Connect to share and comment

Cats are more lethal killers than once thought

The study found that while only 30 percent of house cats kill prey, those that do kill, average two animals per week.

killer catEnlarge
A new study showed that house cats kill more creatures in the night than once thought. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

House cats are killing more wildlife than previously thought says a new study.

The study found that while only 30 percent of house cats kill prey, those that do kill average two animals per week, whether mice, birds, lizards, frogs, insects and even chipmunks.

Researchers at the University of Georgia studied house cats by recruiting 60 cat owners in Athens, Ga, and asked them to put a camera on the cat, said Time.

The cats' activities were monitored for a week to 10 days and while the felines were outside most nights for about six to eight hours.

The Researchers teamed up with National Geographic's CritterCam team that builds small cameras to monitor animal behavior said USA Today.

The cat cam was the smallest to date.

Earlier estimates were unable to calculate the number of animals that the cat left for dead - a problem which the cat cam solved.

The study found that cats ate about 30 percent of what they killed but left about half for dead, said the Telegraph.

Researchers found that the cats killed various species of small critters pretty equally but preferred snakes and frogs - keep in mind the study was in Georgia.

Birds represented only 12 percent of animals killed.

Indeed, the news has bird lovers worried.

A statement by the American Bird Conservancy read:

"If we extrapolate the results of this study across the country and include feral cats, we find that cats are likely killing more than 4 billion animals per year, including at least 500 million birds. Cat predation is one of the reasons why one in three American bird species are in decline."

The research will be presented this week at an Ecological Society of America conference in Portland, Ore.

Coincidentally, today is World Cat Day.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/120808/cats-are-more-lethal-killers-once-thought