Is your cat a mass murderer?

Angel or devil?

Little Tiddles is fluffy, adorable…and murderous.

A shocking report from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute found that cats kill far more animals than was previously believed – a potentially genocidal four billion birds and 20 billion mammals a year in the US alone.

We spoke to lead researcher Dr. Scott Lost.

Metro: Which cats are the biggest killers and why?

Lost: We estimate that un-owned cats including barn cats, stray cats, cats in subsidized colonies, and cats that are completely feral are responsible for 69% of bird mortality and 89% of mammal mortality. The predation rates by this group average three times greater than rates for owned cats.

How many kills might a pet cat make in a year?

The best available data suggests that owned cats kill between 4 and 18 birds and 11 and 30 mammals per year. This is before accounting for prey items that cat owners and researchers are unable to detect, so the numbers are probably higher. Un-owned cats – because they spend 100% of their time outdoors – kill far more animals: 23-46 birds and 140-330 mammals per year, on average.

But we know cats are predators – why should we worry?

In the United States there are no native predators that are comparable to domestic cats; thus, cats represent a novel predator and threat to wildlife. The data suggests that native bird and mammal species – as opposed to ‘pests’ – make up the majority of the species preyed upon by cats. More research is needed to determine which species are most vulnerable to cats, but these should be a wildlife management priority.

What steps could/should be taken to reduce the killing?

We hope that the large amount of wildlife mortality indicated by our research alerts policy makers, wildlife managers, and scientists to the large magnitude of this problem.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

Bomb squad detonates backpacks left at Marathon finish…

The Boston Marathon finish line has been evacuated and the Copley Square T station has been closed as police investigate a suspicious package, WBZ is reporting.

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

National

Missouri man charged with sexually torturing five women

A Missouri man has been charged with raping and torturing five women in a St. Louis-area apartment over several years, law enforcement officials said on Tuesday.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

Television

'Orphan Black' is back with 'crazy clone shenanigans'

“Orphan Black” is the little show that could. It had a few things working against it: a sci-fi premise, attracting an audience who had never…

The Word

Kelly Osbourne and Paris Hilton fight over a…

Paris Hilton and Kelly Osbourne, both members of famous families and natives of the reality boom of the early aughts, should be great friends. And yet.

MLB

MLB video highlights: White Sox beat Red Sox…

Red Sox fall on walk-off error to White Sox

NBA

NBA Draft Lottery day is May 20: Celtics…

NBA Draft Lottery day is Tuesday, May 20: Celtics percentage odds for a top overall pick

MLB

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be…

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be dumped just yet

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready…

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready to erupt once again in playoffs

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.