Cats and Birds: In the News
We just received a mention in a feature article in The Guardian (UK). Their story focused on the different options for controlling cat predation on birds, including confinement indoors, restricting outdoor hours, and our "colourful" cat products that use bright colors to warn birds of a cat's presence. You can read the whole article, "Is it Time to End Cats' Right to Roam?" here.
The article mentioned estimates of how many cats routinely go outdoors, both in the U.S. and the U.K. The estimates were: 70% of cats in the U.S. stay indoors, with 30% routinely going outdoors. And, conversely, in the U.K., 30% were cited as going outdoors, and 70% confined.
These percentages represent new estimates, and also indicate significant trends. It's worth noting that the percent of cats remaining indoors is estimated to be rising sharply in the UK and Europe, according to the science paper cited in The Guardian. Previous anecdotal reports were that almost all cats in the UK and Europe routinely went outdoors, as a cultural norm.
Similarly, we have often heard the U.S. estimate being around 50% of cats staying indoors only, so 70% would be a notable change. One research source paper cited in The Guardian did put the U.S. estimate at 63% indoors only.
While these percentages are, by necessity, estimates, they seem to be showing a real trend towards keeping cats indoors, which is an excellent choice for cat welfare -- and for birds and other wildlife. We think this is very good news, and may reflect cat owners becoming more aware that they should limit their cats' impact on the rest of the natural world by completely eliminating cats' outdoor hunting of other species.
While some might expect us, as the creators and sellers of Birdsbesafe collar covers to be biased in favor of outdoor cats, we are not. We are biased in favor of wildlife protection. We have always said that if all cats stayed indoors, we would be happily limited to selling our product as a fashion accessory, rather than a proven bird conservation tool. However, with 100 million cats owned in the U.S. (estimated) and about 100 million in all of the EU and UK, that's a lot of cats, even if only 30 to 70% of them go outdoors!
Keeping your cat indoors is a great choice, for many reasons, not least of all wildlife protection. But if your cat does venture outdoors daily, try limiting its outdoor access at dawn and dusk. That can make a difference.
And, yes, our Birdsbesafe collars covers can also help protect wild birds. Read more on our website's science pages. Thanks for caring about cats and birds!