echo minarosa wrote:Domestic cats a.k.a. house cats are fantastic animals...in the house. Introduced in ridiculous numbers outside, they are deadly killers creating staggering numbers of dead native wildlife. I don't blame the cats...in part. They didn't ask to be in their position. Humans engineered it. I love love love cats as animals.
I love cats, they got me through my teenage years and since then I always wanted to have a cat around me.
Our family cat died last summer which was a sad event but I also knew that this was the last cat I would have - for several reasons, but one of the most important ones was to save the wildlife from my cat.
Here in Germany there are no feral cats but far too many pet cats. There are scientific investigations on how many birds and amphibes a free-ranging cats kills each year.
This year we have installed birdhouses and feeders and it is such a pleasure to see the little birds starting to collect straws and moss for their nests! This is definitely different from last year (although our cat was frail last year already).
The two local lizard species are endangered and near human settlements it is almost impossible to have sound lizard populations. Cats chase them and even if they do not kill them, they make them shed their tail (they can only do this once) and with that they lose their fat reservoir and will perish in the winter. A friend of mine tried to make a lizard habitat in her (small) garden but she met with exactly this problem. So we are planning a communal lizard habitat a bit off the housing area near the railroad tracks and hope to have better luck there.
I have seen very few snakes in my lifetime, you really have to live in a more remote corner of the country to find some.
Similar with amphibes, especially some of the toads and tree frogs which have to face a huge variety of reasons for their extinction, but one reason is the number of roaming cats. I have witnessed a cat in the neighbourhood killing a frog some time ago. Last year we had two frogs in our tiny pond (which was built three years ago) and I was soo happy until one day one of the frogs floating in the pond with both his lower feet bitten off.
And one of the reasons why I don't let the chickens free range in my small garden is (apart from scratching and eating my veggies) that they will eat anything they find, also beneficial insects, larvae and small amphibes like newts.
If you live in a wide space with lots of nature that might differ. But in my situation, living in a densely populated country, I have decided to do as much as I can to protect the little wildlife we have left and not endanger it any further.