It would be wise not to anger him.
Cats kill billions of animals yearly, but feeding them a meaty diet and providing lots of playtime can redirect them to less violent pursuits, a new study finds.
The mother of one cat in the study had seen her furry friend wreak havoc:
“We’ve had birds in the bedroom, rats in the paper bin, rabbits in the utility room, and several vermin that have died of fright,” says her owner, Lisa George from Cornwall, U.K.
But redirecting their prey drive to play, plus keeping them sated with meat, greatly reduced the body count:
the high-meat diet and playtime approaches had the most sweeping impacts, slashing all types of animals on the doorstep by 36% and 25%, respectively.
See the full study out today in Current Biology here.
A surprisingly large number of species have a prey drive. Our gerbil stalked, attacked and ate caterpillars, leaving only the legs. He also ripped the head off a cockroach and wisely left the remains for my wife to clean up rather than eating them.
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Photo: “killer kitty” by Ayeshah Ijaz is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0