According to the study, domestic cats are a direct threat to other animals and birds.
The Polish Academy of Sciences has listed the domestic cat as an alien invasive species that threatens local biodiversity. Scientists believe that the cat was domesticated more than 10 thousand years ago in the Middle East, which means it is a species alien to Europe. Cats also kill and eat millions of other mammals and birds every year, making them an invasive species, according to ScienceAlert.
Polish scientists have called the domestic cat an alien invasive species for Europe, which negatively affects local biodiversity. The long list of invasive species of the Polish Academy of Sciences has been replenished with a domestic cat due to the fact that, according to a study, these animals are a real threat to the wildlife of Poland.
The study says that every year domestic cats kill and eat from 48 up to 580 million mammals, as well as from 9 to 135 million birds. According to the Polish biologist Wojciech Solarz, from a scientific point of view, a domestic cat 100% falls under the definition of an alien invasive species.
Invasive species are those animals that were brought from another region of the planet into an unusual new ecosystem for themselves, and due to this, such species cause significant damage to local wildlife.In social networks after the appearance of this message, users immediately expressed their outrage. Cat owners have said that pet terminology could spark an upsurge in cat abuse. Some commentators have said that this classification of cats is “stupid and harmful to these animals.” According to Solarzh, before that, no such message about invasive species has caused such a wave of criticism on the Web.
“Cats have been given too much responsibility for the reduction of biodiversity. Animals and birds can disappear from environmental pollution, and urban infrastructure dangerous for, for example, birds, can also contribute to this. Isn’t a person an invasive species for nature?”, – says veterinarian Dorota Suminska.
According to Solarzh, scientists do not in any way call for cruelty to cats. The Polish Academy of Sciences simply recommends that cat owners limit their pets' outdoor time only during the breeding season.
The scientists said in a statement that the definition of a cat as an alien invasive species should not affect the attitude towards these animals and cats should not be abandoned.
“I'm a dog owner, but I have nothing against cats,” says Solarge.
As Focus already wrote, scientists have named invasive species that caused the most damage to the earth. According to the study, two species – the frog and the snake – have caused a combined $16 billion in damage over the past 35 years.