Killer Cars Killing Cats

Pippa stray cat

Pippa stray cat died on the road near me.

It does not matter if you are a puma in Florida, a Geoffory’s cat in La Pampa province, Argentina or a domestic cat in London, England; cars kill them all the time. Perhaps traffic is the best example of how human population growth and consequential growth in human activity bears down on the cat, wild and domestic. Roads divide cat habitats and cars run down the cats when they cross these man-made, artificial boundaries.

Even in my life I can think of four examples of cats that I have known that have been killed on the roads. I was directly connected to two of these cats. One was particularly dear to me.

We need to remind ourselves that small wild cat species have the same problem as domestic cats. It happens all over the world.

An example, just one example, is the small wild cat called the Geoffroy’s cat. This is a spotted cat – a tabby cat – living in South America.

Geoffroy's cat Road Kills

Geoffroy’s cat Road Kills. Photographs by Juan Pereira from the Feline Conservation Federation magazine.

The plain south of La Pampa province in Argentina is crossed by a highway: National Route 152 travelling from the NE to the SW. The route does not have that much traffic but a lot of Geofroy’s cats are victims of road accidents, so says Juan Pereira in the Feline Conservation Federation magazine.

Between cities and towns are roads. This is normal and these roads kill cats. The number of vehicles in the United States has increased on average by 3.69 million each year since 1960. There are now well over 254,212,610 passenger vehicles (registered) in the US. Worldwide there are more than 1 billion vehicles. In the UK the total number of cars in ownership, scrapped and on sale is over 31 million with a yearly increase of 3%.

The world is becoming more and more hostile for the cat from cars alone. This is excluding all other forms of human activity that kills cats. The very fact that there are more people is sufficient to result in increased cat kills on all fronts.

Automobile collisions and habitat loss combined with fights over dwindling territory are the main causes of Florida panther mortality. It is all human orientated and the car plays a major role.

Nothing is going to change. There will be an ever increasing death toll of cats by predictable automobile accidents.

Note: My apologies to Marc because I know how sore the subject is but the Geoffroy’s cat connection caught my eye.

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Killer Cars Killing Cats — 9 Comments

  1. I agree and know from personal experience that cars kill a lot of cats. Despite seeming to be intelligent creatures in some respects, they are completely unable to understand road traffic. They cannot calculate the trajectory, speed, and interception point of a moving vehicle, possibly because they just do not understand what it is or that it is a danger. To me this seems very strange for an animal that must do all of those calculations to intercept it’s prey.

  2. Mumbai(Bombay) is one of the World’s most densely populated city’s and also the only city in the World having a “Wild Life National park” within its boundaries housing leopards.A National highway passes through the boundary of the “Sanjay Gandhi National ” park near Ghodbhunder road in Thane where a few leopards have become victims of vehicle hits over the years.The Park leopards have a tendency to cross the highway during the night in order to go onto to the other side of the park surrounded by forested hills.A huge housing complex has come up on either side of the Ghodbunder Highway in thane and its a miracle that leopards and humans are co-existing in close proximity with occasional cases of man-eating.Only hope that the “Sanjay Gandhi National Park” exists with its leopard population intact as the city of Mumbai gradually increases its human population and reduces the parks forest area by increasing housing on encroached National park land.The black cat shown in the photo seems areplica or a “Bombay cat”, resembling the black leopard.

  3. Yes the more we humans breed, the more we take from animals and the more animals are in danger from us. So many more cars are on the road nowadays and speeding is not only dangerous to animals but to children and old people too, who haven’t such quick reactions to danger.
    It’s sad that cats are killed on roads, I think they panic when seeing a vehicle approaching, neighbours who emigrated left their cat with a relative by a busy road, he had crossed safely one day in front of a car but then panicked and ran back into the road and was killed.
    It’s sad that many small wild creatures like hedgehogs, rabbits etc are killed too, it’s rare to go on a journey and not see this ‘roadkill’
    Animal life doesn’t seem very important to some people. There is no solution, the world has become too busy!

