Domestic cats have rich historical and cultural associations with human societies, and today they are second only to dogs as the UK’s most popular pet. They provide millions of people with companionship and are also kept for their skills as pest-controllers. However, the same hunting prowess that makes cats helpful allies can also be a problem, and owned, ‘outdoor’ cats kill many wild animals every year. This project has been working with cat owners to understand cat owners’ perceptions and priorities, and work with them to identify effective, practical means of reducing cat predation on wildlife, without compromising (and potentially enhancing) cat welfare.
Prof Robbie McDonald, Dr Sarah Crowley, Dr Martina Cecchetti
University of Exeter, Songbird Survival