Authors: Peter P. Marra and Chris Santella
Published by: Princeton Univ. Press, 2016.
Outdoor cats kill roughly 2.4 billion birds a year in the U.S. alone, plus an additional 12.3 billion mammals and hundreds of millions of reptiles and amphibians. They are one of the greatest threats to wildlife in the country and are responsible for the extinction and decline of numerous bird species.
Yet well-meaning cat lovers have consistently denied the evidence of cats’ misdeeds and resisted efforts to combat the problem. For instance, they often advocate a process called “trap, neuter, return”—trapping feral cats, neutering and spaying them, and then returning to the wild—as a way to reduce the numbers of feral cats over the long term, even though studies have shown that the strategy can actually boost populations in feral colonies by drawing in unneutered animals. Marra, director of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, and writer Santella make an impassioned plea for action in this compelling report on an often overlooked threat.