10 Ways to Help Birds: Number 8 — Keep your cats indoors
We’ve made a list of 10 things you can do to help birds, and we’re counting them down one day at a time until Earth Day, April 22.
April 15, 2021 — Don’t let the cat out of the house. Outdoor cats kill an estimated 1.3 – 4 billion birds in North America every year (they also kill 6.3–22.3 billion mammals annually).
It’s a huge, emotionally-charged problem. Many people think cats should be allowed to run free. But dogs are generally not allowed to do that so why should cats be allowed?
Keep your cat indoors and, if you acquire a new cat, train it as an indoor pet.
In a paper published in the journal Nature, three scientists wrote: “Our findings suggest that free-ranging cats cause substantially greater wildlife mortality than previously thought and are likely the single greatest source of anthropogenic mortality for US birds and mammals. Scientifically sound conservation and policy intervention is needed to reduce this impact.”
“Anthropogenic mortality” = death caused by humans.