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Keep your cat indoors, protect vulnerable bird populations

Letter to the Editor from Janis Allsop of Trail
In North America, domestic cats kill hundreds of millions of wild birds and mammals each year. Photo of injured bird: BC SPCA

Dear cat lovers,

This letter is a plea to extend your love of your pet cat(s) to the wild bird population that brings beauty and song to our world.

While statistics vary, according to a 2013 study published by Environment Canada scientist Peter Blanchard “cats [are estimated] to kill between 100 million and 350 million birds per year in Canada.”

Those numbers are staggering.

In spring, nesting birds with chicks to feed are particularly vulnerable.

An adult bird killed by a cat can leave behind a nest of chicks that will likely starve.

There is good news though.

You can contribute to reducing this carnage by keeping your cat indoors.

Additionally, your cat will likely live a longer life.

Indoor cats live on average 10 to 15 years, while outdoor cats live on average two to five years.

There are a whole host of dangers that threaten your cat when it’s outside.

These include; the threat from cars, attack by predators such as coyotes, risk of parasites, poisoning by toxins. This list goes on.

If you’re not a cat owner, but have neighbors who allow their cats to roam, please consider forwarding this message to them.


Janis Allsop