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Old 12-24-2023, 02:37 PM   #1
Martin Nowak
Invasive House Cat Diet - Reptiles and Amphibians

"A global synthesis and assessment of free-ranging domestic cat diet"
Published: 12 December 2023

Free-ranging house cats are by large margin the worst blight on native fauna, globally and in all continents except Antartica. House cats by far exceed the limited damage by snakes and other herptiles.

In this global assessment, house cats' diet consists of 22.22% reptiles and 2.74% amphibians. Reptiles are only second to birds consumed. The authors conclude likely bias in underreporting of reptiles in the diet. See discussion.

"Aside from predation, these impacts include numerous cat-borne diseases that impact wildlife and human health and wellbeing, including toxoplasmosis, plague, and rabies4, and in some regions (such as Australia), some of these diseases would not occur without cats."

Except for the occasional Salmonella from turtles, diseases from reptile to human transmission are virtually non-existent.

"The high representation of species of conservation concern in cat diets (16.65%) is worrying given that cats have already been linked to 26% of bird, mammal, and reptile extinctions globally9, and are recognized as major threats to many extant threatened species".

Most states recognize the destruction of free-ranging house cats on native fauna. However, as one can imagine, disproportionate attention and regulation are given to herptiles. Here is a link to the Alabama position on house cats - with no plan and no budget to control them. And in Alabama, the G&F does not require a permit to keep house cats, no regulations on breeding them, no inspection of cages or house circumstances. The Alabama G&F page states, "They survive by preying on small animals and birds such as rabbit, squirrel, quail, songbirds, and many other species." No mention of predation on reptiles and amphibians - yet Alabama continues to tighten regulations on captive ownership of reptiles. Readers may wish to review their states' position on house cats.

House cats should be restricted to conscientious and responsible owners who will keep them in the house. And they can be wonderful pets - inside the house.

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