The bird nesting season is an especially critical time to keep cats indoors! From March through October both adults are at risk while attending to their nesting duties. If one adult is missing, the surviving adult abandons nest rather than raise inferior chicks. At the end of March a female Carolina Wren with a full brood patch was brought to me, caught by a cat while on her nest during the wee hours of the night. This is one example of the hundreds of millions of birds killed annually by free-roaming cats.
Unfortunately less than 10%-20% of rescued cat victims survive. Even if they seem minimally harmed, there may be internal hemorrhaging from the puncture wounds of the cat's sharp teeth. Teeth wounds also introduce bacteria of over 60 types found in cat saliva.
I could go on about how native birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and how landowners are supported against stray cats by New Jersey nuisance animal laws. And about the benefits to cats by being kept indoors. Helpful suggestions for keeping cats happy indoors are found on the American Bird Conservancy website, www.abcbirds.org/cats.
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