Posted in: Animal News

Cats Kill Billions Of Animals Every Year


Is your cat a cold-blooded murderer? According to a new study, cats kill billions of birds, rodents and other mammals in the United States every year.

A new study published in the journal Nature Communications claims that cats kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds every year. Cats kill an additional 6.9 billion to 20.7 billion voles, chipmunks and other small mammals.

That’s more than 10 billion animals (conservatively) a year. Killed. By cats.

Smaller studies have come to the a similar conclusion (and were lampooned into a great infographic by the Oatmeal) but Marra says that his study attempted to look at the entire US population of cats.

According to Mara, there are roughly 84 million pet cats in the United States. Each of those cats kill between four and 18 birds a year and eight and 21 mammals a year. Feral cats kill many more animals.

Live Science reports that there are between 30 and 80 million feral cats in the United States. One of those cats can kill up to 50 birds and 340 mammals a year.

Bruce Kornreich, a veterinarian at Cornell University’s Feline Health Center, told Discovery News that some countries, like New Zealand, have implemented an outdoor cat ban to preserve bird populations.

Kornreich, however, doesn’t believe a cat ban is the answer.

Korneich said:

“It may be in some cases that cats may also be keeping other species that may negatively impact bird and other small mammal populations in check.”

Are you surprised that cats kill billions of animals every year?

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8 Responses to “Cats Kill Billions Of Animals Every Year”

  1. Kim Albrecht

    yes cats kill animals…mice, rats, rabbits, moles, shrews, chipmunks, and other small animals that can infest your house and cause damages. and if more people took care of cats that they have, like neutering, and spaying, we would'nt have this problem. we need education in the schools about animals and how to take care of them.

  2. Jeff Martin

    We have a house cat that has never outside in years. We have been trapping feral cats, getting them neutered/spayed for free and releasing them again. Many communities have programs like this. So far we have gotten four done, but we probably prevented hundreds of feral kittens. We looked into taking cats to the shelter but 99% are put down.

  3. Judy Brock Laxson

    If we are talking about every day cats that are pets then no they do not kill anything. I have two of them ages 7 and 9. Rescued one from a few infested barn. But when it was time they were spayed and neutered and since they are house cats they had all there claws removed. They have been wonderful and the ARE NOT let outside. If one is out it's because it's sitting in my lap.

  4. Joe Barretto

    I am not surprised. They can be cannibalistic as well if they are hungry and one of their mates or siblings dies.
    I have seen it with my own eyes. I am talking feral cats.

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