Study

Reducing the rate of predation on wildlife by pet cats: the efficacy and practicability of collar-mounted pounce protectors

  • Published source details Calver M., Thomas S., Bradley S. & McCutcheon H. (2007) Reducing the rate of predation on wildlife by pet cats: the efficacy and practicability of collar-mounted pounce protectors. Biological Conservation, 137, 341-348.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use collar-mounted devices to reduce predation by domestic animals

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Use collar-mounted devices to reduce predation

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Use collar-mounted devices to reduce predation by domestic animals

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Use collar-mounted devices to reduce predation by domestic animals

    A replicated, randomized, before-and-after study in 2005 in urban areas in Western Australia, Australia (Calver et al. 2007) found that putting a ‘CatBib™’ on domestic cats Felis catus to inhibit pouncing, with or without a bell, did not decrease capture rates of reptiles and amphibians (combined). There was no difference in the number of cats that caught reptiles and amphibians when they wore the ‘pounce protector’ (10/56 cats) compared to when the same cats did not wear one (15/56 cats). The number of reptiles and amphibians captured was similar when wearing the protector (0.5/cat, 29 individuals) compared to when not wearing one (0.7/cat, 38 individuals). Changing the colour of the pounce protector did not reduce capture rates (teal: 2–3 reptiles/amphibians caught; purple: 2–4 reptiles/amphibians). Adding a bell to the pounce protector did not reduce capture rates (with bell: 1–4 reptiles/amphibians caught; no bell: 2–3 reptiles/amphibians). Reptiles caught included native skinks, geckos and lizards. The CatBib™ pounce protector is a neoprene flap that hangs from a collar in front of a cat’s front legs, acting either as a visual warning or as a barrier to pouncing. Cats (male = 34, female = 28) were randomly allocated to one of four treatments: wearing a teal-coloured pounce protector, a teal pounce protector with a bell, a purple pounce protector, or a purple pounce protector with a bell. Cat owners monitored dead and live prey caught by cats for six weeks (three weeks each with and without the device) in November–December 2005. Half of the cats in each treatment were monitored wearing the device first followed by no device and the other half were monitored without the device first.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

  2. Use collar-mounted devices to reduce predation

    A replicated, randomised and controlled study in Perth, Australia in November-December 2005 (Calver et al. 2007) found that wearing a ‘CatBib™’ “pounce protector” (a neoprene flap that hangs from a collar in front of a cat’s front legs, acting either as a visual warning or as a barrier to pouncing) for three weeks, reduced the number of cats catching birds by 81% compared to when the same cats were not wearing the ‘CatBib™’ (5 vs. 26; n = 56 cats). The average number of birds captured per cat was also significantly lower (0.29 vs. 0.88). Adding a bell to the ‘CatBib™’ did not further reduce hunting.

     

  3. Use collar-mounted devices to reduce predation by domestic animals

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2005 in a residential area in Perth, Australia (Calver et al. 2007) found that domestic cats Felis catus wearing a collar with a ‘CatBib™’ “pounce protector” (a neoprene flap that hangs from the collar) brought home fewer mammals than did cats without a ‘CatBib™’. When equipped with a ‘CatBib™’, cats brought home fewer mammals (total of 59) than when not wearing a collar (total of 105). Adding a bell to the ‘CatBib™’ did not further reduce the number of mammals returned (with bell: 26, without bell: 33). Wearing a ‘CatBib™’ stopped 45% of cats from catching mammals altogether. In November–December 2005, in a random order, 56 cats underwent a period of three weeks wearing a ‘CatBib™’ and three weeks without a ‘CatBib™’. For the three weeks with a ‘CatBib™’, cats were randomly assigned either a ‘CatBib™’ only or a ‘CatBib™’ and bell. Only cats that frequently brought home intact prey were included in the study. Owners collected dead prey items and recorded live prey before release.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha )

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