Fur vs. Feathers: U.S. cats killing billions of birds - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Fur vs. Feathers: U.S. cats killing billions of birds

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According to recent research, it's estimated that U.S. cats that are allowed to run free kill as many as 3.7 billion birds every year.

That's a lot of birds!

Cat lover Howard Antellis is not surprised.

"Cats will be cats," Antellis said.

But he's also not worried.

"That's just nature, I mean that's been happening forever. I don't think we're gonna run out of birds," Antellis said.

As we all know, not everyone loves cats.

"Cats are pretty evil...and they're pretty vindictive," said dog lover Brooke Wilson.

She's not surprised that cats are really killing machines. But she just can't figure out why they're picking on the birds.

"Dogs will chase after birds, but they'll stop after a minute and not take the bird down, break its neck and drop it off on your front door stop, which is kinda creepy. Maybe they're serial killers," Wilson said.

Austinite Susan Schaffel publishes nature and science field guides relating to birds all over the nation.

She's seen too many innocent birds die from cats to stay silent on the matter.

"Cats kill. They kill everything, it doesn't matter. They're bored, they've got nothing to do, they're excellent hunters. Again, part of the problem is not the cat it's the homeowner," Schaffel said.

She says it's also a city issue. She doesn't think the popular Trap-Neuter-Return program works at all.

On the back of her field guides, she always publishes one very vital public service announcement -- keep your cats inside!

"My family has cats. You know, the cats love me! I don't have a problem with the cats! Cats are hunters. I have a problem that people don't want to get what they're doing. But that's like the rest of society," Schaffel said.

It should be noted that it's not just birds cats are after. According to the study, small mammals like mice, shrews and rabbits are hit even harder.

They've killed as many as 20 billion of those.

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