Cats Kill Billions

January 30, 2013 by  

Cats Kill Billions, Earlier versions of this story incorrectly said that previous studies indicated cats kill about 500,000 birds a year. The correct number is 500 million.

Out For Lunch? Researchers estimate that billions of birds and small mammals are killed by cats in the U.S. annually.

Vishnevskiy Vasiliy/iStockphoto
The battle between cat lovers and bird lovers has been going on for a long time. Cats and birds just don’t mix. But trying to get a handle on how many birds and other animals are being killed by cats isn’t easy. Just figuring out how many cats there are is tough enough.

“Cats are really hard to count,” says Pete Marra, an animal ecologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. He and his colleagues actually got a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to try to estimate the number of animals being killed by people, including through the effects of human activities, buildings and pets. They looked at things like wind turbines, cars, pesticides and – domestic cats.

Marra says Americans own about 84 million of them. “And of those, about 40 to 70 percent are allowed to go outside,” Marra says. “And we estimate that about 50 to 80 percent of those are actually hunters.”

That means as many as 47 million pet cats are out there killing prey. Marra says they also looked at cats he calls “un-owned” – feral cats, barn cats and strays. Based on previous studies, he estimates there could be anywhere from 30 million to 80 million of those in the U.S., most of them out hunting.

Report to Team

Please feel free to send if you have any questions regarding this post , you can contact on

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are that of the authors and not necessarily that of U.S.S.POST.


One Response to “Cats Kill Billions”

  1. Stacey on January 30th, 2013 5:21 pm

    “I hate cats!” I live in the country in a small town on almost 2 acreas. I share the neighborhood with others to which I have watched for the past 4 yeas the cats multiply. It is ridiculous! I had 2 full blooded akitas whom were outside dogs and just in the past year lost them both. My female akita came into contact with a cat that had crossed her path and akitas are agressive when it comes to there territory. A week later she died from reasons unknown because to do autopsys on dogs is highly expensive. Then 2 months later my male akita came into contact with a cat and a week later he had passed. I live in a double wide mobile home and these cats manage to get under my house anyway possible so they can stay warm or find food or even have their babies. Every day and night I hear them fight and it sounds like they have made their way into the belly of my home and the vents. I have tried everything, from trapping them and calling animal control to blocking off the skirting to my home with boards but they still manage to get under. I would be sitting outside and just watching my neighbors do feeding time and the amount of cats that gather is enormous. This has got to the point now that I am having to move. I guess on a positive note, I dont have mice.