had to deal with are humans. We destroy the places they live, eat, drink and breed. We drive cars. We fly planes. We poison water and plants. We put up wind turbines. We capture them for the exotic bird trade. We imprison them. Hey, wait. We even… hunt them. Maybe we haven’t bred the thirst for blood out of ourselves either.

Then we publish studies extolling the “ongoing slaughter of wildlife by outdoor cats” fueling the hatred so many misguided bird supremists use to justify total lack of a compassionate approach to dealing with our homeless cat problem.
 

Carol H. (229)
Friday August 10, 2012, 1:07 pm
noted, thanks Cher
 

Sarah G. (110)
Friday August 10, 2012, 4:18 pm
I've said this before, and I'll say it again: Anyone who wants to see the predatory species responsible for the death and extinction of birds needs to take a look in the mirror.
 

Vance Daddi (65)
Friday August 10, 2012, 5:45 pm
Has anyone given any thought to the possibility that the birds are setting the cats up to take the fall in cases of bird death? After they get rid of the cats, we're next. Hitchcock was warning us.

Or...a whole bunch of money was wasted attempting to validate what we already know; predator prey (I know, a bit tautological).
 

Kit B. (276)
Friday August 10, 2012, 7:28 pm

Okay, Tautology...did ya know that kittens mew for their moms when hungry, but if they are not involved with humans they will not mew after that. It's their primary means for communication with the humans they own.

I just raised the pot!
 

Marie W. (67)
Friday August 10, 2012, 10:16 pm
Cat just do what instinct dictates- what is Man's excuse?
 

Peace Monger (185)
Saturday August 11, 2012, 2:32 am
Although cats kill birds, I dare say globally it's anything like what takes place in Malta & Cyprus each year.
Before making broad sweeping statements, perhaps knowing these kills are going on in spite of EU law & the brave souls who travel to Malta/Cyprus each year in an effort to stop the killing, the illegal exterminations still occur.
An excerpt from the following link- "Malta has one of the world's highest number of hunters per capita, who shoot and kill any bird that flies. The skies over Malta and the surrounding sea are devoid of birds. Each year, 3 million birds are shot or trapped on Malta while migrating between Africa and Europe in the spring and autumn, leading to a gradual decline of these beloved European birds that traditionally seek refuge in Malta. "/ quote
http://marathonandmore.tripod.com/ornimalta-tourism.html
Cyprus's part in this massacre -
http://10000birds.com/killing-birds-in-cyprus-fall-2011-version.htm

Therefore, I would definitely say HUMANS are responsible for more bird deaths yearly than cats.
 

Sheila D. (26)
Saturday August 11, 2012, 3:25 pm
Thanks for the article Cher. Yes, all we have to do is look in the mirror to see the worst predator of all. We are the most destructive of all the animal kingdom.
 

Ruth S. (304)
Saturday August 11, 2012, 3:32 pm
There is no excuse for killing the innocent!
 

Rich Blue (72)
Saturday August 11, 2012, 3:57 pm
Lets start with the most invasive, brutal, obnoxious, pests of all species on this planet ;) Kill ourselves.
 

Kate Kenner (205)
Saturday August 11, 2012, 3:58 pm
So people domesticated cats, did not use any population control (spaying and neutering), abandoned them, and now it is time to kill them? As always humans create a situation for animals because they want them to be a certain way, live in a different area, and when it doesn't work it is acceptable to just blame the animals. need I bring up pigeons who used to live on cliffs far from cities? Ranches are built and the wolves die so that the ranchers can make scads of money. People wanted cats and did not care for them, dogs who are now roaming the streets of many cities because they were abandoned. of people were more responsible there would not be so many cats not to mention our own population. I am not saying cats do not kill but who created the situation? Not the cats.
 

Fred Krohn (34)
Saturday August 11, 2012, 5:55 pm
Cats earn their keep by killing rats (also non native beasts outside of South Asia). I'd rather see cats outdoors than some of what they eat... Cats' contributions to mainland native predation are smaller than humans' activities and the results. I tend to think that if the stupidest birds are removed by the cats, the survivours will have enough brains to avoid becoming kitty feast and the problem will fade. The exception is in small ecologies (Hawaii, etc).
 

Shan D. (49)
Saturday August 11, 2012, 10:39 pm
"A new study proves deceitful felines are not the peace-loving vegetarians they would like us to believe." (article)

Give me a break. Cats were NEVER vegetarians. Their bodies are not designed for vegetarianism. And the cats never asked us to believe they were.

Have my cats killed birds? Yes. The birds could have flown away. Did they kill mice that got into our food supplies and contaminated it? HELL, YES. And I praised them to the skies when they did. After all, I have no wish for contaminated food or hantavirus. Did my cats keep my warm and save my life one extremely sub-zero winter night when the furnace quit working and I could have *frozen* to death? OH, YEAH! If it weren't for my cats, I wouldn't be alive today.
 

Lloyd H. (46)
Saturday August 11, 2012, 10:50 pm
The American Bird Conservancy, 2011, 500 Million birds killed by feral and pet cats, Journal of Ornithology 80% of all bird deaths are from predators, half of those are from cat either ferals or pets. So since People are responsible mainly through irresponsibility for all of the feral and pet cats in the US people are the main cause of bird deaths. Not to mention all of the nice baited killing traps people set up in their yards, something called bird feeders and bird baths and gardens designed to attract birds.
 

Lynda H. (99)
Sunday August 12, 2012, 1:41 am
I accept that my cats are predators: they do not need to hunt for food, but they are hard wired to hunt - as are humans.

Birds are generally the most vulnerable in the morning, as they search for food. By noon, they are more alert to danger. I only let my cats (1 old boy and 1 psychopath) out after 10:30 AM, and try to get them in at dusk. Note the word ‘try’…

There is a brilliant ‘CatBib’ available, which allows puss to do all the things cats love to do, but limits pouncing. Strangely it doesn’t hinder their mousing, but it curbs the birding. I’ve found it very effective, so if your cat is one of 30%, you might like to try it: http://www.catbib.com.au/
 

Julie P. (55)
Sunday August 12, 2012, 9:33 am
Ok, I spent the last 10 minutes writing a comment here and it just disappeared once I clicked "submit" ...alas!
Let me try again and apologies if it will be eventually appear twice:

Thank you for sharing this article, Cher.
I have actually felt quite irritated by the uproar caused by the recent University of Georgia study on cats (as if, up to this moment, few people suspected that cats were hunters and carnivores!) and I have been fearing the backlash against cats that the study might cause. Feral and stray cats are already suffering a lot, they do not deserve more enemies.

As the articles points out:

"Thanks for the study proving that cats are carnivores, but fueling hysteria benefits nothing, including birds. A more responsible approach to our impact on everything is needed to stop the “slaughter” of our birds, and to give cats their rightful place as well-loved companions."

It's not cats (nor other predators) causing species extinction or environmental disasters, it's our society, our way of life, our disregard for everything and everyone but ourselves. Cats, a well as birds, are just two of our victims.

By the way, it's interesting how people get very protective of birds (but only the "cute" ones, usually) but not of wild rodents, or lizards, or bugs, for instance: don't the latter also belong to the very same urban ecosystem?
 
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