Facts About Feral Cats

Cat with bird, Photo credit: iStockphotoThe domestic cat (Felis catus) is the most popular pet in the United States, with numbers ranging between 148 and 188 million individuals. Originally bred from wild cats (Felis silvestris) in the Near East approximately 10,000 years ago, domestic cats are now considered a distinct species.

As a domesticated animal, cats have no native range and, therefore, are a non-native species in natural systems worldwide. In addition, native prey species often have no evolved defenses against this exotic predator, making the domestic cat a potential threat wherever it is introduced.

Read our special package on the Impacts of Free-Roaming Cats

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