Cats, declares a writer on Slate.com, are evil. Reporting on New Zealander zoologist Gareth Morgan’s plea to eliminate cats from his country because they’re killing off all sorts of birds and other animals we’d much rather have instead, Laura Helmuth notes that “Cats are a globally invasive species” and “are particularly damaging in island ecosystems that are home to species found nowhere else on earth,” like New Zealand.
Morgan runs the Cats to Go project. “Your cat is not innocent,” he points out, with a little more reserve than did Helmuth (or the editor who titled the piece), on one page of its website. For example:
- The average cat brings home 13 pieces of prey each year. But this is only one in five of their kills. Cats eat a third of what they kill, and leave half of them to rot.
- If they are not bringing home native birds it’s because there are none around left to kill.
- Domestic cats living on the edge of wilderness areas seem to do the most damage and can wander huge distances; covering up to 69 hectares.
- Before you say it, even well-fed cats kill. The fact is that cats kill on instinct, not because they need to eat, it is one of their most pleasurable activities. In one study, six cats were presented with a live small rat while eating their preferred food. All six cats stopped eating the food, killed the rat, and then resumed eating the food.