Cats classified as 'invasive alien species' by Polish scientific institute

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It’s been confirmed: Your cat is a troublemaker.

Respected scientific institute Polish Academy of Sciences (PASIFIC) has officially classified cats as an “invasive alien species,” according to the Associated Press.

The study, headed by PASIFIC biologist Wojciech Solarz, found that the damage that cats cause in terms of hunting and killing birds and other wildlife was enough justification to consider the animals invasive.

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The “Felis catus” species, otherwise known as the house cat, was entered into a national database powered by the academy’s Institute of Nature Conservation — which holds 1,786 other species — and it heard no objection to that.

A stray cat is shown sitting in front of a rock in Kauai, Hawaii.

A stray cat is shown sitting in front of a rock in Kauai, Hawaii.
(Nicole Pelletiere/Fox News Digital)

But the public reportedly responded to this new entry with sheer disapproval.

The scientist told the AP that the public may have been become upset by false accusations that the institute was pushing to euthanize feral cats.

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Fox News Digital reached out to the state-run Polish Academy of Sciences for comment.

The cat “100%” met all criteria to land itself on the list of invasive species, Solarz argued, due to the animals’ harmful impact on biodiversity.

Cat owners, suggested the Polish Academy of Sciences, should limit the amount of time their pets spend out of doors during bird breeding season.

Cat owners, suggested the Polish Academy of Sciences, should limit the amount of time their pets spend out of doors during bird breeding season.
(Fox News Digital)

In an appearance on independent broadcaster TVN, Solarz mentioned that cats kill 140 million birds in Poland every year.

The institute addressed the controversy on its website last month, stressing the academy’s opposition to animal cruelty, the AP reported.

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The institute emphasized that it was only recommending that cat owners limit the amount of time their pets spend outside during bird breeding season.

An American short hair basks in the sunlight inside its New Jersey home.

An American short hair basks in the sunlight inside its New Jersey home.
(Alana Karpovich)

Becky Robinson, president and founder of the Bethesda, Maryland-based, Alley Cat Allies — a leader in a global movement to protect cats and kittens — is skeptical, however, that other parts of the world, such as Australia and New Zealand, won’t continue efforts to get rid of cats.

“Make no mistake: Labeling cats as invasive is a preferred first step in a broader strategy of killing them in huge numbers through ghastly cat hunts and poisonings,” she said in a statement to Fox News Digital on Tuesday.

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“This idea of killing cats will never be accepted by the compassionate society in which we live,” Robinson said. 

“It will never be effective to kill cats, nor will it be morally acceptable.”

Cats have lived alongside humans for thousands of years.

Cats have lived alongside humans for thousands of years.
(REUTERS/Paul Hanna)

Robinson said biologists and environmentalists have proven that other factors, such as climate change and habitat destruction, are the leading cause of species loss — which makes it “entirely improper” to place the blame on cats, she said.

The institute’s guidance to limit the amount of time cats spend outside is counterintuitive to the species’ makeup, Robinson maintained, since cats have lived alongside humans for thousands of years. 

A closeup of a cat perched inside its kitty condo at home. Cats "are here to stay," said the head of Alley Cat Allies.

A closeup of a cat perched inside its kitty condo at home. Cats “are here to stay,” said the head of Alley Cat Allies.
(iStock)

It’s only recently, she said, that they’ve started living indoors, given the invention of kitty litter within the last century.

“There is no future in which people can exist without cats. They are here to stay,” she said.

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“The only path forward is through humane, nonlethal programs such as Trap-Neuter-Return, the scientifically proven approach to effectively and humanely address community cat populations,” she said. 

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this piece. 


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