It is cute, furry, and it meows so sweetly, but your perfectly sweet feline friend may be high on a list of prolific killers.
Some may not believe that their cute and cuddly pet cat can stray away from home when not being watched and go kill. Cats, like lions and tigers, use two hunting strategies. They will either stalk their prey or wait to ambush the prey when it gets close enough.
According to a report in the journal Nature Communications domestic cats kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds and up to 20 billion small rodents each year. Researchers found that cats, and in particular stray and free ranging cat are, “likely the single greatest source of anthropogenic mortality for U.S. birds and mammals.”
Dr. Peter Marra, research scientist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and co-author of the study, told ABC News that, “We think there are 15 to 20 billion adult land birds in the U.S. If we are suggesting 2.3 billion are killed annually, that means 1 in 10 birds are taken by cats every year.”
Cats are living a second life and they are the cutest serial killer, so next time you want to name your cat fluffy you may have to reconsider that.