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Free-roaming cats kill an estimated 2.4 billion birds in the U.S. – Duluth Audubon Society

Free-roaming cats kill an estimated 2.4 billion birds in the U.S.

Grant Sizemore

Director of Invasive Species Programs at American Bird Conservancy

Washington D.C. Metro Area

Renewables & Environment


Every year, free-roaming cats kill an estimated 2.4 billion birds in the U.S., making these feline predators the single greatest direct, human-caused threat to America’s birds.

Public officials can curb the staggering toll on birds by passing ordinances that restrict cat roaming and promote responsible pet ownership. But the vast majority of our local governments have yet to pass even rudimentary laws, allowing cats to wreak havoc on vulnerable birds.

It’s time we change that by asking elected officials to pass humane laws that reduce bird deaths by prohibiting cat abandonment, strengthening sterilization efforts, and encouraging safe alternatives to unrestricted roaming.
The birds that inhabit our backyards and neighborhoods need protection from cats now: Tell elected officials in your county and municipality to keep birds safe from  free-roaming cats by passing laws that encourage safe pet ownership.

Since domestic cats have been introduced around much of the world, the impacts have been disastrous. Cats have contributed to the extinction of 40 bird species and are now one of the world’s most harmful invasive species. Without immediate action, more extinctions are only a matter of time.

And the impact on birds goes beyond direct attacks. Studies have found that even a cat’s presence can be stressful enough to reduce bird survival and reproductive success, shadowing their lives in debilitating fear.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, free-roaming cats are more likely to carry dangerous diseases—rabies and toxoplasmosis, among others—that pose a risk to the health of our families.  Local ordinances that limit free-roaming cats can help reduce the spread of these diseases. They also benefit cat owners and cats, protecting beloved pets from speeding cars, backyard predators, and other dangers.

Keeping cats safe is good for birds, cats, and our communities: Call on local officials to prioritize bird protection by adopting smart measures to restrict free-roaming cats.

Free-roaming cats kill more than twice the number of birds killed by all other direct, human-caused threats combined. But working together, we can begin to turn the tide, building a safer, sustainable world for birds—and cats.

Thank you for making your voice heard,

Grant Sizemore

SPREAD THE WORD American Bird Conservancy
abcbirds.orgPO Box 249,The Plains
Virginia, 20198
(540) 253-5780