Bells reduce predation of wildlife by domestic cats (Felis catus)

  • Published source details Ruxton G.D., Thomas S. & Wright J.W. (2002) Bells reduce predation of wildlife by domestic cats (Felis catus). Journal of Zoology, 256, 81-83.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

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, controlled study in 1999 in urban and rural areas of Lancashire, UK (Ruxton et al. 2002) found that domestic cats Felis catus wearing a bell brought home fewer dead/injured mammals than did cats without a bell. Over an eight-week period, the total number of mammals brought home by cats when wearing bells (82) was less than half than that delivered during periods without a bell (167). The rate of delivery of items did not change over time, suggesting cats did not adapt to hunting with bells. Between July and October, a total of 41 cats were randomly allocated to either: four weeks without a bell followed by four weeks with a bell, four weeks with a bell followed by four weeks without, or alternate weeks with and without a bell, beginning with one week with a bell. Bells were fitted to a collar. Only cats that previously brought prey home and wore a collar were investigated. The number of prey delivered was recorded by cat owners.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

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