HomeHuman to cat relationshipAustraliaAustralia has 1.92 million feral cats, a tiny fraction of the number in the USA

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Australia has 1.92 million feral cats, a tiny fraction of the number in the USA — 2 Comments

  1. I’ve read and thought about Australia’s supposed problem since they started beating the war drum about it (2015?). I also suspect it’s been overblown. Even with this, if the cats are scarce enough that trapping and hunting won’t get much, then maybe they aren’t such the infestation they claim. If you cast a net and don’t catch much fish, then there aren’t too many fish. I know it’s more complicated than that, as mentioned, but I think something else is afoot. I agree that the U.S. government isn’t as convinced that we have such a problem, but I’ve had neighbors complain that my cats “go after” the birds, to which I say “so what?”. They don’t catch much (I’ve watched them and found the few birds that were unlucky, maybe a dozen over a period of 19 years). And that’s anywhere from 4 to 14 of my cats at a time. I calculated the “cat hours” on that per bird kill to be so astronomical that it just doesn’t matter. In fact the birds probably benefit from the occasional chase, and lead to generations of birds that are better at avoiding the cats. I think when private groups (in this case ornithologists), contractors and government try to capitalize on something, they bend science to make their case.

    • if the cats are scarce enough that trapping and hunting won’t get much, then maybe they aren’t such the infestation they claim.

      Absolutely. This new research will curtail the cat haters calls for mass extermination.

      I am very suspicious of ‘estimated’ figures for feral cats. I am also very suspicious of estimates for birds killed by cats. These estimates are often quite inaccurate in my view based on my reading around the subject. I suspect that there are fewer feral cats in the USA than believed and their impact on birds is also less than estimated.

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