URL's for Feral Cats

Subject: URL's for Feral Cats
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 23:17:28 +1000 (EST)
The paper I mentioned in a previous e-mail, Read J. and Bowen Z.,
"Population dynamics, diet and aspects of the biology of feral cats and
foxes in arid South Australia", Wildlife Research, 28(2):195-203, 2001,
has an interesting  paragraph about feral cat weights:

"Cat weights at Roxby Downs were similar to those recorded on Macquarie
Island, where males also tended to be heavier than females and the
heaviest cat shot was 5.8 kg (Brothers et al. 1985). Most feral and stray
cats sampled at Roxby Downs weighed less than 4 kg, which indicates that,
contrary to popular belief, the menace of feral cats is not attributable
to a dramatic increase in their size compared with their domesticated
counterparts. Furthermore, half of the cats listed that had consumed an
extraordinary number or array of native wildlife prey weighed 2.5 kg or
less, which indicates that small cats may be less effective at catching
large prey, or more effective at catching small native wildlife species,
than large cats."

Their sample was large (almost 400) so huge feral cats must be scarce
at Roxby Downs, but maybe not in other habitats.  And in other habitats
larger feral cats may tend to take native mammals rather than rabbits.

Andrew Taylor

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