- Education and Science
The Scourge that is Felix Domesticus
Domestic cats are responsible for the extinction, or near extinction, of many animal species (over 92 different species in Australia alone). Let’s not blame Tabby. After all, he’s just doing what comes naturally to him: kill other critters. He’s generally fed well enough, and doesn’t need to eat lizards, snakes, birds, bugs and other small critters for nourishment. Tabby is just a natural born killer. He usually kills just for sport. Let’s blame irresponsible cat owners who allow their cats to run around outdoors, free to roam, free to breed, and free to kill.
It’s not just because cats kill other animals that makes the cat owner irresponsible, it’s also because a cat’s longevity is reduced by half when allowed to freely roam the great outdoors. So cat owners not only do not care about wild animals, they aren’t concerned for the health, safety and longevity of their cats. Could be they’re just stupid, and think cats really DO have nine lives.
Maybe that sounded a bit harsh, cat owners could just be ignorant. Hopefully, this article will get some pet owners to consider spaying or neutering, de-clawing, and keeping their little fur ball indoors. This could also improve relations with their neighbors and even reduce the number of crazy cat ladies.
It’s one thing to live and let live (or kill and let die?), and who really cares all that much about the Key Largo Woodrat, but shouldn’t humans try to minimize their ecological footprint? After all, it is man that is responsible for the domestic house cat and the havoc it is wreaking across the 6 continents.
House cats have been listed as one of the “world’s top 100 worst invasive species” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They’re in good company along side Dutch Elm Disease, banana bunchy top virus and Crazy ants.
Check out the Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) article here:
There are some 600 million and perhaps a billion cats worldwide, and practically no habitat is without them. The United States has 100 million house cats, and it’s no wonder since they can produce a litter at six months old. According to the Smithsonian Magazine and other sources, a pair of cats could potentially produce over 350,000 descendants in five years if they all survived!
One study reports that as much as 14% of vertebrates on islands worldwide have been driven to extinction by house cats. Whether the Clawed Gecko of the Canary Islands, the Samoan Tooth-billed pidgeon, or Reunion Island’s Barau’s petrel, all manner of rodent, bird and reptile are perishing at the claws of the house cat.
I’m not calling for catacide by chemical baits, or other extreme measures like those taken by the Australian’s, such as “Eradicat” and “Cat Assasin”, but we shouldn’t wait until, like Down Under, we need to release Tazmanian Devils or fill the woods with “cat-hunting marksmen.”