The Moral Dilemma Cats Cause, and the Damaging Effects of Street Cats
Cute cats are near-impossible to resist.
In the United States, there are an estimated 76.5 million domesticated indoor cats, and that is excluding the large number of stray street cats that people regularly feed.
What people don’t know is that cats are NOT native to North America.
In fact, cats are one of the most invasive, problem-causing species in North America- and they’re doing tons of damage all around the world as well.
As cute and cuddly as they are to us, cats are killing machines in reality.
If we were smaller than a cat, then our household pets might stop loving us and start eating us.
When you’re “playing” with your cat by dangling on a string or using a laser pointer, that’s not just your cat goofing around- it’s literally training their hunter-killer instincts!
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Cats are exclusively carnivores. They can’t survive eating vegetables, and they must hunt.
It isn’t something that they’ve learned, but something that is very natural to them.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a domesticated cat for 10 years- put the cat back in the wild and it’ll start hunting as if it had never been “tamed” in the first place, if “tamed” is even a word we can use to describe cats.
Back in the old days, cats evolved alongside humans not because of how cute they were, but because of their use to us.
When humans first started farming, we had a huge problem: small insects & rodents would eat up and destroy our crops, making it hard to sustainably grow crops.
Cats solved this problem effectively and with no effort on the human’s parts.
Cats do not damage our crops or try to eat them, but they do hunt the rats, mice, and other small rodents that would otherwise be damaging our crops.
Having cats on your farm was one of the best methods of pest control in the old days!
Over time, people began to adopt cats as pets. Not only did cats kill our pests, but they also would let us pet them, and we found them cute, so we developed a natural friendship over the years.
This was okay during the old days in Africa, Europe, and Asia when we needed cats to get rid of rodents for us, but bringing cats to other continents has caused a massive problem to biodiversity & nature as a whole.
In North America, many small animals & birds species had never experienced a cat before; they were not prepared for the slaughter that would await them when humans first started bringing cats from Europe.
In North America, islands, and other continents that cats aren’t native to, cats experienced a huge advantage over all local species. They were quickly able to take over and hunt small animals if they are outdoor cats.
Many “indoor” cats are thriving as well, but as soon as they get out of the home, they are usually just as capable of hunting as if they had always lived outside.
These days, cats are causing huge problems around the globe.
These cute yet voracious murdering machines kill an estimated 1.3 to 3.7 billion birds every single year in the United States alone. They kill anywhere from 6.3 to 22.3 billion mammals every year (which includes birds, small rodents, and other creatures).
The effects these little killing machines have on our ecosystems and biodiversity is huge, and the impact is largely not good.
Fixing the problem however is rather difficult.
Around the world there are countless domesticated cats, and far more city cats running around feeding on all kinds of small animals.
People often see cats on the streets and feel sad for them. Many people are feeding wild cats thinking that they are doing good, but in feeding street cats and helping them to thrive, they’re only allowing more street cats to live, thus killing even more birds and small animals!
While it’s a tough reality to grip, the fact is that cats are NOT entirely beneficial to nature, and that street cats are causing MASSIVE problems in nature.
It could be argued that in some cases they can be beneficial- for example, in some rodent-infested downtown cities cats can be used to help control the rodent problems.
Cats may have been used as a “weapon” against rodents in some downtown cities, as cats were quickly capable of destroying all of the small rodents.
However, overall cats are killing at a super fast rate and causing massive changes in the ecosystem.
Even though the science is there showing the true danger of street cats, many people are not willing to change anything, stop feeding the cats, or even kill the cats.
It’s hard to blame them. Cats are extremely cute, and we own cats ourselves as well!
The moral problem is as follows: kill or starve the cute, cuddly cats on the streets, OR take care of them but in doing so kill several more small animals over the years?
Tough moral decisions like these force us as a society to think outside the normal box in order to find unique solutions that benefits everyone.
Also, it’s not necessarily the cat’s faults- we are the ones that brought the cats to every corner of the globe, and allowed them to thrive and wreak the havoc which they have caused. It was our fault, but now it is our responsibility to solve the problem.
On a personal level, you can make sure that if you own any cats to not let them get outside where they could be hunting other small animals or birds.
This content was produced not to proclaim just or unjust, but just as an interesting insight as to the reality of invasive cats, why it was caused, and present a unique societal problem that you may not have known before.
How would you handle this moral problem?
Finally, cats were an effective form of pest control for the majority of mankind, but these days dedicated wildlife & pest companies such as Wildlife x Team International exists for the sole purpose of taking care of your home!
If you have a wildlife or pest-related problem please call us at 855-WILDLIFE or visit www.wildlifexteam.com and we’ll be sure to help you out.
Have a great day!
-Wildlife x Team International