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Jury still out on whether cats are killers, but prison is on the cards

Calver, M.C., Dickman, C., Grayson, J. and Lilith, M. (2012) Jury still out on whether cats are killers, but prison is on the cards. The Conversation, 25 July .

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Abstract

In “The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson”, Mark Twain equated keeping a cat to domestic bliss:

When there was room on the ledge outside of the pots and boxes for a cat, the cat was there – in sunny weather – stretched at full length, asleep and blissful, with her furry belly to the sun and a paw curved over her nose. Then that house was complete, and its contentment and peace were made manifest to the world by this symbol, whose testimony is infallible. A home without a cat – and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat – may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?

But not all pet cats sleep innocently in the sun all day. Many are accomplished hunters at some point in their lives. The cumulative effect of their occasional hunting is substantial wildlife mortality.

Publication Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
Publishers Website: http://theconversation.com/au
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/29979
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