Imagine if you lived with a teenager who went out every night drinking and killing and entering crawl spaces where they could become trapped.
Well, guess what, you do, and that teenager's name is Your Cat.
USA Today reports that a study out of the University of Georgia has revealed that housecats are "slaying more wildlife than previously believed." Lizards, chipmunks, angels, minotaurs – if you can name it, a cat's thin gray lips have been smeared with its blood.
To spy on housecats because they don't trust them, University of Georgia researchers mounted tiny video cameras on the collars of 60 pets in Athens, Georgia, gave them $20 for pizza, told them not to have any parties, and then left them to do whatever.
Turns out that all (less than half of) these cats wanted to do was murder (and also other things). According to the study's website, 44% of the cats hunted wildlife. Those who went hunting averaged two kills over the course of about a week.
Lizards, snakes, and frogs constituted 41% of the total captures, which is fine because that's boy stuff. Little mammals like voles and chipmunks were the next most popular menu item (25%), followed by insects and worms (20%) and birds (12%). To put these numbers in context: the fifty-five cats analyzed only managed to kill 39 things over a period of 7-10 days. So while it may sound like cats are killing a lot of birds (12% of their total carnage in the region studied), they actually aren't killing nearly enough birds (only 5 birds were eliminated from God's Earth).
The really scary thing, USA Today explains, isn't what cats are doing when they're stalking around on murderous rampages. It's what they're doing in their downtime.
Gettin' into mischief.
"Cats aren't just a danger to others, they're also a danger to themselves."
A whopping 85 percent of the cats studied were seen exhibiting at least one risky behavior, like "crossing roads" (45%), "eating and drinking substances away from home" (25%), "exploring storm drain systems" (20%), gettin' real high (420%), Illuminati stuff (△%), and "entering crawlspaces where they could become trapped" (20%)." As one might expect, the cats conducting the most risky business were young males. Old female cats were the most boring.
Despite the preponderance of "risky" behavior, it should be noted that none of the cats observed died or became maimed over the course of the study.
So now it's up to us to kill all the cats.