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
Local

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Local

Behind the costumes at the Brooklyn Cosplay Fashion…

Echo Chronum, 17, is a quiet and reserved Brooklyn high school student who often buries herself in her homework. But there is another side to…

Local

Reddit helps man locate missing mother in New…

The Reddit community helped Josh Goldberg find his missing mother on Tuesday.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

Movies

Review: 'The Railway Man' is a literal-minded look…

In "The Railway Man," Colin Firth plays a WWII vet suffering from massive trauma acquired from his days as a beaten POW.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC 'targeting' US international Mix Diskerud

Metro New York has learned Mix Diskerud has drawn “interest” from the expansion MLS side, NYCFC.

NFL

Jets announce they will return to Cortland for…

The tradition of holding camp in Cortland began in 2009 when Rex Ryan wanted to get his Jets away from the distractions of New York City.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."