It is estimated that cats kill approximately 1.3-4 billion birds and 6.3-22 billion mammals, annually (Loss, Will, & Marra, 2012). In Canada, this amounts to about 269 million birds and destroy 2 million bird nests in Canada every year (Stewardship Center for BC, 2013). Cats are the single greatest cause of mortality for these species.
While, it may not seem as important for the loss of mice and rats, it is extremely important to help reduce the loss of species such as songbirds, whose numbers are already threatened by flying into windows and being hit by cars. Cats have caused multiple species on several islands to become extinct. We typically don't know the extent of the numbers cats kills since they bring animals home less than 25% of the time (Stewardship Center for BC, 2013)!
The best means of prevention is keeping our cats indoors.
Or, bring them outside when they are on a leash, or in a fenced in area. Keeping them indoors also leads to a longer lifespan, and reduces the risk of cat fight injuries and diseases such as fleas, intestinal parasites, and Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).
If you have an outdoor or indoor/outdoor cat, having something on the cat to scare the birds can help.
Spay and Neuter your pets, and advocate for wild animals to be spayed or neutered as well, to reduce the overpopulation. If you have issues with number of feral cats in your area, notify the Humane Society for solutions such as trapping cats for spay/neuter programs, or adoption if the cats are not feral.
Conservation of species is everyone's responsibility, keeping our native species safe also will help to keep our pets safe!
South Windsor Animal Hospital
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