New Collar Found to Reduce Predation in Pet Cats
In the debate over whether or not household cats cause substantial damage to wildlife, few people would turn down an easy solution to reduce cat-wildlife conflict. In this two-year study of 114 companion cats and 81 owner-guardians in Western Australia, the “BirdsBeSafe” (BBS) collar was shown to significantly reduce predation of birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Predation of these animals decreased by 47-54% over the course of the study, depending on the color of BBS collar worn. Notably, there was no significant reduction in the prey of small mammals.
As for the cats, 79% of owner-guardians said their cats experienced no problems with the BBS collar and 17% adjusted quickly, suggesting that about 4% of cats had some difficulty with the collar. More than three-fourths (77%) of owner-guardians said they will continue using the BBS collar after the study. The researchers report that “to date, the BBS is the only predation deterrent that reduces significantly the number of herpetofauna brought home, (but) it is unsuitable where endangered mammalian prey or large invertebrates are vulnerable.”