Owners Refuse to Face the Truth: Cats Are Ruthless Killers

Don't let their adorable faces fool you. They are killing machines.

Regardless of the world's collective fondness of cats and the videos in which they star, they are ruthless killing machines. Don't believe me? The numbers don't lie.


Jenni McDonald from University of Exeter's Penryn Campus in Cornwall and her team of researchers estimate that the number of animals killed at the hands of cats are in the millions, which is why there are proposals suggesting owners should keep their cats indoors. Many do not agree that their pets are harming the environment — as if Mittens would ever be capable of such a thing!

The researchers even gathered data on cats from two UK villages, Mawnan Smith in Cornwall and Thornhill, studying 86 cats from 58 households. The team compared predictions of how many animals would be caught by the cats with what they actually brought home. Surveys were also given to owners to assess their thoughts on their pet's predatory behavior.

McDonald found that no matter the number of “gifts” owners would find at their doorsteps, “owners do not accept that cats are a threat to wildlife; they refused to agree that their pets were harmful to the local wildlife. The majority of cat owners seemed to be ignorant of how many animals their cat was hunting down and killing.”

Even informing the owners that keeping their cat indoors would be a good precautionary measure to help the local wildlife, they were unwilling to comply.

McDonald concluded:

"If we are to successfully reduce the number of wildlife deaths caused by domestic cats, the study suggests that we should use cat welfare as a method of encouraging cat owners to get involved."

Read more at EurekAlert!

Photo Credit: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/ Getty Images

Related Articles

Why drawing isn’t just an art

There's a growing understanding that drawing is much more than an art form: it's a powerful tool for learning.

(GoaShape via Unsplash)
Mind & Brain
  • We often think of drawing as something that takes innate talent, but this kind of thinking stems from our misclassification of drawing as, primarily, an art form rather than a tool for learning.
  • Researchers, teachers, and artists are starting to see how drawing can positively impact a wide variety of skills and disciplines.
  • Drawing is not an innate gift; rather, it can be taught and developed. Doing so helps people to perceive the world more accurately, remember facts better, and understand their world from a new perspective.
Keep reading Show less

4 new personality types revealed by huge study

It may be simpler than we thought.

(Anna Palm de Rosa, Public Domain)
Surprising Science
  • An analysis of a massive amount of data reveals four new personality types.
  • The study is the first to take self-reporting out of the equation.
  • The four new types are "average," "reserved," "self-centered," and "role model".
Keep reading Show less

Why the “slow metabolism” is a myth

Despite its prominence in our collective imagination, variations in metabolism play a minor role in obesity.

Photo: Science Photo Library
Surprising Science
  • Vox senior health correspondent Julia Belluz spent a day inside of a metabolic chamber at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.
  • Her 90 minutes on stationary cycle only burned 405 calories, just 17% of the day's total calories.
  • Resting metabolism uses up the bulk of the body's energy.
Keep reading Show less