Archive for July 13th, 2011

Cats: Domestic Predators

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

There are more than 600-million cats worldwide; 100-million live in America. And while most are “house cats” that don’t venture outside their owner’s home, an increasing number are free-ranging felines…or feral cats…

06—A feral cat is not under the direct care of humans…they are the ones out roaming around.

Kelly Bender is an Urban Wildlife Biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife. Because cats are natural predators, feral cats are competing with wildlife predators for the same food sources…

10—They outnumber them and they out-compete them. So they are using the same kinds of prey animals that our native predators are using, like hawks and exerting an amount of pressure on them.

While small mammals such as mice make up about 70 percent of a feral cats’ prey, birds make up another 20 percent—at least. It’s said a single cat can kill up to 1,000 animals (including 200 birds) a year, for an estimated death toll of 39 million birds annually.

11—They can even cause the endangerment of some species, especially those species that are already under pressure from habitat loss or habitat degradation.

Coming up on tomorrow’s show…

06—From a wildlife management standpoint, we really should be keeping our cats indoors.

That’s our show for today. For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.