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Forest Safety: Cats kill a billion birds and small animals in USA

Forest Safety: Cats kill a billion birds and small animals in USA
by J. Zimmerman, Ph.D.

Bird Flu Kills Cats new Current hot books on trees and forests.

Cats can be healthy and happy when kept indoors. Thanks to those of you who protect your cats - and thereby protect the songbirds from predation by cats.

Much of the following comes from the the American Bird Conservancy.

Cat Facts.

Predation of birds by cats.

Carol A. Fiore and Karen Brown Sullivan report (2000) (as of October 2012 at http://www.carolfiore.com/Article.html) the effects of urban domestic cat predation on birds in Wichita, Kansas (300,000 residents):

  1. What they did for a year (May 1998 - June 1999):
  2. What they found:
  3. Who they quote (among others):

Protect the Birds

Much of this adapted from the American Bird Conservancy, which has many more suggestions:

  1. "Support efforts in your community to protect wildlife and their habitats."
  2. Help the birds meet their "three basic needs: food, water and plants that provide escape cover and nesting sites."
  3. "Establish a brush pile for wildlife away from feeders."
  4. "It is the responsibility of cat owners to ensure that their cats are safely indoors. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), American Humane Association (AHA), and other groups are working with American Bird Conservancy (ABC) on 'Cats Indoors! The Campaign for Safer Birds and Cats.' Through this campaign, we will educate and encourage cat owners to protect cats, birds and other wildlife by keeping cats indoors."

Happy Indoor Cat

Selected Tips for Happy Indoor Cats from the American Bird Conservancy, which has many more suggestions:

  1. "Kittens kept indoors usually show no desire to venture outside as cats."
  2. "We can change most cats into happy indoor pets."
  3. "Provide a safe, outside enclosure, such as a screened porch."
  4. "Play with your cat each day."
  5. "Spay or neuter your kitten as early as eight weeks of age."
  6. "Don't feed free-ranging cats without making a commitment to giving or finding them a permanent indoor home."

Protect your own health

  1. Cats transmit bartonella bacterium causing swollen lymph nodes, joint pain, fever in healthy people.
  2. Bartonella bacterium causes skin lesions in AIDS patients.
  3. Cats carry salmonella, campylobacter, plague, cryptosporidium, and giardia.
  4. Cat feces contain toxoplasmosis (parasite hazardous to AIDS patients).

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