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How well do you know your cat?

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The cat is out of the bag! According to a recent survey conducted by ecologist Jennifer McDonald, cat owners don’t know their cats as well as they think they do.

The survey asked, “How many dead animals their cats would bring home in an average month?” and then kept track of the feline’s kill counts. Turns out owners had a tendency to over or under estimate based on how they perceived their cat and failed to realize that cats are—by their very nature—predators.

Despite their cute appearance, cats evolved to hunt. The study found that cats brought home about 10 kills a month, but this is only believed to be a third of what they actually kill, out of their owner’s eyesight.

Let’s do the math. Thirty kills a month, in a town with 1,000 cats, that’s 30,000 average small animals taken out in just one month.

Our local ecosystems are keeping prey populations under control literally because of what the cat dragged in.

(H/T: Gizmodo)