Monday, 17 September 2012

Cats and birds

A visitor outside our lounge
Most of my friends know that I struggle with cats. I realise that many people adore them, so I'll  be careful what I say, but somehow I just can't bring myself to like them.  I think if truth be told,  I'm actually a little afraid of them,  certainly I get the feeling that they sense that I am, when they're around me. Is that the reason they seem to approach me in a crowded room rather than anyone else?

Anyway, in reading a  delightful little book, An ear to the ground-Garden science for ordinary mortal by Ken Thompson, I learn that in a study by the Mammal Society in 1997,  British cats were found to kill around 250 million (yes million) animals each year. Now as he points out, many of those animals were probably sick, very young or very old and may well have died anyway. Not all the animals were birds of course, they were many mice, voles and retiles.

The book closes with some tips on how reduce bird kill,

1. Fit the cat with a CatAlert sonic collar.
2. Keep the cat in at night. This rescues the cat kill by 80%.
3. Somewhat paradoxically, by providing a bird feeder. The rationale is that larger numbers of birds together are more likely to spot the cat  and each other
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