Celebrate International Cat Day?

There are an estimated 11.1 million pet cats in the UK

Metro

Cats are evil killers which are having a devastating effect on the natural world

It might look like a cuddly little furball, but your cat has the potential to be a murderous maniac.

Now scientists have proved just how malign moggies can be by demonstrating the grim effect their bloodlust is having on the natural world.

A team of Australian scientists has warned that felines are on the verge of hunting 12 different species in the country to extinction - adding to the 25 they've already consigned to the history books.

Jim Radford from La Trobe University led a team of over 20 scientists and conservationists to discover the effect cats and foxes are having on the land down under.

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International Cat Day: are our feline friends purr-fect?

By Daniel J. McLaughlin

Happy International Cat Day! Will you be celebrating our purr-fect feline friends, or should the claws be out for the kitties?

Owning a cat could be good for you with a number of health benefits.

However, the pets may be bad for the natural world with a potential to be "murdering maniacs" for other species.

The Claim

Goodnet describes the "scientifically proven health benefits" of being a cat owner.

They write: "They’re fluffy, independent, the internet's in love with them, and there is scientific proof that having a furry roomate is actually all kinds of good for your health.

"Whether you live with a cuddly lap cat or a quiet introvert who loves their space, having a feline around you can be just as rewarding and beneficial as any other animal friendship."

For instance, studies have shown that owning a cat can lower your stress levels, and therefore will reduce the risk of heart disease.

Our feline friends have also been shown to trigger the release of calming chemicals in your body, which lowers stress and anxiety levels.

The Counterclaim

However, Metro has the interesting headline that warns: "Cats are viciously evil killers which are having a devastating effect on the natural world, scientists reveal."

They say that cats have the potential to be "murdering maniacs". A team of Australian scientists revealed that cats are "on the verge of hunting 12 different species in the country [Australia] to extinction".

This will add to their ever-growing tally of extinctions, with our feline friends already consigning 25 species to the history books.

Jim Radford, who led the study at La Trobe University in Melbourne, said: "We found that 63 or about 1 in 3 surviving mammal species are highly susceptible to predation by cats and foxes.

"Foxes and cats have been a primary factor in the majority of these extinctions.

"Our study shows that introduced predators remain a significant threat to numerous mammals, many of which are clinging to survival by a thread."

The Facts

Just under half of Brits (49 per cent) own a pet - with a quarter of adults owning a cat. There is an estimated population of 11.1 million pet cats in the UK, according to animal charity PDSA.

There are around 60 breeds of cats recognised by the International Cat Care. The top five breeds of cats in the UK are: Bengal, British Short Hair, Burmese, Manx, and Siamese.

The main reasons why people own cats are love (31 per cent) and companionship (27 per cent), the Pet Population report shows. Cat owners also chose feline friends because they are easy to maintain (seven per cent) and they get on with other species (three per cent).

However, not all cats receive the love they need. Cats Protection, a charity dedicated to rescuing and rehoming cats, estimates that there are nine million stray cats and one-and-a-half million feral cats in the UK.

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www.goodnet.org

7 Scientifically Proven Health Benefits Of Being a Cat Owner - Goodnet

2. THEIR PURRING HELPS TO HEAL BONES, TENDONS AND MUSCLES

3. YOU'LL SLEEP BETTER

Several studies in the UK have found that people (especially women) prefer to sleep with their cats over their partners, and they even report sleeping better with a cat than with a human bed companion.

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