Cats are beloved and adorable, and sometimes ponderously dumb, but they are also ruthless killing machines who will straight up yell “u wot m8?” at a bear like the ‘roid enthusiast in a sleeveless shirt outside a bar. Their urge to hunt is so strong that it’s already driven many species to extinction, according to a new metaanalysis published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences this week.
Feral cats are reportedly behind the extinctions of at least 63 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles in the past 500 years, second only to rodents (with 75 species driven to extinction) as a most-damaging invasive predator. The effect is most serious in geographically isolated areas like islands, which is why Australia is aiming to cull two million feral cats, and New Zealand announced this summer that they plan to kill all wild predators on the island by 2050. How they plan to cull that many animals wasn’t explained, but we’re sure Morrissey will be miffed.
So what can you do about this particular ecological problem among many? You can keep your cats inside, where they can sit at windows making strange halting meows at the birds instead of killing them, and you can take a tip from Bob Barker and spay or neuter your cats.
But we’re not recommending anyone stop having cats, because cats are too adorable. They’re even cute when they’re about to attack and they do the butt wobble: