Do House Cats Do More Danger to Fish Stocks Than People?

August 26, 2008 By: Marshall Cutchin

When Peter Matthiessen wrote Wildlife in America (1959), he was the first to take note of the devastating impact of feral house cats on wildlife and particularly on bird species. Fifty years later, as we digest the fact that our oceans’ fish stocks are not unlimited, Australian researchers have put together data showing that non-feral house cats may be having a greater impact on fish stocks than human beings. More than two million tons of seafood are being consumed by our feline friends each year, they say. “The global cat food industry was using an estimated 2.48 million tonnes of sardines, herrings and anchovies annually, led by well-fed U.S. felines who downed more than 1.1 million tonnes, Deakin University researchers said. Close behind were European felines, which consumed 870,000 tonnes each year, and Japanese house cats, which ate their way through 132,000 tonnes of fish.”
Of course, house cats are not known to build dams, divert water to subsidized farming operations, dump massive amounts of trash in the ocean, or use rivers as sewers.