HomeCat NewsconservationHow much does letting domestic cats go outside affect wildlife conservation?

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How much does letting domestic cats go outside affect wildlife conservation? — 15 Comments

  1. Every time this issue comes up I grit my teeth. Predation is the way of nature, and the ongoing level has far more to do with evolution than the effects of outdoor cats, whether feral, stray or domestic. If you could tally and compare the percentages of predation in the wild, everywhere in the world, the level attributed to feline habitat would be so minimal as to barely be noticeable. Predation would continue on all levels even if no cats were left on earth. And some of the worst predators are of the human kind, I might add. 😠🙄😢💜💜🐾

    • Not a single new argument in support of your denial. No surprise there.

      Felis catus has nothing to do with ‘nature’. It never existed in any naturally-occurring ecosystem anywhere in the world until people selectively-bred and released it. F. catus’ invariable impact has been to destabilize ecosystems wherever they’ve been introduced via hyper-predation and spread of novel diseases.

      A relatively stable ecosystem consists of animals and plants which have co-evolved for tens of thousands–or millions–of years by struggling to eat and not-be-eaten until they attain mutually-sustainable numbers whereby prey species don’t exhaust their food supplies and then starve, and predator species don’t eradicate all their prey and then starve.

      Cats have no place in such a system. They’re reflex-killers. They are, along with dogs, pigs and commensal rodents, the worst invasive terrestrial vertebrates. As for humans being the worst predators, deliberate proliferation of F. catus is, next to habitat destruction, the primary way we’ve earned that title.

      The unnatural nature of your disease-ridden, invasive reflex-killers has caused extinction of 55 birds, 10 rodents, 5 marsupials, 5 lizards and one lagomorph (rabbit-relative). Recent studies indicate eight more species, mostly in Australia, have been wiped out by cats. But you don’t care. Those species aren’t “cute”.

      • Totally disagree with your point of view and your “facts.” The world has changed, yes, but predation in the wild will always remain. The contribution of modern day cats is barely a miniscule part of the whole. I do not need an arsenal. I am not here to argue. This is the end of my conversation. 😑🤔

      • Quote: “I accept your surrender.” I did not know this was a battle of wits. 🤣 Michael, that was no big deal. I know that you do not like us to interact with trolls. I just had to leave a statement because this is a feline informational website. I am not here to do hours of research and look up statistics to refute or satisfy one person’s skewed viewpoint. If I wanted to argue, I would join a debate club. 😼

        • Frances, I don’t read these troll comments or hardly do, so I don’t know what he said or what you are referring to on this occasion. I guess he wants to win an argument. It does not interest me. He’s been banned. I got to it late because I have been busy doing other things.

          I really appreciate your comments though 🙂

  2. Sorry, your so-called ‘study’ is merely anecdote. Nothing scientific about it. Did you do a comparison count, and determine ‘species-richness’ both before and after you introduced cats into a novel system? Did you have a cat-free system with which to compare? Did you analyze stomach contents from your free-roaming cats? Did you even monitor the cats or in any what quantify their kills?

    Correction: I was too kind with the ‘anecdote’ description. I should have used the term ‘lying through one’s teeth’. That’s the cat-advocate’s strategy of first resort.

    In any event, here’s a link to a study in which my friend Sonya Hernandez participated. They used collar-mounted cameras to monitor 50 free-roaming, WELL-FED ‘pet’ cats. We’re talking hard data and first-hand evidence here, not anecdote or “guesstimates”:

    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/0867/a9cd33f77bb2b16bc64226bb8b1fefbbac3d.pdf

    One of their findings was that the cats only brought home 25%-50% of the animals they tortured and slaughtered. The rest where simply left where they were killed.

    Cats are reflex-killers. Their killing and feeding reflexes are governed by different regions of their little brains. This is a ‘paedomorphic’ neurological character-state resulting from human-engendered selection. Cats are hyper-destructive because we bred them that way.

    So I’ve provided a scientific study which demonstrates unconfined cat impact on native wildlife. Got plenty more where that came from.

    But how about you? Can you show quantitative date from your alleged “scientific study” which supports your conclusion? Go ‘head. I’ll wait, but I won’t hold my breath

    • The article is a general overview of the state of play as I see it. I am not referring to a single study. That should be clear.

      The trouble with you is that your ‘science’ is colored by your extreme anger. You hate cats and cannot be objective about cat predation. At least I do my level best to be objective. I have read studies and they are always inconclusive on hard facts.

      And you really struggle to avoid being rude and insulting because you also hate people who like domestic and feral cats.

      • Difference is I can and do back up my arguement with facts you can’t refute. Anyone can when you collide with such facts. Either you flee in shamed silence, or you claim “you don’t have time” to address them.

      • My commment was in reply to Albert Shepis’ ridiculous claim of having “scientifically analyzed” his cats outdoors, not to your article. That didn’t merit a reply.

  3. Yes, habitat loss is often mentioned but not to the extent that cats are blamed for losses caused by that. Neither occurs in a vacuum.

    Being a scientifically minded, fact-based person myself (and neutral on the subject), I did my own study of my cats’ predation many years ago, and their supposed damage has been so minimal it’s not worth mentioning. I was curious and I don’t like to see killings either, so if I became convinced that my cats were causing undue harm, I would have done anything I could to minimize or stop it, even keeping them in permanently. I have been good at supervising and playing with them which helps, I’m sure. I also have neighbors who don’t like cats and who would gladly show me proof of the cats’ predation damage (which I’ve asked for), but they never have. Cat haters assume cats do such damage, and if they do observe one time they assume it happens all the time, which it doesn’t. That’s the mistake the professionals seem to make too. Also, I haven’t seen any study that wasn’t biased or paid for by ornithologists, which is more reason not to trust them.

    Lastly I rarely see, if ever, the positive effect cats have of weeding out those birds who are less effective in being preyed upon, ultimately allowing the effective birds to breed better offspring, creating stronger species overall. This being a well established fact of evolution it can’t be denied. It’s often seen that in isolated conditions, any animal species that doesn’t have natural predators creates generations that become more and more vulnerable.

    So, by my personal observation and those Michael mentioned, it suggests that none of the studies are valid, or not valid yet in my opinion anyway.

    P.S. That I’m a cat owner does not limit my caring for all animals including birds. I’ve cared for horses, have (at risk to my own safety) rescued injured birds from the middle of highways, etc. Brought animal neglect cases to authorities. I like all animals and also have a pet fish and a backyard squirrel.

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