How innocent do you think your housecat is? (Photo : Wikimedia Commons)
Ever wonder what your housecat is doing while you're away at work? You'd be surprised at the infidelities and bloodshed that take place. Not only are these left-alone felines preying on neighborhood wildlife far more than previously thought, they are also adopting a "second set of owners."
The research, the result of a collaboration between The National Geographic and the University of Georgia, involved attaching 'Kitty Cams' to cats to video record what they did as they roamed the streets of Athens, Georgia.
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"The results were certainly surprising, if not startling," said the university's Kerrie Anne Loyd, lead author of the study.
"In Athens-Clarke County, (Ga.) we found that about 30 percent of the sampled cats were successful in capturing and killing prey, and that those cats averaged about one kill for every 17 hours outdoors or 2.1 kills per week. It was also surprising to learn that cats only brought 23 percent of their kills back to a residence. We found that house cats will kill a wide variety of animals, including: lizards, voles, chipmunks, birds, frogs, and small snakes."
Apparently, this isn't just a case of cats cleaning up the neighborhood, but is an actual threat to urban wildlife.
"Cat predation is one of the reasons why one in three American birds species are in decline," said George Fenwick, president of American Bird Conservancy.
But that's not all. The research page on the 'Kitty Cams' website reads, "One of the most surprising things we witnessed was cats adopting a second set of owners. Four of our project kitties were recorded entering another household for food and/or affection!"