Keep an eye on your cats, wildlife organization says after ducklings mauled

Cats are an invasive species and should be monitored because of their instinct and ability to catch and kill small animals like birds, according to the executive director of the Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation.

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'If you wave something in front of a cat, it's going to pounce on it,' says Jan Shadick of Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation. (Radio-Canada)

Cats are an invasive species and should be monitored because of their instinct and ability to catch and kill small animals like birds, according to the executive director of the Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation.

Jan Shadick said she received a call earlier this week from a concerned citizen who noticed two ducklings walking around in Saskatoon and were subsequently attacked and killed by a roaming cat.

"It was also very difficult to sit with [the caller] afterwards when he was nearly in tears looking at these little, tiny ducklings that were quite bloody," Shadick recalled, when she spoke to CBC Radio's The Morning Edition on Friday.

Shadick is a cat owner herself and said when she waves a toy in front of her pets, which moves very much in the same way a bird would, the cats jump and attack the toy. 

"If you wave something in front of a cat, it's going to pounce on it," she said. 

To keep cats from potentially killing other animals, Shadick recommends either keeping them indoors, or using products like a cat bib—a special collar attachment that passively thwarts hunting—when outdoors.

Taking proper precautions will not only prevent cats from killing other animals, but can prevent harm to the cats from cars or bigger animals like coyotes as well.