Your cat is a hunter who kills prey. That’s the cold truth, whether you want to believe it or not, and — according to a recent study — most owners don’t. Ecologist Jennifer McDonald and her team studied the behavior of 86 cats in two towns in the United Kingdom, examining the amount of prey the animals killed (whether or not they delivered it to their owners’ doorsteps) and comparing those numbers to the owners’ perceptions of their sweet widdle kitties.
McDonald discovered that people underestimated their cats’ kills, partially because cats only bring home about a third of their trophies and partially because they were largely unwilling to believe that their cats were harmful to the ecosystem (even though in Canada, for example, cats are the No. 1 killer of birds). McDonald noted that nearly 98 percent of the survey respondents were opposed to keeping their bloodthirsty pets (sorry) indoors, which is exactly what the American Veterinary Medical Association suggests, for the cats’ sakes, as well as for their potential victims.