Date: 2/28/17 12:24 pm
From: Suzanne Coleman <isooz...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: IBET Re: Cats and Rats, March 2017
Good info, thanks
Suzanne ColemanPark Ridge Cook co.

From: Donnie R. Dann <donniebird...>
To: Suzanne Coleman <isooz...>
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 10:06 AM
Subject: Cats and Rats, March 2017

#yiv6116100748 #yiv6116100748outlook a {padding:0;}#yiv6116100748 .yiv6116100748ReadMsgBody {width:100%;}#yiv6116100748 .yiv6116100748ExternalClass {width:100%;}#yiv6116100748 .yiv6116100748ExternalClass, #yiv6116100748 .yiv6116100748ExternalClass p, #yiv6116100748 .yiv6116100748ExternalClass span, #yiv6116100748 .yiv6116100748ExternalClass font, #yiv6116100748 .yiv6116100748ExternalClass td, #yiv6116100748 .yiv6116100748ExternalClass div {line-height:100%;}#yiv6116100748 div, #yiv6116100748 p, #yiv6116100748 a, #yiv6116100748 li, #yiv6116100748 td {}#yiv6116100748 img {}Cats and Rats, March 2017DonnieR. Dann March2017 – Volume 21, Number 2 ConservationAlert Catsand Rats, an Urban LegendRats,the very word sends shivers up the spines of many. And well itshould as rats are major disease carriers responsive for a host ofillnessesincluding plague and rat-bite fever. When city dwellers observe ratsfeeding on trash in back alleys the call is heard loud anddetermined, "bring in those feral cats and control these rats".
Arecent article appeared in a local Chicago publication, “dna info”entitled Rat-Packed Chicago Has 3-Month Waitlist For Feral Cats AsDemand ‘Explodes'. At first glance one would think yes, cats arethe perfect predator to rid us of those detested rats. But do theyand if so is the solution worse than the problem?
Theextensive scientific literature on the subject refutes the claim thatcats are effective rat predators. One example from a peer-reviewedstudy in the scientific journal Plos/One,includes the following paragraph. Typical of many science basedpapers the entire article is lengthy and esoteric, so I've excerpteda short section:
Studiesof house cat predatory behavior in Baltimore have supported numerousother reports [10], [26] that suggested cats only occasionally killedrats and rarely have a numerical impact on the prey population,(emphasis mine) though they can qualitatively affect its structure.Jackson [16] found that Norway rats were food items in only 6.7% offeral cat feces. He also reported that there was no demonstrablerelationship between the frequency of cat predation and the abundanceof either rats or cats in the alleys. Childs [20], [27] also observedthat cat predation on Norway rats was rare — only witnessing fiveattacks in more than 900 hours of observation. (Please write medirectly for the actual scientific articles referenced by the namesor numbers shown above).
We’releft with anecdotal evidence and opinions like “Once we brought thecats in the rats disappeared”. Rats are cagey beasts, acclimate tothe presence of cats and move to a safer location, an alley distantfrom the cat colony. The rats may scurry away, but as adults arerarely predated by cats. The safest and surest way to eliminate therat problem is to eliminate their food. Use rat-proof garbage canswith effective self-closing lids.
Meanwhileour nation’s cats, an estimated 100million feral and 50 million owned but free-roaming, areseriously assailing human health. Cats are the only source oftoxoplasmosis, a devastating parasite to pregnant women and thosewith compromised immune systems. They are also the primary domesticvector for rabies, and highly allergenic to many. As to the nation’swildlife,outdoor cats are responsible for killing approximately 2.4billion birds and 12.5 billion small mammals annually.
Fora highly informative dialogue on the problem of our nations abundantcat population, I strongly commend thislink to your reading.
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