Study: Cats Kill Billions of Animals

    NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12:  Sick cat Scout awaits an MRI at the Animal Medical Center on December 12, 2012 in New York City. The non-profit Animal Medical Center, established in 1910, has 80 veterinarians in 17 specialty services that treat up to 40,000 animal visits annually. Clients bring in their pets from around the country and world to the teaching hospital on Manhattan's Upper East Side for specialized high tech treatment. The American Pet Products Association estimates that Americans would spend more than $50 billion on their pets in 2012, $14 billion of that in veterinary care alone.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

    John Moore

    A new study published Tuesday by the journal Nature Communications reveals that felines kill—literally—billions of animals per year. By the numbers, cats kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds and between 6.9 billion and 20.7 billion small mammals, like chipmunks, for example. The study's co-author, Pete Marra (an animal ecologist with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute), said he and his colleagues focused specifically on bird deaths that resulted from felines. Not so fast, cat-people haters, the majority of the mortality ratings sprang from un-owned cats.

    Read it at CBS News