Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

i read the following in today's indpendent newspaper:

Pet cats may be killing up to 270 million animals as prey every year in the UK alone, according to a new study.

Researchers, including those from the University of Reading, said the loss of tens of millions of animals each year through cat predation may “go beyond animal welfare concerns and become conservation concerns”.

The study, published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning, assessed the movement and prey of 79 pet cats in inner suburban areas and in areas adjacent to natural habitats on the edge of the suburban area.

Scientists assessed nine sites within the counties of Berkshire and Hampshire, UK – all within a radius of 30km from the town of Reading.

“Cats are a non-native species. They get fed by their owners and given veterinary care so you could consider them mini super predators,” study co-author Rebecca Thomas, from London’s Royal Holloway University, told The Times.

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Well, this is Kick a Cat Week - maybe to measure the Dead Cat Bounce.

'Cats are a non-native species'. Aren't humans too ? and chestnuts. so i disagree with non-native = negative, even though i am in love with cats. hope this helps andrew.

I think technically something is considered 'non-native' if it wasn't here before the last Ice Age... Having said that I definitely think cats constitute an 'invasive' species, particularly if the figures quoted are true. Every time a bird tries to build a nest in my garden it is ripped apart by local cats on the prowl, and the babies pitched to the ground and left to die. Very depressing.

It good to see someone bringing attention to this.

By all means have a pet cat but ensure if stays in your garden and doesn't roam around killing birds and other small creatures. If you can't do that, don't have one.

We need to retain as much of our bio diversity as possible.

So do I have to keep all other animals out of my garden? Or do I just follow my cat around 24 hours a day to ensure he doesn't kill anything?

PS This is an entirely theoretical post; I don't own a cat.

Cats are known to be the cruelest animals in the animal kingdom, tormenting their prey until they die, and then often discarding them. At least that’s what mine have done in the past. Thankfully no birds though

i tell them everyday to stay in the garden, have fences nearly 7feet high. But until they had matured to 14years old, they would disobediently hop over and join the other cats roaming around. Heyho

My problem with this report is that I have absolutely no idea of how many animals of the kinds referred to (I suppose, birds, mice, shrews, frogs, toads, newts etc) might be expected to live and die in the UK each year and by how much the average life is shortened by cats.  Without some yardsticks, I don't see how the reported number tells us much about the possible impact on the populations of prey.  Wikipedia has quite a bit about it although not so much about the UK.
Personally, I don't have a cat and don't much care for them.  We do have a few that regularly visit our garden and they don't cause me any significant trouble.  I do find the occasional dead rat in the garden but have never seen the culprit (more probably a fox than a cat) and occasional flurries of pigeon feathers.  The only time I have seen a cat kill anything was when one leapt with delight on a half dead squirrel and carried it off in triumph.  It probably landed up on its owner's kitchen floor.  I was struck by the sight of the cat carrying the squirrel in its mouth - the very image of a lioness carrying a dead antelope.

It’s well known that cats in the Reading area are psychopaths 

Up to 270 million”—It’s like cheap advertising blurb from an infomercial, meaning nothing. I “may” be earning “up to” £270,000,000 this year (but it will probably be just a tad less). Even if it were that number, what proportion of the actual population of those species does it represent? Is it significant?

May go beyond… concerns”. Damned right! Just as I “may” translate War and Peace into Old Norse this weekend (but I probably won’t).

Thanks for all the hard facts.

(Furthermore, I concur with Michael Anderson in his suggestion that Reading cats are unrepresentative of the UK cat population; they have long had the reputation of being the feline equivalent to “Look at me an’ I’ll cut yer” East End types.)

As a local indicator of predation by cats, in successive years they have killed or left dying up to twenty-three frogs that come to spawn at our not very large garden pond on the Ladder. This is a minimum figure, as it excludes any frogs which may have been taken back home by the cat or cats responsible.

I can’t read the article as I’m not registered, but I hope it offers some helpful advice such as to keep our cats in at night as this is the time when cats kill the most wildlife (although I’m sure most people don’t have a problem when our furry friends keep the rat population down?)

And in breeding season, to keep our cats in until late morning and get them in early evening.

It’s responsible ownership, as well as the fact cats allowed out all night are at a higher risk of wandering and getting lost. 

Sure, it's going to be the cats that cause the mass extinction and end of human civilisation in the next 30 years, sure. 

And re Tigha's comment below - "Cats are known to be the cruelest animals in the animal kingdom," - I think we Homo Sapiens take the title hands down on any metric. 800 million people globally are currently suffering extreme hunger/starvation, what are we the rest of the human population doing to prevent this....... very little...... God Save the Queen tho eh. 

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