A new analysis by researchers from several Australian universities found that every domestic cat wandering abroad kills an average of 186 animals annually, of which 110 are indigenous Australian animals (40 reptiles, 38 birds and 32 mammals).
This analysis is the result of collecting the results of 66 different studies on domestic cats, to measure the effect of the Australian pet cat population on wildlife in the country.
And research published online on April 20, found that for every square kilometer of the area inhabited by domestic cats, 4440 to 8,100 animals are killed annually, and collectively, meaning that roaming domestic cats kill 390 million animals annually in Australian.
Not definitely my cat
If you own a cat and want to protect wildlife, you should keep it well inside your home. In Australia, 1.1 million pet cats are prevented from going out throughout the day by their respective owners, and the remaining 2.7 million pet cats, representing 71% of all pet cats, are allowed to roam and fish.
But your pet cat may go out without your knowledge, as a radio study found in the Australian city of Adelaide that of the 177 cats whose owners believed that they were at home at night, 69 of them (39%) crept into night adventures.
27% of Australian households own pet cats, and about half of the cat owners have two or more cats. Many believe that their animals do not hunt because they have never encountered evidence of animal killing.
But studies that have used collars for cats to track through video clips, or that have used a technique for analyzing what is in the feces of cats, have proven that many pet cats kill animals without bringing them back home. On average, pet cats bring in only 15% of what they hunt home.
It is noteworthy that wild cats are a big problem for wildlife throughout Australia, as they collectively kill more than three billion animals annually.
Cats have played a leading role in most of the 34 mammal extinctions in Australia since 1788, the biggest cause of the decline in the numbers of at least 123 endangered species.
On average, a single wild cat in the bush kills 748 reptiles, birds, and mammals annually, which is four times what a pet cat kills, but wild cats and domestic cats roam in very different areas.
Pet cats are limited to cities and towns, so we find that 40 to 70 cats roam every single square kilometer, but in the bush, there is only one cat per three to four square kilometers.
Therefore, although each pet kills fewer animals than the wild cat, its high urban density means that the number of victims is still very high. For every square kilometer per year, kittens are killed 30 to 50 times more than wild cats in the bush.
Many indigenous animals in Australia do not have high breeding rates, so they cannot tolerate this level of predation, and the stakes are particularly high for threatened wildlife in urban areas.
The only way to prevent cats from killing wildlife is to keep them indoors safely 24 hours a day. It has been proven that feeding your cat more meat and following a good diet will not prevent him from hunting. Even non-hungry cats will hunt.
On the other hand, keeping domestic cats in the house has many benefits. It protects them from infection, avoids disturbing behavior, prevents unwanted reproduction, and reduces the rates of diseases they catch and transmit to humans.
Also, cats that live inside are four times longer in life than those that are allowed to roam freely outside, because roaming cats are vulnerable to being thrown by cars, according to the Humane Society of the United States of America.