POLL: how many birds does your cat kill per year? Please complete it to scotch ‘rumours’ of cats killing billions of birds.

Please complete this poll. It won’t take you more than five seconds! It is half way down the page. I think it will help because the ornithologists like to promote the idea that domestic cats kill billions of birds annually (see base of page) and this only applies to America! Ornithologists want domestic cats to be kept inside all the time. I understand it and am sympathetic. But they have an agenda which is anti-cat. I understand that to. However, their knowledge on the predation of birds by domestic cats comes from studies which are carried out with a relatively small number of cats. They then extrapolate the information to the entire country. What I’m getting at is that I don’t believe the information is correct. I don’t think it is accurate enough to boldly state that domestic cats kill billions (up to four thousand million) of birds annually based on small-sample studies.

Cat hunting birds
Cat hunting birds. This is my cat with a pigeon. Pic: PoC.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

There is no doubt that domestic cats do kill birds but is much easier for a cat to kill a mouse or some other ground-dwelling mammal. In Australia reptiles are often killed. They are on the menu for cats. I want to see if I can contribute to this debate and get some decent information about domestic cat predation on birds. If I can get a thousand responses to this poll it would be great but I don’t expect it.

My cat kills birds. He kills pigeons because sometimes they wander around my backyard. But to the best of my knowledge, he’s only killed three pigeons in his entire life and he’s about six years old. I would say that he kills less than one bird per year on average and it may well be nearer none. He kills far more mice. He must have killed over 50 in his life.

I’m not saying that he is a typical cat but I do know that he is a very good hunter. He’s allowed outside. And if he is an example of a good domestic cat hunter and he kills less than one bird per year, I don’t think we can arrive at billions of birds annually killed by the entire population of domestic cats in America.

There are about 90 million domestic cats in America. If they were all my cat there would be 90 million birds killed annually which is far, far lower than the estimates that we constantly read about on the Internet and disseminated with great eagerness by outspoken ornithologists with their obvious agenda.

I want to make it clear, though, that I am not anti-bird. I love birds. I want to protect them from my cat. And I do all the time. I warn off pigeons for example. But I also love natural behaviour. If we have a domestic cat, we have to allow them to behave naturally. A lot of the time we don’t. Most of the time we don’t. We suppress feline behaviour.

Please click on the link below for the poll or use the embedded form

https://vote.pollcode.com/53714531

How many birds does your cat kill per year?
 
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Information

I will briefly touch on the information provided by the Internet. I’m referring to a study: The impact of free-ranging domestic cats on wildlife of the United States. The summary states “We estimate that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.3-4.0 billion birds annually. Please note that that this is a clear reference to domestic cats allowed outside. It does not include feral cats although that they do say that “un-owned cats as opposed to owned cats cause the majority of this mortality”. I think they are confused because unowned cats are feral cats not domestic cats. And free-ranging domestic cats are not unowned cats. They are stray cats and often feral cats. I’m already critical of what the scientists are saying because they appear to be confused. Notwithstanding that, they are stating that domestic cats kill up to 4 billion birds annually. I think the true figure is nearer 90 million to 200 million.

The study information, in any case, might be out of date for another reason. I am told, but I also doubt the information, that around 70% of America’s domestic cats are kept inside all the time. If that is true it’s impossible to envisage up to 4 billion birds being killed by free-roaming domestic cats. It will mean that about 30 million domestic cats are killing 4 billion birds. Not possible!

SOME MORE ON PREDATION OF BIRDS BY CATS:

3 thoughts on “POLL: how many birds does your cat kill per year? Please complete it to scotch ‘rumours’ of cats killing billions of birds.”

  1. I’ve had cats my whole 64 years and can count the dead birds on my two hands. But they have killed hundreds of moles and mice and rats which is okay with me cuz living in the country mice and rats will move into your house in the winter and nothing worse than twisting a ankle in a mole hole. Australia killing their feral cats is so stupid because when they were flooded 1000’s of mice and rats invaded their barns and homes the video’s were horrific. The UK and Europe learned the hard way after they killed all their feral cats they got the plague.

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  2. My two cats here in the city are inside only to keep them safe (and are given plenty of enrichment and window perches), but growing up in the country, we had more barn cats the victim of predatory birds (or humans) than the other way around. Every once in a while you’d see the little killdeer, which are ground-laying, get killed and usually not eaten, but it wasn’t common.

    I feel like a lot of the issue of cats killing wild birds is the product of feeding the birds and teaching them that places they share with pets are safe. However, there’s also the separate issue of cats living where they are not a natural part of that ecosystem and, accordingly, upsetting an environment with no defense against them.

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    • Dane, good point about feeding birds in backyards and placing them in harm’s way. I have done that. I am not proud of it. I shoo away the pigeons as they feed on the ground and are vulnerable. They eat the droppings of squirrel food. I feed squirrels.

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