One of the biggest threats to birds is cats. Estimates vary as to the number of birds that are killed by cats each year but the numbers are in the millions. There are more than 82 million cat owners in the United States, and an untold number of feral cats, and unfortunately, many people are of the misconception that a well fed cat will not hunt. Primal instincts do not go away. Killing prey is instinctive, and cats will kill birds, and small mammals even if they are not hungry.
If you don’t care about the birds, and you are among the 65% of owners to allow their cat to roam, hopefully you care about your cat. Being outside can expose your cat to many diseases, coyote attacks***, getting hit by automobiles, getting lost or stolen and many other hazards.
The American Bird Conservancy has a program called “Cats Indoors“. If you care about your outdoor cat, it behooves you to visit their website and read about why you should keep your cat indoors, and how to train it to stay indoors after it has been an outdoor cat.
The picture below was taken by a friend in North Carolina. This cat was seen outdoors all the time, and I am not sure if it is owned by anyone. Here it has an encounter with a fox they think may be rabid. The cat was never seen again.
Here in Cape Coral, predation by cats is a problem with our Burrowing Owls. While we don’t have a major feral cat population, we do have homeowners who let their cats out at night. Ongoing education of the public as to the valid reasons why cats should be kept indoors is one of the projects of Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife.
*** If you live in Cape Coral, you may think that coyotes are not an issue, but you are wrong! There are more and more sighting of coyotes in our fair City, and not just up in the less populated northern section. A coyote was spotted just off Cape Coral Parkway and Pelican Blvd, a very heavily populated residential area. Read more about the Coyotes of Cape Coral on the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife website.