Scientists have quantified exactly how murderous your cat is Scientists have compiled an exhaustive list of all the species cats consume, and it includes more than 2000 birds, reptiles, mammals and insects — a sixth of which are of conservation concern.

Scientists have quantified exactly how murderous your cat is

Scientists have quantified exactly how murderous your cat is

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Scientists have compiled an exhaustive list of all the species cats consume, and it includes more than 2000 birds, reptiles, mammals and insects — a sixth of which are of conservation concern.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Juana, please don't take this the wrong way, but this next story might be bad news for cat owners like yourself.

JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:

Go on.

SHAPIRO: Well, we all know cats have murderous tendencies. You know, they like to drag little birds and mice to the doorstep.

SUMMERS: Mine has never done that. He is strictly indoor.

SHAPIRO: OK, we won't blame Toro. But scientists reviewed more than a century of scientific evidence, and they report today that free-ranging cats consume 2,084 different species, including birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects. There's even evidence they have eaten things as big as cows, although they're probably just scavenging those.

SUMMERS: They do not sound like picky eaters.

SHAPIRO: Definitely not. And a sixth of the species identified here are of conservation concern, like a rare Hawaiian seabird, baby green sea turtles, little brown bats, although cats also dine on cockroaches and rats, so that feels like a win.

SUMMERS: I mean, protein is protein, Ari. So is the recommendation just to keep your cat inside?

SHAPIRO: Well, as a journalist, I don't make recommendations. And as a dog owner, I would never tell cat owners what to do. But, yes, the lead authors on this paper keep their own cats inside. And they point out that indoor cats tend to be healthier and live longer, too.

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