Mammal Felis silvestris catus (Feral cat)

Hairyman

Ludwig Leichhardt
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From above link.
"In the past year Arid Recovery has dissected 131 feral cats with their stomach contents containing a total of 291 mammals, 44 reptiles and 3 birds.
This averages out to at least two small animals for every feral cat.
It is estimated the feral cat population of Australia is currently between 15 and 20 million animals, and if each of these cats are eating one to two small animals each, that could be 30 to 40 million individual animals we lose EVERY DAY!"

I wonder what numbers of our wildlife foxes and road kills account for each day?
 

Dusty Miller

Alexander Pearce
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I think the cats have a much higher impact locally than the foxes, the fox scat I have examined often contains mainly beetle carapaces and vegetation, cat contents are always killed meat, so I assume the foxes are less damaging than the cats, per capita. The local foxes also scavenge meat from road kill as well (and often join it on the road).
 
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auscraft

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Timmy

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A few years ago I listened to an interesting radio program from the US aired on the ABC. it may still be available on their website. It dealt with parasites that affected the behavior of their hosts. One was a little parasite called a fluke that gets into ants "brains" and urges them to undertake behavior that gets them eaten by ruminants so the flukes can breed in the ruminants gut.

The other was cats and toxoplasmosis. The parasite breeds in the cats gut. Gets expelled in the cats scat. Rats eat the cat poo and the parasite makes its way into the rats brain. It then alters the rats brain (takes control of the rat). It causes the rat to have an attraction to the smell of cats. Ratty is then attracted to catty and is more easily caught and eaten.

The scary part was (and this is complete speculation with lack of brains to dissect) that this may affect humans in the same way. Hence the strange "cat people" with houses full of cats. Could it be the toxo parasite is controlling them, attracting them to cats? Perhaps.

Also the toxoplasmosis parasite is very dangerous to pregnant women.

Another cat horror story. I met a blind bloke years ago who was on the Australian parra Olympic ski team. He had been blinded by some disease he got from a feral cat he rescued out of a bin.
 

Hairyman

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... and that's another good reason to cook food thoroughly, especially wild food.
 
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