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.
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