Study Blames Cats for Killing Billions of Birds and Small Mammals Annually

Posted on January 29, 2013

CBS News reports that a new study, published here in Nature Communications, has blamed cats for killing billions of birds and mammals each year in the U.S. Pete Marra, an animal ecologist with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, and colleagues estimate that cats kill the following amount of creatures in the U.S. each year: NPR reports that Marra attributes most of the bird and small mammal deaths to feral cats, but estimates pet cats are to blame for about 10% of the mammal deaths and as much as 33% of bird deaths.

One idea would be to encourage pet owners to keep cats indoors, but LiveScience talked to Bruce Kornreich, a veterinarian at Cornell University's Feline Health Center, who warned that removing cats from the outdoors could alter the ecosystem in unexpected ways.

A study last September captured cats on "kitty cams" killing and eating birds, mice and other animals. Take a look: