The environmental impact of cats on native wildlife

The environmental impact of cats on native wildlife

A team of researchers, led by Dr Wayne Linklater from the Centre for Biodiversity and Restoration Ecology at Victoria University of Wellington, recently surveyed veterinarians and cat owners to understand their attitudes and beliefs about cat welfare and behaviour.

The survey found that most veterinarians believe keeping inside at night would positively impact cat and also benefit wildlife—because cats that are inside from before dusk to after dawn have reduced opportunities to hunt for native insects, reptiles and birds.

"We know cats kept indoors, particularly at night, will reduce the high rates of cat injury from cat fights, disease transmission and vehicle collisions. Importantly, 99 percent of owners surveyed said they would be willing to bring their cats in at night," says Dr Linklater.

Drawing on expertise from Massey University, the University of Otago and University of Plymouth, England, the second phase of the study will use survey findings to motivate owners to make changes in how they care for their cats that might also address environmental problems.

PhD research by Victoria University graduate, Dr Edith MacDonald, shows are concerned most for their cats' welfare. "The question for a wildlife biologist trying to solve a cat-related problem is how we can tap into that concern and motivation," says Dr Linklater.

Keeping cats in at might not be the strategy that reduces their impact on native species most, but Dr Linklater says it is a compromise between what needs to be done and what can be done.


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Citation: The environmental impact of cats on native wildlife (2015, March 6) retrieved 19 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-environmental-impact-cats-native-wildlife.html
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Mar 07, 2015
If your cats were only destroying invasive species (cats themselves being a noxious invasive species), then nobody would be complaining. But your vermin cats destroy anything that moves. Letting a cat roam free is absolutely no better than intentionally throwing rat-poison around on everyone's property to kill any living thing. Your man-made vermin cats are now driving hundreds if not thousands of species of native animals to EXTINCTION across the whole planet. Have you no conscience nor morality left?

Apparently gutting-alive and skinning-alive animals with everyone's vermin cats, tortured to death just for your cats' play-toys and YOUR entertainment, no other reason, is perfectly acceptable to you. Yeah, you're all fine upstanding "animal-lovers" who respect all other lives around you and all other life on earth, aren't you.

Mar 07, 2015
Are you not even aware that T. gondii oocysts in run-off from the land are killing rare marine mammals thousands of miles away? Or that these oocysts when dried (and still viable) become aerosolized and drift on the wind? You can contract T. gondii just from a cat-owner's yard when it's not been raining for a week and you inhale any air that passes over their land.

Free-roaming cats and people improperly disposing of indoor-cats' cat-litter are actually killing-off hundreds of rare marine-mammal species, even rare whales, (countless numbers of individual rare animals) thousands of miles away on coastlines of all the world. A global ecological disaster worse than any oil-spill that has ever existed or could even be imagined. There are now harsh fines in areas of California for anyone found dumping cat-litter illegally, not in some environmentally-contained landfill. At least some of them "get it".

Mar 07, 2015
Birds are just a minor subset of all the thousands of native animal species (BILLIONS of individual animals YEARLY in just the USA alone!) that cat-lickers (criminally irresponsible cat-advocates) are annihilating around the world with their man-made invasive species vermin cats.

Not only are these demented invasive-species house-cats-ONLY "animal lovers" now killing off all Big Cats in all wildlife reserves around the world: http://www.thenat...l-strays

And for the ultimate example of absurdity and species-conservation irony, now making all moggie-licking residents of the UK (the inventors of that TNR insanity) the complete laughingstocks of the whole world, they've already made their ONE AND ONLY NATIVE CAT SPECIES EXTINCT in the UK with their invasive species "moggies": http://www.guardi...tinction

Mar 07, 2015
As well as cats' parasites killing off all rare and endangered marine mammals on all coastlines around the world (worse than any oil-spill that has ever existed or could even be imagined):

http://news.msn.c...-mammals
http://www.enviro...nk-seals

And these cat-licking "animal lover" psychopaths and sociopaths are also killing off all the Mountain Lions (Cougars, Puma, Endangered Florida Panther, etc.), and all other native cat species in North America: http://rapidcityj...5cb.html

Mar 07, 2015
But now these cat-lickers are even killing off rare whales and causing massive birth-defects in the indigenous Inuit people who depend on seal-meat for their very survival. Seals that were infected (and are also dying-off) from these cat-lickers' cats' parasites.

Cat parasite found in western Arctic Beluga deemed infectious http://news.ubc.c...bigthaw/

Let's thank these psychotic bible-home-schooled cat-lickers for all the fine work they do for being such fantastic "animal lovers", shall we? THEY JUST LOVE CATS SO MUCH! So caring! So thoughtful! So intelligent! So FULL of love for living things! So much so that they will even sacrifice whole races of humans to death-by-birth-defect to prove how much they love their cats.

Mar 07, 2015
I'd love to thank them all, each with a gift of a solitary-confinement prison-cell -- FOR LIFE. Better yet, for their VAST ecological crimes and sins against all of nature and all of humanity, hanged-until-dead would be a far more fitting "gift" for them AND the whole planet. That used to be the punishment for engaging in bio-warfare against the human population and all other animal life in any country. I say bring it back -- special, just for them.

Mar 07, 2015
"Curfew"--a word missing here--and what is been proposed--for Felis catus.

Mar 07, 2015
The president of the local Audubon society in eastern Arizona once posted that birds dont have a defense against cats. I kid you not.

Mar 07, 2015
Uh, what do you do about rats that have evolved near-immunity to 'environment-safe' poisons ? And are canny enough to rob traditional traps ? And mice multiplying like rabbits after yet another mild winter ? (per Degree-days, not snow-bombs) Yes, yes, one issue is the food supply, with cities switching to fortnightly wheelie-bin collections to save money. Given the usual 'law of contrary consequence', forgetting which week it was results in heaps of bin-bags accumulating. Something which those wheelie bins and their weekly collections were supposed to prevent...

