Behind its tender gaze and its soothing purrs, the domestic cat is, according to the Polish Academy of Sciences, a “invasive alien species”. Exotic because the species was domesticated in the ancient Near East, invasive because the feline would particularly harm biodiversity, specifies the institute in a press release, relayed by the ScienceAlert site.
The cat thus joins the 1,786 other species appearing on this list drawn up by the Krakow institute, which include raccoons, moths and even mandarin ducks. To confirm the fact that the feline has a “risk to local wildlife”the Polish researchers relied on a study published in 2019. According to the latter, in Poland, cats annually kill about 48.1 million mammals and 8.9 million birds, and eat 583.4 million and 135.7 million respectively.
Figures that allow, without a shadow of a doubt, to consider that these balls of hair are indeed invasive species, explains Wojciech Solarz, biologist at the Polish Academy of Sciences, at the Associated Press.
When the cat goes crazy
don’t touch my cat
It was enough for owners and cat lovers to express their indignation, fearing that this classification would encourage animal abuse. An outcry caused, according to Wojciech Solarz, by press articles implying that the scientific institute called for euthanizing the feline population. In fact, the academy instead urges owners to limit the time their cats spend outdoors during bird breeding season.
In a Facebook post published on July 13the academy has also confirmed “opposesr to all forms of animal cruelty» and explained that defining domestic cats as an invasive species in no way justifies the mistreatment or abandonment of an animal.
Still, if the other classifications of this kind have not aroused any emotion, the academy is today paying the price for the anger of the Poles. During a televised debate, Dorota Suminska, veterinarian and author of the book The Happy Cat, thus affirmed, in front of Wojciech Solarz, that felines were too much and unfairly blamed for their impact on biodiversity. And falsely wondered: and the man, what list is he on?