I do not dispute what you say, in a way it supports it what I have been saying. Domestic cats are individuals, some will hunt, some will not, others will go 'through the motions'. They are, as you say, instinctive predators. A bird table close to cover
means that the 'hunter' does not have to go far - hence my comment on travel distance and hunting.
Predation you describe happens. What impact it is having on the populations of native animals in highly modified environments is a matter for debate and study. However, it is reasonable to expect that many people do not like wildlife being eaten and
'played with' before their eyes. While these two issues are related, they are not the same.
I support containing cats to keep them safe. I do not want mine eating wildlife and they do not. In this town we have a golden opportunity to do some good science to see if the containment measures that have already been put in place are actually having
a beneficial effect on populations of native animals. One would think the ACT Government, The ANU, COG etc.etc would be all over this opportunity. It seems to me, and I stand to be corrected, that little if anything is happening to undertake this
assessment. If that is the case, I would like to know why, and I expect many others in Canberra would also.
If a clear impact can be shown from such studies here in Canberra then that data needs to be 'put on the table' and the community has a discussion about it. The community with its elected representatives then makes a political decision about it. In other
words the simple process of 'evidence-based democracy'. A recent editorial in the Canberra Times outlined this rather nicely.