This is definitely a controversial issue. Research has confirmed that cats kill millions of songbirds every year and that is certainly a serious problem. What the research does not investigate, in any serious detail, is what kind of cat is causing most of the problem. There are at least three groups of cats in America. The first group, and the most dangerous to songbirds, are feral cats. These cats have been abandoned by their owners and have been left to fend for themselves in the wild, whether it be in a city, the suburbs, or in the country. There are millions of feral cats in this country and their numbers are growing. Lovers of songbirds should be interested in trying to help reduce the number of feral cats in America.
The next group is the “free-ranging” cats. While most common in the rural parts of the country, many pet owners let their cats roam throughout the neighborhood during the day and night. These cats are also a serious threat to songbirds since in most cases, they do not depend on their human owners for all of their food.
Finally, we have the “good” cats. We have no idea what percentage of all the cat pets in the country fall into this category, but it is the one for cat owners to strive for. A house cat, getting 100% of its food from its owner, is only a modest threat to songbirds. The true housecat may be allowed outside during the day, but if properly trained will remain within the boundaries of the home yard. These cats are responsible for killing very few songbirds. At the same time the cat’s owner takes responsibility for having a stay-at-home cat, or a “free ranging” cat which can be a threat to songbirds.