  4. I don’t have a driving license and although I have started the process of getting one a couple times in my life I don’t think I am destined to be a driver. It’s mainly because I can’t be bothered. But I have a terrible hate for roads and cars being a cyclist and being somebody who believes cats should be able to go outside safely – and having lost a cat to the road. I use trains and bikes – and if I am going to live in the countryside, a good 15min drive from the town I am going to probably need a moped to get me to the nearest train station or to town but I think I have almost decided to not bother with getting a driving license albeit limiting to not have a car. I don’t like the cost and I don’t like the impact it has on the environment – besides my personal experiences and hate of them. I don’t like driving for long drives to go on a weekend like so many people do. I don’t want to spend one day a week in a car and there are many more reasons I could bring up which I don’t like. I have survived until now perfectly well without one. I don’t spend a few grand a year or more on having a car and I wouldn’t want to be tied down to one. They give freedom and they take it away more. I see people planning their weekends and fussing over when to leave to avoid the traffic and how to park without getting a ticket. It’s just not for me. I’ll manage with a tiny moped if I want to live a few miles out in the fields and forest. I’ll deal with it in winter. One day I will retire to a place where there are no cars if I am lucky. My cats will be free to run around. I wouldn’t feel so bad if one died of other outdoor natural causes like a fox but from a car is just terrible – it’s the worst.

    Cats of all kinds just don’t know how to guage the speed of a car or how to cross the road safely. It’s such a huge tragedy for all wildlife to have the world entirely divided up by these roads. There is nothing to be done. People are addicted to being able to jump in the car and go where they please even if they have to pay a fortune for it. For some people they wouldn’t even consider the idea of being without one. I can’t wait for the day that it sucks so much to drive that people really suffer. This has started in england where they give commuters extra red lights. Commuters are like vermin. They want the best of both worlds and are willing to spend 2 hours a day polluting the world so they can damn well have their cake and eat it. Large scale commuting should be illegal or something. I am glad in england they slap a bunch of extra red lights in their faces to make them really suffer going to work so their lives can suck even more because they spend even longer sitting in their stupid cars. Sorry if I am being offensive but it’s just not fair of the rest of the world. For those who live in the big cities and can’t park because the vermin come in from the countryside and take the spots. The vermin should have to park out by the airport and take the damn train in in my opinion. Or get a job where they live and not take other peoples jobs from right in front of them.

    If commuting didn’t exist the world would already be a hugely different place. All I can say is I think England is cottoning on to the fact that cars won’t work in the future and they are starting to discourage it which is good.

    Another thing I notice – ordinary people turn into selfish tossers when they get behind the wheel in a bit of traffic. It brings out the worst in them. Having to hurry up and wait – which is what driving is – is incredibly bad for the human psyche anyway. I’m sure commuters get cancer from it. I suppose it all makes sense in the end. And then there’s road rage – I won’t even go there. I used to ride a bike in London and I just hated the way people drove. As a cyclist it ends up that you have to be aggressive and do lots of bad things to cut your own way because if you try to follow the rules you get squashed on the side. So drivers hate cyclists and vice versa. I wore a mask in London and it was black after a half hour bike ride. I was doing about 100k a week in London to get to work and see friends. Back then the transport was awful but now it is much much better so I just use the tube or the bus.

    If we took away commuters we’d lose half the population and 90% of the pollution. If we then took away just those who like to drive for 3 or 4 hours to spend the weekend in another second energy sucking house just because they can – we’d lose even more of the population and pollution and then the world might be a far nicer place to live. I can’t stand sitting in a car for 2 hours. It sucks my energy and I’m not even driving. The lengths people go to in order to get what they want just makes the world worse for the rest of us who stay put and remain a bit more humble in our lifestyles. My own mother and her boyfriend are driving off to one house or another ever other weekend. They pretend they don’t mind the drive but they panick about it the whole day before. When to leave, when is the rush hour, when to drive back, stop for gas where, will it be crowded, will there be traffic – just so they can spend 24 hours in some fancy house in the mountains. F-Off I say. It’s sad to see what people put themselves through to get more – so much more – a bloody house that gets lived in for about one month of the year. This is wrong but so many people do it.

  5. Thanks Michael for thinking of me. It’s going to be one month until the anniversary of Red’s death very soon. I think I am going to write a little remembrance (for POC) of him come the end of June as a way of getting through it.

      • Pippa is beautiful by the way. How sad that she died on the road. She looks like a lovely cat. Quite big for a lady cat.

        • She was cute. The owner was irresponsible – a next door neighbour – and in a weird twist of fate, she saw her cat being killed because she was behind the cat that ran over Pippa. The owner let her roam at will in a busy London area where there is lots of traffic.

  6. Pingback: A Reminder About Remote Car Starters And Cats | Pictures of Cats

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