Cat overpopulation is mainly a human-caused problem that affects our native wildlife. Outdoor cats, even well-fed ones, kill hundreds of millions of wild birds and other animals each year in the U.S., including endangered species. Birds that nest or feed on the ground are easy prey to cat attacks. Some of our local native birds are declining in numbers: hummingbirds, the California Jay, field sparrows, doves and quail.
It is estimated there are as many as 80,000 outdoor cats in El Dorado County, and as a result approximately two million birds and other small animals necessary to our local food chains are being killed every year in El Dorado County alone.
There are several easy ways to help:
1. Keep your cat indoors if you can.
2. Make or buy a cat toy (imitating a bird or mouse) to simulate hunting — tire them out with it before letting them outside.
3. Keep cats in at dawn and dusk (they are crepuscular hunters).
4. Attach a bell to your cat’s collar.
5. Report feral cats to your local organization that deals with them.
6. Contact your local wild animal rescue if you find any injured wildlife.
6th grade, Miller’s Hill School Nature Bowl Team