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(KTVI) – The importance of the age-old proverb, “Curiosity Killed the Cat” is used to warn of the dangers of unnecessary investigation or experimentation. What the proverb doesn’t explain is why a recent report says that cats are the ones doing most of the killing these days.

In a report published Tuesday by the journal Nature Communications, our feline friends are estimated to being responsible for the deaths of 1.4 – 3.7 billion birds and 6.9 – 20.7 billion mammals annually. These numbers make cats the likeliest largest contributors to mortality against other animals.

For more details on this report: journal Nature Communications