While cats are cute and all, they are definitely not one of the friendliest bunch, which is why gaining their affection is such a rewarding experience. You don't choose cats, they choose you and once you are one of the chosen few, they become absolutely loveable spawns of satan that bring dead animals as the proof of their everlasting love for you.
While studying in isolation that might no seem much, a new analysis has compiled the results of 66 different studies on pet cats to gauge the impact of Australia's pet cat population on the country's wildlife.
Apparently, those feisty love buds that we adore with all our hearts and share our homes with, on average, kills 186 reptiles, birds, and mammals per year, most of them native to Australia.
When you do the math, that equals to 4,440 to 8,100 animals per square kilometer per year for the area inhabited by pet cats. This study brings a new perspective to that Netflix show, Don't F**k With Cats.
A feral cat kills 749 animals each year
The study found that around 2.1 million cats are allowed outside their homes in Australia, but that figure could be much higher since another study stated that most cats sneak out of the house to venture in nocturnal adventures during night.
When the body count of their killing sprees is counted, this causes concern since the murder rate is even worse for feral cats, who are believed to kills 748 reptiles, birds, and mammals each year. Cats love playing games, so they don't only hunt when they are hungry which only adds more to this count.
Cats are damaging wildlife populations
While this might be thought of as pest control, cats are actually doing some damage to wildlife populations. According to the research, cats have played a leading role in most of Australia's 34 mammal extinctions since 1788. Moreover, they are a big reason populations of at least 123 other threatened native species are dropping too.
To name a few, cats have directly impacted the feather-tailed glider population in New South Wales, the skink population in a Perth suburb, and the olive legless lizard population in Canberra.
Got a kitty? Keep it at home
While the study is central to Australia, it definitely gives a new perspective into the wild adventures of our lovely kittens.
So, according to the researchers, if you own a cat and want to protect wildlife, you should probably keep it inside, which means more cuddles. It's a win-win scenario for everyone except maybe for your cat, which might decide to feast on your mortal body while you are sleeping after you forbid it from going out.