Today’s 30 Days Wild isn’t quite so nice as all the rest. This morning when I got to the house next to my patch I found a baby robin by the door (I don’t think it had fledged but could be wrong), with a pleased looking cat sat next to it!
Now normally if he decides to catch anything its mice and rats. He was a stray that has made himself a home as a farm cat. After I had told the cat off – not that he listened, I took the robin and buried it in the garden. I didn’t fancy letting him eat it. I then noticed him looking in the flower bed at the front of the house and discovered the head and wings of a blue tit!! He is not in my good books. I don’t like the fact that he has killed two birds, but I can’t tell him off to severely. Finally after 8 years he has just plucked up the courage to let people within 2 feet of him and I can actually stroke him now, which with him getting older can only be an advantage. He is a nice cat, except the bird/mice/rat catching aspect! I’m hoping he doesn’t catch anymore anytime soon.
I don’t like to think about all the animals he has caught over the years. I guess he does generally eat his prey so in a way it was / is survival instinct for him, but he gets fed, so generally he doesn’t have a need to eat extra items. In the last year another cat has decided to make his home there too. He is very friendly and to our knowledge is too lazy to catch prey, he just shouts at humans for food instead!
It’s estimated by the Mammal Society that 55 million birds are killed by cats each year! To me that seems like a huge number, especially when so many of our bird species are in decline. There is however no evidence to show that cats are causing a reduction in numbers as some of the species with the most intense declines would not have a lot of contact with cats. However any species that already has pressure put on it with loss of habitats for example do not really need added pressure from our feline friends.
The RSPB suggest putting collars on cats to alert prey to their presence. That has been tried with the friendly cat as he can be picked up, but he hates the collar. He walks backwards to try and take it off when it’s put on, so there is no way he will wear it! and the main prey catcher – well unfortunately I don’t think he will ever be tame enough to even try to put a collar on him.