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Should New Zealand Eliminate Cats to Save Birds?

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Gareth Morgan, a New Zealand economist, has suggested that New Zealand become a cat free zone in order to protect its diverse population of birds. Thankfully, he’s not suggesting anything harmful. Just spaying and neutering one’s cat, and then when it dies of natural causes, not getting another one.

However, it seems like Morgan is missing one big possible solution. Ask people to keep their cats indoors so that the bird population isn’t threatened by felines. The economist isn’t wrong about companion cats devastating local bird populations. Cats don’t just kill for food. They kill for fun. But, if people kept their cats inside, which is safer not only for the birds but also for the cats, then both species could thrive.

In fact, New Zealanders aren’t the only ones who should consider making outdoor cats inside kitties. As cats have few natural predators, they are free to hunt as much as they please. Check out this infographic from The Oatmeal for a humorous and frightening take on how much cats actually kill.

The Humane Society of the United States also advocates for keeping cats inside. Here are some handy tips from the organization about how to keep your cat happy and safe while also protecting other small species.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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