Criticising the study which says that domestic cats kill more wildlife than other wild predators

It’s currently in the online newspapers (e.g. The Independent), namely that domestic cats kill more prey in a given area than similar-sized wild predators. This is according to research. The researchers agree that most of the predation is carried out within quite a small area around the home of their human guardian. The study indicates, the newspaper reports say, that pet cats kill 2 to 10 times more wildlife than the equivalent wild predator.

Humans are far worse than domestic cats
Humans are far worse than domestic cats for wildlife destruction. Collage: PoC. Pics: public domain in my view.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

What kind of prey?

What the report in the newspapers do not include is what kind of prey is being killed by domestic cats. It is highly likely that the vast majority of the domestic cat’s prey is mice and other rodents and also insects. Mice are considered an undesirable infestation if they are in and around human settlements and specifically apartments or houses. Therefore domestic cats provide a service under these circumstances. The journalists who report on these studies need to provide the profile of prey items killed by domestic cat if this reported study in newspapers has any value.

Human versus domestic cat on wildlife destruction

The second point is more important. Humans are finding ways to pass the buck. They’re trying to find a way to defend their behaviour and their behaviour across the planet is killing far more wildlife than domestic cats ever could. People are looking for a scapegoat. We know that domestic cats kill a lot of wildlife but how much specifically? We don’t really know and in the profile of prey of the domestic cat the bird comes quite well down the list. Rodents are the number one prey item.

The behaviour of humans on the planet is currently under acute focus. This is because of climate change and the leadership of Greta Thunberg. Climate change is a great threat to wildlife across the planet. Climate change driven by human behaviour primarily economic and population growth. And of course a desire to burn fossil fuels fuels and do little about it.

People understand that they are destroying the planet, and therefore nature as a whole, in many ways. They feel guilty. In order to distract themselves from this guilt and divert attention away from themselves people put the blame on the domestic cat for the loss of wildlife. They should look to themselves first and foremost if they want to protect nature.

As far as I am aware no study has compared the destruction of wildlife caused by humans and domestic cats. There should be such a study. There would be a stark difference. I would estimate, and this is a very general estimate, that humans are 10 times more effective at killing the planet’s wildlife than domestic cats.

The human – world’s top predator

And the human is a predator too. In fact the human is the world’s top predator. Nothing is a match to this species. The wild animal body parts trade combined with live animal trade is worth billions of US dollars annually. Sport hunting is big business. A section of human society loves to kill animals. Not to eat but for fun. And humans conveniently find excuses for their killing.

If we are to prioritize and take the most effective steps in protecting wildlife – the common sense course of action – humans must first turn the spotlight on themselves and get on with it in a hurry.

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