Britain’s Increasing Feral Cats, Our Wildlife Will SufferKeith
Britain’s Increasing Feral Cats, Our Wildlife Will Suffer unless action is taken.
Britain is one of the least wooded countries in Europe and there are fewer places where large predators can hide. The wolf is gone and surveys have revealed that the wildcat is facing the prospect of extinction. Estimates vary on how many remain in the Scottish Highlands, but a total population of 400 or so was generally accepted.
English place-names such as Catcliffe, Catfield, Catford and Catworth are testament to the former presence of wildcats in other parts of Britain.
Wildcats make our home-loving pets look wimpey. Up to 50 per cent bigger and thicker fur, stronger and more aggressive than even the toughest cat.
Moves towards controlling cats and their impact is not restricted to rural areas. The number of domestic cats in the UK is estimated to have doubled in the last thirty years and today there are an estimated ten million of them.
Large areas of suburbia are virtually extinct of ground-feeding birds such as thrushes and dunnocks, an absence that cannot be unrelated to the generally high density of cats.
Perhaps we need to re-appraise our attitude to domestic cats and be more proactive in trying to contain the increasing feral population. Otherwise our gardens will continue to have fewer birds in them.