Cats are the heroes of the internet and of history. If we are not watching cat videos on Youtube we are reading some story about how they were worshipped in Egyptian times. I love cats as much as the next person (although I would argue dogs are much better) but I am not sure why they were ever worshipped. Although if you look at some cat owners today it is clear they still are. Cat owners love their pets so much they build entire forts for them in their homes and buy endless cat scratchers to ensure the cat is living a comfortable life. While the cat enjoys the life of leisure, in the end, it is still a hunter. Cats will usually go outside to do their business once a day.
When a dog goes outside to do its business it is usually to go to the bathroom or dig a hole, often both. When a cat goes outside to do its business it is to hunt. A cat loves to hunt and most cat owners will know that it will often show its affection to its owner by bringing a sacrifice to the back door, a dead mouse, or a dead bird in your honor. This psychopathic behavior may reveal the true nature of cats. While we laugh about it this killing spree that cats go on may actually be damaging our environment.
An Australian university has recently conducted a meta-analysis of 66 cat studies. The key finding confirmed across the studies is that cats kill a lot of wildlife. In one year the average cat will kill around 186 reptiles, mammals, or birds. Feral cats are even greater killers, murdering 748 animals, reptiles, or birds every year. This is an incredibly high number and although it is not an issue for the environment when you multiply this out by the number of outdoor cats in a given area it can wreak havoc on an environment. In Australia alone, there are around 2.1 million cats that spend time outside and the number may be higher as even indoor cats often sneak outside for a quick hunt. That leads to a lot of pests dying each year.
Most of us love that is cats keep the pests at bay and no one is feeling any pity for the mice and rats that want to live in the bushes around their house. This is likely one of the reasons that the Egyptians worshipped the cat in the first place and was the key reason Europeans sought to domesticate the animal. However, we now know that these pests are part of an intricate ecosystem and by introducing many more domesticated cats into a given area we are interrupting that ecosystem’s natural life cycle.
Research now shows that cats have had an influence on the extinction of 34 mammals in Australia since 1788 and they are currently part of the reason that 123 more mammals are under threat. This is bad news for Australian wildlife but clearly has a similar impact on the wildlife of all countries. Make no mistake these pests matter. If you ever wonder why there are more insects in your area, perhaps there are no pests to eat them up because the cats have removed them?
The solution is clearly to keep our cats indoors most of the time. If you do have a mouse or pest problem it makes sense to let your cat out to help solve it, but if you don’t then there is no reason to let it go on a wild killing spree. While it is great to worship cats, keep an eye on these psychopathic beasts at the same time.