Over half of all animals killed on UK roads are domestic cats?

In a town at the center of England, Tamworth, cats represent over 50% of all animals killed on the roads.

I would argue that this is quite possibly typical of many towns in the UK. The Tamworth Herald requested information from the Tamorth Borough Council about the number of times they were called out to deal with roadkill and to provide a breakdown of the animals killed. The results are interesting and frankly sad.

sick cat roadkill picture

Sick cat roadkill picture. It shows us yet again that there are a lot of nasty people out there who are ignorant and insensitive.

Between Oct 2015 and Oct 2016 there were 35 recorded roadkill incidents. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 18 cats
  • 4 foxes
  • 4 birds (3 pigeons and 1 swan)
  • 3 badgers
  • 3 rodents
  • 1 squirrel
  • 1 hedgehog
  • 1 rabbit

The obvious conclusion is that the British are far to laissez-faire when it comes to letting their cats roam free. I have said this before. These statistics support me.

As Britain becomes more and more crowded and as roads become more and more clogged with traffic, the number of cats killed on roads with inevitably increase. I think it is time for a rethink. There is no absolute, unwritten rule which says that all domestic cats should be free-roaming. Sometimes it seems that think there is such a rule.

Many British cat owners don’t exercise their discretion on whether it is safe to let a cat out. They don’t assess the alternative options. It is time they did.

The photo shows how insensitive and crude many people are. Frequently these sorts of people are cat haters too. There is a high attrition rate for foxes too. We often dead foxes on the side of roads. It is painful to see. Cats, I believe, tend to race on into undergrowth to die so we see far fewer cat roadkills.

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Over half of all animals killed on UK roads are domestic cats? — 4 Comments

  1. I’m more disturbed by the sign than the cat. Which is disturbing in it’s own right. I often stop and move a cat to the side of the road because motorists will run over their bodies over and over. If a dog gets hit traffic comes to a standstill until the dog is moved or hauled to the vet. Even the police will respond to a hit dog.
    Cats in my county are classified pretty much with skunks and other wildlife road kill and road crews get to it as they have time. I doubt any of the cats bodies are ever scanned.

  2. Every time I see an animal creamed in the road, I am compelled to stop and, either bury them, or pull them to the side. Should it be a cat, I sob without warning. It just happens.

    I know it may seem crazy, but I think that it is so disrespectful for motorists to drive over and over them. I can’t stand it.

    And, depending on the area, cats don’t make up the largest portion of road kill here. Raccoons and opossums do. I suppose that’s because domesticated cats are mostly kept inside.

    Ferals are another story. Thankfully, my colonies aren’t anywhere near roadside; but, some others are.

    The sign in that picture is so cruel, even though that poor cat may have been homeless.

  3. We can’t see the other side of the highway, but it appears that the poor killed cat is apparently in an industrial area rather than residential, so I’m thinking it was probably thrown from a car or chased and ended up there. Cats like cover; I don’t think they’re attracted to open spaces or highways. However there’s no doubt the highways kill small animals and way too many cats. Whatever reason they have for getting out in front of oncoming cars, I think it’s most difficult to tell just how fast anything is coming straight at them (I know it’s true for me) and when it’s close it’s too hard to get out of the way when hit. I’ll see if there’s any research on it.

    • I think you could be right about the picture. I chose this one because it is less gruesome. The others were just too horrible and upsetting. I think cats panic when crossing a road with cars on it. They dart across at the wrong time because cars are unfamiliar objects which they can’t really process mentally. That’s my theory.

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