The predatory habits of our humble tabby cats

During her daily chat with Kieno Kammies, producer Katie McDonald referred to an article she had read about domestic cats and how they act out their natural predatory instincts.

The question of why cats choose to bring home the animals they've killed has often been asked by pet owners, some of whom might be disturbed by the sight of a mutilated bird or rodent laying on their doorstep.

But it is generally accepted by researchers that the cat still has deep-seated instincts to bring food back to its family, in order for the whole group to survive, and it has now merely shifted its boundaries and included us, its human companions, as family.

Another study in the United States has estimated that cats there kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds and between 6.9 billion and 20.7 billion small mammals a year.

Local research

This discussion prompted a listener to tell us about research conducted by the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town.

With the help of American-designed "Kitty Cams", a miniature camera fitted to the cat, one of the researchers was able to amend initial estimates of how many creatures fall prey to our domestic cats, as many of them kill and eat the animal on site, and not bring them home.

To find out the extent to which Cape Town's cats indulge in their wild side, listen to Kieno Kammies' interview with Dr Robert Simmons, behavioural ecologist, conservation biologist and ornithologist at the institute.


Read More
Adulting 101: How and when to start your first investment

Adulting 101: How and when to start your first investment

CEO of Sygnia, Magda Wierzycka gives advice on how to start investing to ensure you retire peacefully without financial worries.

Businesses raise almost R7 million to save water in 228 schools

Businesses raise almost R7 million to save water in 228 schools

A week into the water challenge campaign, Prof Thinus Booysen calls for more pledges, with 42 schools to go to reach the target.

Friday deadline for taxpayers to submit tax returns

Friday deadline for taxpayers to submit tax returns

CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies speaks to Sars Group Executive about how this tax season has fared and the looming deadline.

City urges construction companies to use treated effluent water

City urges construction companies to use treated effluent water

Councilor Xanthea Limberg says using more affordable treated water for non-structural construction will save both money and water.

This is the end for Robert Mugabe - David Coltart

This is the end for Robert Mugabe - David Coltart

Zanu-PF sacked him as its president but he confused the world on Sunday night with his 'non-resignation' speech.

SAA could learn a thing or two from award-winning Ethiopian Airlines - expert

SAA could learn a thing or two from award-winning Ethiopian Airlines - expert

Aviation expert Guy Leitch says government non-interference policy has been essential to the success of the Ethiopian airline.

Popular articles
Oscar's family unhappy with producers as movie makes SA debut this weekend

Oscar's family unhappy with producers as movie makes SA debut this weekend

The movie stars Joburg-born actor Andreas Damm as Pistorius and Victoria Secret model Toni Garrn as Reeva Steenkamp.

Statement to remove LLB programme from SA universities is misleading: Max Price

Statement to remove LLB programme from SA universities is misleading: Max Price

Max Price says Council on Higher Education's announcement that UKZN, UCT and UL could lose their LLB accreditation is not right.

DStv subscriber? ANN7 thanks you for the payday!

DStv subscriber? ANN7 thanks you for the payday!

Bruce Whitfield interviews Outa’s Wayne Duvenhage about his open letter to MultiChoice, who will pay ANN7 R245 million.

Is taking items from the hotel room stealing?

Is taking items from the hotel room stealing?

Tsogo Sun Cape regional manager explains which items are free to be taken home by guests and why.

WATCH: Innovative spray limits toilet flushes and saves water

WATCH: Innovative spray limits toilet flushes and saves water

Loo Me is a simple yet effective scented foam that takes the yuck out of "mellowing" toilets preventing multiple flushes.