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New study suggests your cat may be secretly destroying the environment

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An American University deployed kitty-cams to study the behaviour of domestic cats outdoors. The findings of the study suggest cats are killing off indigenous wildlife.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 14/09/2020, 21:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:25

Are you a cat owner who thinks nothing of letting their cat roam outdoors at night? If you are, and yet you also care for the environment, you may want to rethink the house rules.

Some cat owners are more than happy to allow their cats a free rein when it comes to outdoor pursuits. But a study carried out by Arizona State University suggests the marauding domestic cat is contributing to the decline of wildlife and, consequently, urban ecosystems.

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The university fitted a selection of cats with a kitty-cam in order to learn more about their night-time habits. Researchers discovered that even domestic cats were adept at killing prey both small and large and of any species. 

Abandoned prey

77% of prey killed by domestic cats was not returned home, nor was it eaten. A similar study in South Africa revealed that 82% of prey was abandoned.

The studies go some way to educating cat owners of the effects their cat’s predatory habits have on indigenous species.

Prevention a must

Rob Simmons, author of the Cape Town study told the Mail Online that simple measures to prevent cat predation are necessary such as fitting a cat’s collar with a bell or even keeping the cat indoors at night.

Simmons said of his research, “Globally cats have been the direct cause of extinction of over 60 species of birds, mammals and reptiles. All unnecessary.”