Outdoor cats and extinction

A good day to be a white cat

I have a few neighbors who have “outdoor” cats. The cats have been fixed so they don’t reproduce. Some cat owners believe that having a cat neutered or spayed is all that it takes to make them a responsible cat owner.

The house cat has long been listed among the 100 most dangerous invasive species. They kill millions of birds and other small animals each year to the point of extinction. A cat is a pet when kept inside but once when outside it is a heartless killer.

Cats are likely killing more than 4 billion animals per year, including at least 500 million birds.

“Cat predation is one of the reasons why one in three American bird species are in decline,” said Dr. George Fenwick, President of American Bird Conservancy [wildlife management institute]

There was a study that shows cats only bring home about 25% of what they kill. They eat some of what they kill and leave the rest.

Being a free-range cat in St. Paul is not good for the cat either. Here are some statistics for St. Paul:

  • 200 cats are killed annually in traffic
  • The life expectancy of a cat allowed to roam is only three to four years
  • Confined cats can live beyond 14 years
  • Over 1,200 cats are picked up each year by animal control
  • Roaming cats may be a nuisance by urinating and defecating in sandboxes and gardens
  • Outdoor cats are susceptible to injury or death from other predatory animals
  • Outdoor cats are predators to wildlife such as birds

It should be noted that it isn’t against the law in St. Paul to let your cat run free.

You are responsible for keeping your cat away from your neighbor’s property and for keeping rabies vaccinations current.

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