BBC Nature and the New York Times report that a new U.S. wildlife study reveals that domestic (stray, feral and pet) cats are responsible for the deaths of between 1.4 and 3.7 billion birds and 6.9 to 20.7 billion mammals annually. This is two to four times greater than previous U.S. estimates. Most of the birds and mammals killed are natives such as robins, shrews, chipmunks and voles and not introduced pests like the Norway rat.
Although feral and stray cats are the biggest offenders it was suggested that pet owners could do more to prevent their cats from killing birds and mammals. Ideally pet cats should be kept indoors. If they are allowed outdoors you can put bells on your cat. Cat owners should also be aware that outdoor cats often have shorter lifespans as they are exposed to hazards such as consuming antifreeze and sewer sludge, and are at risk from being under moving cars or sparring violently with much bigger dogs. Read more at: BBC News – Cats killing billions of animals in the US or That Cuddly Kitty Is Deadlier Than You Think – NYTimes.com.