According to Smithsonian.com, Americans own about 86 million cats. That breaks down to one cat for every third household. You might also be surprised to know that cats are more popular as pets than dogs and that the vast majority of cats are confined inside. The rest of the cats are permitted outdoors, which is where our problem begins.
An average outdoor pet cat kills two animals a week. Outdoor cats have killed about 2.4 billion birds in the US per year. This is a stunning statistic that leads to a logical conclusion: house cats should be legally required to stay indoors.
In addition to protecting the slaughter of our bird population, cats spread disease. The extinction in 2002 of the Hawaiian crow was caused in part by Toxoplasma, which is found in cat feces.
For many conservation biologists who are concerned about protecting our birds from extinction, cats are the easiest problem to fix.
Do you think that Michigan should pass legislation banning pet cats from going outside? If so how do you think we should go about creating this legislation? In addition how do you think we might manage the population of feral cats?
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