Last evening around 7:00 p.m. a rather large black cat walked across my back deck. I have seen this feline a couple times before and it has always been unapproachable. I surmise that this is a wild (feral) cat who gets no canned cat food or has a box full of kitty litter! He lives by stealth and instinct in order to survive, and survive he does!
At the end of my deck is our bird feeder. I suppose to a cat it’s like a flashing neon sign advertising fresh “bird” meat! Today I found the feathers from a morning dove not far from that feeder. Am I supposed to be mad at the cat for following his survival instincts? Good question. My wife and I love watching all the various feather friends who visit our little free food establishment. We do not feed them so cats, in turn, can munch on the birds. This particular black cat was observed hunting in a field about 1/4 mile from the house. He has no doubt honed his skills in the “killing fields!” I suppose most people (cat owners included) believe a few wild animals are eaten by feral cats, but most have no idea just how vicious these killers are!
Researchers in the United States have reported that cats account for killing 1.4 to 3.7 billions birds every year in the U.S. In addition 6.9 to 20.7 billion mammals fall to the fangs and claws of all cats. Contrary to what you may think; house pets are some of the major culprits behind these statistics! Researchers explain that, more often than not, the animals our beloved pets kill are birds, mice, shrews, and moles. Because of this, it is the researchers belief that cats constitute a major threat to wildlife and to the country’s biodiversity. According to the “Daily Mail” most of these animals are killed by cats that have owners which allow them to roam their surroundings.
I know from personal sightings that house pets are extremely well adapted to stalking, and killing, their intended target. I once watched my daughters cat (de-clawed) put the “sneak” on a fat robin, and pull him from the air in a move reminiscent of a lion on the prowl. He had no claws, but man he had sharp teeth! I’ve seen other house pets do likewise to unsuspecting birds of various species. So wild cats sometimes take a bum rap for the actions of Susie’s Fluffy!
So where does that leave me with trying to protect my birds? Is the black cat fair game? Heck is Fluffy fair game? Most would not want to harm a neighbors house cat (me included,) but the lives of billions of birds and mammals are at risk if this slaughter continues!