Mar 08, 2015
The myth about cats being good rodent control has been disproved on every island where cats were imported to take care of the imported rodents. Hundreds of years later and there's nothing but a thriving population of cats and rodents -- all the native wildlife on those islands now either extinct or on the brink of extinction -- even those native species which are better rodent predators than cats (such as many reptiles and shrews which destroy rodents right in their nests), the cats having destroyed them directly or indirectly.

The rodents reproduce in burrows and holes out of the reach of cats, where they are happy to reproduce forever to entertain cats the rest of their lives, and make your own lives miserable, on into infinity. On top of that, when cats infect rodents with cat's Toxoplasma gondii parasite, this hijacks the minds of rodents to make the rodents attracted to where cats urinate. http://scitizen.c...509.html

Mar 08, 2015
Cats actually attract disease-carrying rodents to where cats are. The cats then contract these diseases on contact with, or being in proximity to, these rodents. Like "The Black Death", the plague, that is now being transmitted to humans in N. America directly from cats that have contracted it from rodents. Yes, "The Black Death" (the plague) is alive and well today and being spread by people's cats this time around. Totally disproving that oft-spewed LIE about having more cats in Europe could have prevented the plague -- more cats would have made it far far worse. Many people have already died from cat-transmitted plague in the USA in the last 2-3 decades; all three forms of it transmitted by CATS -- septicemic, bubonic, and pneumonic. For a fun read, one of hundreds of cases, Cat-Transmitted Fatal Pneumonic Plague -- http://www.ncbi.n.../8059908

http://www.abcd-v...gue.aspx

Mar 08, 2015
Cats attracting these adult rodents right to them further increasing the cat/rodent/disease density of this happy predator/prey balance. It has been documented many many times. The more cats you have the more rodents and diseases you get. I even proved this to myself when having to rid my lands of hundreds of these vermin cats by shooting and burying every last one of them. A rodent problem started to appear about the same time the cats started to show up, 15 years of it. Then all rodent problems disappeared after every last cat was shot-dead and safely disposed of. All the better NATIVE rodent predators moved back into the area after the cats were dead and gone. Not seen one cat anywhere nor had even one rodent in the house in five years now. (So much for their manipulative, deceptive, and outright lie of the mythical "vacuum effect" too.)

Mar 08, 2015
I gotta admit I can't be bothered to read the multiple posts of the wooded headed man. It's the same old boring diatribe by a greenie left wing loonie. I guess I'm lucky my cat brings me dead frogs, mice and lizards that otherwise would be annoying pests.

Cats help manage the environment.


Mar 08, 2015
Cats DO NOT get rid of rodents. I don't care how many centuries that fools will claim that cats keep rodents in-check, they'll still be wrong all these centuries. Civilizations of humans have come and gone in great cities like Egypt, yet their cats and rodents remain in even greater pestilent numbers.

No cat population anywhere has ever been able to control rodents effectively. But native predators can -- easily.

They just keep deceiving their astoundingly ignorant selves.

Mar 08, 2015
Bluehigh, a bliss-ninny's life of a self-inflicted "ignorance is bliss" is a wonderful thing, isn't it. LOL

Mar 08, 2015
Maybe we need to introduce Big Cats to rid humanity of tree hugging twats. The outside is worth diddly squat - LOL at the rodent lover. Cats work. Do you?

Mar 08, 2015
Bluehigh, Wow, you don't even read what you are replying to. Bliss-ninny, much?

Not only are these demented invasive-species house-cats-ONLY "animal lovers" now killing off all Big Cats in all wildlife reserves around the world: http://www.thenat...l-strays

And for the ultimate example of absurdity and species-conservation irony, now making all moggie-licking residents of the UK (the inventors of that TNR insanity) the complete laughingstocks of the whole world, they've already made their ONE AND ONLY NATIVE CAT SPECIES EXTINCT in the UK with their invasive species "moggies": http://www.guardi...tinction

Mar 09, 2015
Hey Woody: why do you suppose the ancient Egyptians worshipped cats?

Mar 09, 2015
I'm glad that you bring up the Egyptians.

These cats weren't native to Egypt either. They were imported from other regions, brought in from Turkey and surrounding areas and later even bred specifically for sacrificial purposes. That was their main use. Only a small number were kept as temple animals. Then to "worship" them properly; they were all killed at a young age, mummified, then offered as animal sacrifices to their Goddess Bastet. This is why they found 300,000 young mummified cats buried there for a population of only 100,000 to 150,000 people. They couldn't worship their offerings to Bastet while the cats were alive, they needed non-corporeal cats for that.

Mar 09, 2015
(Aside: I often wonder if this isn't what, in part, led to their eventual downfall. So many exorbitant resources devoted to killing exponentially-over-breeding cats, along with all the diseases cats spread. Someone was at least smart enough to make it a religious-custom to kill them at high rates. Cats' Toxoplasma gondii brain-hijacking parasite might have even caused mental problems in their leaders and general population -- as it does today; causing autism, schizophrenia, memory-loss, debilitating depression, 2X's the risk of suicide, ADHD, epilepsy, blindness, and brain tumors in humans. The "crazy cat lady" isn't just an urban legend, there's real evidence to prove their mentally-deranged medical condition now).

Mar 09, 2015
It is also interesting to note that people who want to worship cats today, claiming that's what Egyptians did, aren't doing it properly. They must kill them while young, mummify them, then leave them at the altar of their nearest place of worship.

It seems that today's cat-lickers just can't do anything right.

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