A new study published Tuesday reported that in the United States cats kill billions of birds, rodents and small animals every year. The Nature Communications journal reported the research from the study and it estimated that every year between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds are killed by cats. An estimated 6.9 billion to 20.7 billion rodents and small animals are killed each year by cats in the United States.
The study estimated that each year cats kill as many as 15% of the bird population in the United States.
Pete Marra is an animal ecologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and he was co-author in the study released Tuesday. Marra said that they are currently reviewing how humans are involved in bird, small animal and wildlife deaths, but that first they wanted to review cats because they were the largest reason for bird deaths in the United States. This research reviewed all areas of the country and is the largest study done of its kind.
They estimated that there are 84 million domesticated cats in the country, and most of them are allowed outside. Each outdoor car kills between four and 18 birds, and eight to 21 mammals each year.
A lot of these cats may go outside and go to 10 different houses, but they go back to their house and cuddle up on Mr. Smith's lap at night.
In addition, the study found that there are 30-80 million feral cats in the country and they kill between 23-46 birds, and between 129-338 small mammals each year.
The entire study can be found here.
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Sources: Nature.com and CBS News
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