Cat owners need to keep a closer rein on their pets, according to Autumnwatch presenter Chris Packham, who claims in this week’s Radio Times that keeping moggies indoors at night would halve the numbers of animals killed in Britain.
“I don’t want to stop people keeping cats. But I pick up my dog poo, I run my dogs on a lead in certain places, I modify my behaviour. As a conservationist all I want to do is ask people who keep cats to move on in the way they keep them,” said the wildlife expert.
“Over 200 million animals are killed each year by domestic cats. If you keep them in at night it reduces that figure by 50 per cent.”
The presenter also urged cat owners to look at technological solutions to curb the behaviour of their predatory pets, saying: “If you put one of these new electronic bleepers on them when they’re out during the daytime, it can reduce bird predation by 45 per cent.”
“I love cats,” admitted Packham. “I think they are beautiful, a wonderful predator. But what’s the point of feeding birds in the garden if you’re feeding them to your cat?”
Don’t miss the rest of our Autumnwatch feature, detailing Michaela Strachan’s introduction to the show, in this week’s magazine.