Monday, February 5, 2007

Feral Cat Myth: "Cats are doing what nature intended them to do."

Cats Are Not a Natural Part of Ecosystems
The domestic cat, Felis catus, is a descendant of the European and African wild cats. Domesticated in Egypt more than 4,000 years ago,cats may be the most widespread predator in the world. In the U.S., cats were not abundant until the late 1800s when they were brought to help control burgeoning rodent populations associated with agriculture. Some people view cat predation of rodents as beneficial, but native small mammals are important to maintaining biologically diverse ecosystems. Field mice and shrews are also important prey for birds such as Great Horned Owl and Red-tailed Hawk.
Cats Compete With Native Predators
Owned cats have huge advantages over native predators. They receive protection from disease, predation, competition,and starvation—factors which control native predators such as owls, bobcats, and foxes. Cats with dependable food sources are not as vulnerable to changes in prey populations. Unlike many native predators, cats are not strictly territorial. As a result, cats can exist at much higher densities and may out-compete native predators for food. Unaltered cats are also prolific breeders. In warmer climates, a female cat can have 3 litters per year, with 4 to 6 kittens per litter.
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3 comments:

Dog advicer said...
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Starla said...

Cats are doing what nature intended? That is a good one! So was the alien predator in that Ahnuld Swarzenfeugal film. There's nothing natural about them being here.

Bird Advocate said...

I know! They would be hilarious if they didn't cause so much destruction. I love your spelling of Der Governator's name.