Why are the cats to blame?

The recent listing of domestic cats as an “invasive alien species” by the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) did not sit well with pet owners, including me.

Biologist Wojciech Solarz of the state-run scientific institute has registered Felis catus in its database as a species detrimental to biodiversity given the number of birds and mammals it hunts and kills.

According to the Associated Press, Solarz said that the criteria for including the cat among alien invasive species are “100 percent met by the cat.”

photograph courtesy
of UNSPLASH/ roberto huczek

PAS further argued by citing a research1 that “cats in Poland have killed and eaten 48.1 and 583.4 million mammals and 8.9 and 135.7 million birds yearly.”

The Happy Cat author Dorota Suminska thinks otherwise, arguing that the plight of biodiversity is due to pollution and infrastructure caused by mankind.

PAS remained firm in its stance, saying that its position is in line with the European Union guidelines. It further recommended cat owners to limit their pets’ outdoor time to avoid such situations.

photograph courtesy of unsplash/steffi pereira
CATS in Poland have killed and eaten millions of mammals and birds every year.

The other species included in PAS’ database are mandarin ducks, Japanese knotweed, clearwing moths and raccoons.

However, PAS has reminded the public that the classification of cats in such a category does not warrant any cruelty against cats as it is something that they are totally opposed to.

It goes without saying that cats are one of the world’s most beloved pets, if not the most. It is just sad to think that the decline in biodiversity is being blamed on them.

Should we take matters into our own hands?

photograph courtesy of unsplash/nathalie jolie
COMMON house cats are now classified as ‘invasive species’ to wildlife.

1 Dagny Krauze-Gryz, Jakub Gryz, Michał mihorski (2019). Cats kill millions of vertebrates in Polish farmland annually. Global Ecology and Conservation. Vol 17.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2018.e00516. E00516, ISSN 2351-9894.

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