Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Here Kitty Kitty. A Recent Study Suggests Cats Kill Up to 18 Billion Small Creatures Per Year! Can Putting Up A Fence Keep Them In (Or Out Of) Your Yard?


A recent study from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute suggests that cats kill up to 3.7 billion birds and 15 billion small mammals per year.  For some people, that may come as welcome news, as their thinking is that the cats are killing common pests like mice and rats.  Not true.  According to Pete Marra, an animal ecologist and a member of the team that conducted the study, the majority of the mammals that are killed are native woodland creatures like voles and chipmunks.  And while pet cats do play a role, feral cats bear most of the responsibility.

Often cat owners will let their cats come and go from the house as they please, knowing that the cat will return.  Aside from the danger of getting hurt by larger animals or other feral cats, letting your cat roam can increase the likelihood that they are off hunting.  If the last thing that you want to see is Snowball returning home with a dead bluejay or chipmunk, then you need some way to contain it to your yard and keep other animals out.  But is there any kind of fence can keep a cat in?  Can't they just climb, dig, or jump whatever obstacle you put in their way?  After all, cats have a strong natural instinct to hunt, and will go to just about any lengths to fulfill that desire.

The truth is, after much debate and discussion, the general consensus in our office is that no fence can 100% keep a cat in and that best way to ensure that your cat doesn't leave the yard is to keep them in the house.  But, we'll stay on the case and keep researching until we find the best method.  In the meantime, we would love to hear what our readers think.  If any of you have successfully contained your cat in your yard, leave us a comment to let us know how you did it.

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