We felines have gotten a bad rap recently. We have been accused of killing more than a billion birds annually. Since I am diabetic cat, I am required to stay indoors, but I was an indoor only cat before I was diagnosed with diabetes. And Jacey has always been an indoor only cat as well. So it is wrong to accuse us of being murderers. Well, maybe of bugs, but our human doesn’t consider that murder. He considers that a favor.
This number was very quickly disputed, and many humans defended us by saying that their cats were like us — we have killed exactly zero birds and our human will keep it that way. Other humans disputed the way the study was conducted. Even the humans who conducted the study said it had many flaws and the estimates could be widely off.
Well, I always knew that many of my fellow felines do not kill birds because we do not get the chance to. We are very capable of doing it, because of how we have evolved. We are very efficient hunters because we had to be in order to survive.
But now another study has come out and it shows that we felines are often good for the ecosystem in which we live. Here is how we felines help:
- We kill other animals that cause harm. One one Australian island, feral cats were eliminated. Not surprisingly, the rat population increased exponentially. And guess what those rats did? They decimated the bird population.
- We kill the slow and weak. Thus, we help make sure that natural selection takes place and the strong and fast survive.
- We help make the prey population smarter. Now I know you humans are thinking, a smart rat? Yes. There are smart and dumb rats, and we kill the dumb ones.
- We help maintain the ecosystem. There is a balance that needs to be kept, and having too many prey animals like rats in the ecosystem can be very damaging
- We maintain ecological diversity. By keeping our prey’s population in check, we allow other animals to fill their niche.
The question of feline predation is much more complicated than the humans who write on those papers we use for the litter box will have you think. And many cats, including diabetic cats like me, do not ever go outside. So do not believe the stories about how we are destroying the bird population.