Cats don’t always seem that they are determined, hard-working members of society…. let alone your household. In their apparent chase of having a full day of nothing to do and extending that nothing to the next day because there was not enough time to do all of that nothing in one day, cats are, in reality, doing something pretty amazing. So, what would happen in a cat free world?
Rats and Mice Would Rule
According to Alan Beck, professor of veterinary medicine and director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University (livescience.com), cats are keen predators with expert hunting behaviors. They can survive as almost solitary animals even when the prey is scarce and will equally thrive when prey is abundant.
And that is why we would miss them if they all suddenly disappeared. Cats that kill mice and rats in barns and grain storage areas are doing us a huge favor, keeping those pests in check.
In fact, cats can be attributed with lessening the amount of grain loss caused by consumption or contamination by rodents. In short, even though humans feed their cats, humans would not have as much food of their own without the cats doing their jobs!
In one study in New Zealand that came out in 1979, it was shown that when cats were all but eliminated from a small island, the rat population quadrupled in record time! Yikes!
A 1997 study in Great Britain indicated that the average house cat brought home more than 11 dead animals, such as mice and rats over a six-month time period.
And do you know what would transpire if the rodent population increased? The effects on our ecosystem would be crazy. On that New Zealand island, for example, ecologists realized that as the rat population grew in the absence of cats, the eggs of the seabird population, which was prime prey for the rats, significantly declined.
In short, a cat free world would also create a fall in the seabird populations around the world, and the population of non-cat predators would most likely increase.
Clearly, life in a cat free world would have a serious impact. The toll they would take on humans would be even greater. The emotional lift that cats give us would surely be missed. So the next time you see your cat just lounging around in the sun, doing what appears to be nothing, whisper “Thank you” and “I love you” to him. That cat is a part of keeping the ecosystem flowing smoothly. That, in and of itself, is a huge endeavor! He must rest up!