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Cats kill 2.4 billion birds annually


Domestic cats in the United States kill some 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals each year, most of them native mammals like shrews, chipmunks and voles according to the New York Times in a recent article about a new report in the journal Nature co-authored by Peter Marra, an ornithologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Learn more at the New York Times.


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  • Melissa Money-Beecher

    I am doing an independent research study with 8 cats that are allowed in an half acre cat yard that they cannot get out of with 19 bird feeders to unfairly attract birds to the area which is working because I am getting 5,000 or more birds per day with high value fruit and nut bird seed. So far I have disproved everything about cats killing millions of birds each year and basically they are saying 100% of the birds each year should be killed by cats so the birds should be all dead. In fact my neighbor’s one dog has killed more birds than the 8 cats which are interested in the birds and seem to try to get one of the 5,000 birds that come through the yard. I have done a bird count and determined there are at least 5000 birds coming through the yard and eating at the feeders. I have counted 50 birds in just one of the 164 bushes in this area. There are 68 trees also on this property. The neighbor’s dog only goes out once in a while the cats are allowed free access to the area all day. We should be having way more bird deaths if the research was even 10% correct. The research out there on cats killing birds is for sure inaccurate at best and in reality a total lie!

  • Becky Bell Anger

    Why not people then, one might ask. The hypocrisy is what gets to me.

  • Troy Hansel

    Yes cats kill birds. If these cats are kept indoors they won’t kill birds. There are multiple initiatives to highlight the benefits of keeping cats indoors. Many cat lovers to care about biodiversity. We should focus our energies on getting cats indoors.

  • Atomizer

    Cats kill birds. It’s called nature. WTF are we supposed to do about it?

  • The issue of outside cats is a very difficult one and only when a community has made a decision together does anything substantive happen. In and around Chicago there is a catch, neuter and release program but studies haven’t yet shown a decrease in population or damage, we shall see. For more information go to

  • Argue numbers all you want. This article is spot-on. I just moved into a new house and local cats have killed several marine birds here. Just behind my house was the ripped-up remains of an Ibis, a seagull, and a lesser egret… in just TWO DAYS! I lived in a small town where the adage was; “Shoot the bird-killers. If it is a pet, a simple bowl of milk will get you a new one overnite.” I continue that belief.

  • Michele Glenn

    Impossible. According to the 2012 census figures, there are 313,914,000 people in the U.S. And this study says cats kill 2.4 BILLION birds each year??? The numbers are outrageously skewed; this just isn’t possible. My picture windows kill more birds than all of my cats have during my entire life.

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