"What’s on the Menu When Your Cat Goes Out? Probably More Than You Think."

"Free-ranging cats hunt or scavenge more than 2,000 species, some of them imperiled, according to a new study."

"Everyone can agree on one thing: It’s not the cats’ fault they’re bad for wildlife. Cats are carnivores. Their talent for preying on rodents is a big reason their ancestors and ours started hanging around together in the first place. But then, people carried cats around the world, into ecosystems that weren’t equipped for such predators.

Wherever they are, they stalk. They pounce. They kill. They eat.

Now, researchers have documented the breadth of cats’ global buffet. A study published on Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications found that free-ranging domestic cats (including feral ones) eat more than 2,000 species, raising renewed concerns about the ecological fallout.

Almost half of the species were birds, followed by reptiles and mammals. An unexpected number of insects were found, including monarch butterflies, pink-spotted hawk moths and emperor dragonflies."

Catrin Einhorn reports for the New York Times December 12, 2023.

Source: NYTimes, 12/13/2023