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Report: Cats kill billions of animals a year

they're America's most popular pet and

they're also the deadliest to our

environment that's according to a new

study that says cats are killing more

and more animals every year and the

problem is that its worst here in

Florida where Chris Franklin joins us

now for the breaking news center with

more on this story Chris well Jameson

the journal Nature communications says

cats are so out of control billions of

animals are dying every year that's

billions with a B and even though cats

are the killers it's people who help

them do all that damage this is scoop

the feral cat she lives outdoors and

seems harmless enough but she may be

responsible for killing as many as 18

birds a year and as many as 21 rodents a

year

multiply that by millions of other

outdoor cats and the numbers are

devastating most people really don't

understand that when these cats go

outside even if they're well fed they're

still driven by instinct and still will

kill wildlife if they're just sitting

out there sunning and see a lizard come

by they're gonna pounce on it it's just

what cats do they're natural-born

killers Florida's Fish and Wildlife

Conservation Commission has been

desperately trying to educate residents

about keeping cats indoors to prevent

them from killing wildlife despite all

the publicity about pythons invading the

Everglades cats are everywhere doing far

more environmental damage their biggest

target birds are birds don't know how to

respond to the feral cats and a lot of

times especially if it's through

trial-and-error or if it's a young bird

they get killed unfortunately it's

really really disrupting and it's really

harmful on our ecosystem cats may be

responsible for killing fifteen percent

of the country's bird population meaning

a decline in countless species I think

it's very possible we're gonna start

seeing a lower population of birds

especially than neotropical migrants and

the songbirds and things that

for date almost environmental officials

have often been met with resistance from

cat lovers who feed feral cat colonies

but the state says the best solution is

an easy one

don't let your cats outside so they

really belong indoors I agree and it

really do belong indoors it's really

important for people to be responsible

pet owners Fish and Wildlife officials

say a common misconception is the so

called catch and release program being a

help where cats are spayed and neutered

and then led back outside the state says

that is a bad idea because even though

those cats can't breed they can still

kill live in the news center Chris Frank

and ABC Action News