Sunday, February 4, 2007

Feral Cat Myths: "An established colony will keep other cats out."

Home ranges of free-ranging cats in Brooklyn,New York, averaged between 1.7 and 2.6 hectares; where there is a feeding station, free-ranging cats do not keep out other cats (Haspeland Calhoon 1989).
Cats are carnivorous. An adult cat may eat 5 -8% of its body weight per day, and a female feeding kittens may consume 20% of its own weight (Scott 1976). Subadult cats may consume 9.5% of its weight (Howard 1957).Diet includes insects such as bumblebees and grasshoppers, rodents, amphibians, reptiles, and ground nesting and ground roosting birds which are particularly vulnerable. Cats have been reported to have killed and eaten animals up to 3500 grams, a weight equal to their own (Hill1997).
Joe Mitchel, University of Virginia, kept a tally of the wildlife kills of his four family cats over 11 months. The total was 104 individuals of 21 species: 6 species of birds, 8 species of mammals, and 7 species of reptiles. Species taken included flying squirrels (Glaucomysvo Ians), chipmunks, wrens, and cardinals. Peter Stangel with the Fish and Wildlife Foundation in Washington, D.C. recorded 15 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles killed by his two cats in a four month period where he lived in South Carolina.
Biology and Ecology of Feral, Free-Roaming, and Stray Cats


Starla said...

You're right, I know they're wrong on this one. I've seen pictures of forty cats waiting to be fed.

Bird Advocate said...

I know, I think I have one of those pictures here somewhere... I'll see if I can find it.