Cats may be much deadlier than we think. New studies suggest that the sloth like creature sunning itself in your window may just be leading a double life. Research conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute conclude that cats are responsible for killing 1 to 4 billion birds and 7 to 20 billion mammals each year.
That’s a pretty impressive kill count. A combination of pets and un-owned cats make a pretty big impact on the wildlife population. Although the numbers are difficult to calculate for sure, it’s estimated that 1 in every 10 birds is killed from a kitty related incident. The numbers are results of studies conducted in both the United States and Europe, determining how many total cats exist owned and un-owned- among other factors to determine the final kitty killings count.
Your furry feline may be the cutest little serial killer you have ever seen, but that does not mean these undercover attacks don’t pose some health risks to you and your family. Because of the high number of wildlife that fall victim to the claws and teeth of cats each year, there are some diseases that cat owners need to be aware of.
The two primary diseases that cat owners should be on the lookout for are toxoplasmosis and rabies. Killing and eating animals infected with toxoplasmosis can easily cause a cat to become a carrier of the disease. Most cats will simply become immune to the disease. But, it still is a health risk especially for those that have a weakened immune system and for pregnant women. It is estimated that over 60 million humans are currently carriers of the disease.
Because cats are in close contact with both wild animals and humans, the number of cats discovered to carry rabies is on the rise. In fact, rabies is reported in cats about three times and much as in dogs. To put it simply, when cats are outdoors the have a greater interaction with wildlife and animals that are known to be carriers of the disease, so their potential to contract rabies increases.
Are cat owners safe?
Killer cats might sound like the topic of a science fiction movie, but the truth is, aside from the diseases cat owners must watch for, our furry friends will do little to harm us. Despite what that aloof personality may lead you to believe, they aren’t plotting our murder while we sleep. We suggest that you play it safe, perhaps even get a dog if you are worried just make sure you keep it a dog lead when there is a cat about!