Keep cats indoors or in outside runs to reduce predation of wild mammals
Overall effectiveness category Likely to be beneficial
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Domestic cats Felis catus can be major predators on wild mammals. For example, one study estimated that domestic cats in the UK brought home 52–63 million mammals over a five-month period (Wood et al. 2003). Keeping them indoors, or in enclosed outdoor runs, may substantially reduce their impact on wild mammals.
Woods M., Mcdonald R. & Harris S. (2003) Predation of wildlife by domestic cats Felis catus in Great Britain. Mammal Review, 33, 174–188.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A replicated study in 1997 in urban and rural areas in the UK (Woods et al. 2003) found that domestic cats Felis catus that were kept indoors at night brought home fewer dead or injured mammals than cats that were allowed outside. The average number of mammals brought home by cats that were kept indoors at night (6.0) was less than the number delivered by those that were allowed outside (8.9). Between April and August, cat owners recorded the number of prey brought home by 90 cats which were kept inside at night and 192 cats which were allowed outside. Only cats living in households with no other cats were included in the study.Study and other actions tested