Domestic cats kill as many as 3.7 billion birds a year, according to a study led by a Smithsonian biologist. That’s about 15 percent of the bird population. They kill about half as many mice, voles and other small mammals annually. Not everyone is confident about these numbers, however, and it’s unclear how many of these killer cats are actually feral and aren’t anyone’s pets.
Clearly, our sweet house kitties are natural-born hunters, “snakes with fur.” No need to kill them off, but letting pet pussycats roam outdoors is another matter. There are health reasons to keep cats indoors; now there are ecological ones, too.
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