CATS: Bibs curb cats’ predatory urges
Scientists? believe they may have found a way to curb the? predatory urges of cats by? fitting them? with brightly coloured, clip-on bibs.?
Conservationists have found? that the number of birds, rodents and other creatures captured by cats falls? dramatically if the pets wear the? bibs, which hinder their ability to stalk and pounce.
Bib-wearing cats? are still able to eat, run and groom themselves, but they become? less of a threat to other wildlife, the researchers say.?
Britain’s cat population is estimated to kill tens of millions of birds each year.? Our feline friends also inflict? heavy casualties on? mice, frogs, newts and other species – a? problem has led to calls for? cat owners to keep pets in at night and attach bells to their collars.
In the new study,? led by Mike Calver, a biologist at Murdoch University in Western Australia,? owners of 56 cats that regularly brought dead animals back home,? kept ? logs of what their pets? brought home over a six- week period. For half the time? the cats were fitted with bibs.
In total the cats brought back 296 creatures, including 65 birds, 67 amphibians or reptiles and 164 mammals, including? mice, rats and bats.
However, once the cats were fitted? with bibs? 81% were prevented from? catching birds, 45% from capturing mammals and 33% from taking amphibians and reptiles. According to the study, published? in the journal Biological Conservation, the bibs cut bird deaths by 67%.