The first thing to note is that sixty-five percent of those who completed the survey feed wild birds and own at least one cat. Proving the two can go hand in hand. Those cat owners will be happy to read that the RSPB say there’s “no scientific evidence that predation by cats in gardens is having any impact on bird populations UK-wide. This may be surprising," they add "but many millions of birds die naturally every year, mainly through starvation, disease, or other forms of predation. There is evidence that cats tend to take weak or sickly birds.”
Cats, of course, aren’t the only predator birds face – they also have Kestrels, Sparrowhawks and Tawny Owls to contend with. Bigger challenges are ever present in the countryside with the loss of their natural capital to face; specifically, habitat degradation/change or even complete and irreversible habitat loss.
Thirty percent of cat owners keep their feline in at night and yet only twelve percent of cats have a bell. Some cat owners were kind enough to take the time to expand on the survey and share their cat-keeping experiences, and one of the most forceful remarks was that cats should wear a bell. Cat collar safety is a tricky subject for cat owners as cats can “become caught or trapped on fences, gate posts or branches,” explains Cats Protection “leaving the cat incapable of escape.” They also have a helpful four-part guide to ensuring a cat’s collar is safe.
Thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to complete the survey.