Clearly, cats are the leading human-linked cause of death for birds and mammals. Factors such as collisions with buildings, wind turbines and pesticide poisoning pale by comparison.
Feral cats are a huge threat to birds and they are present only because humans tire of their pets and release them into the wild, where they become extremely efficient killers. Generally cats thus treated live a short, miserable life, but they at least eat the birds that they kill.
Well fed domestic cats still hunt birds and it is not hunger that motivates them. They kill out of some latent blood lust but rarely eat their prey. Often the bird dies an awful, prolonged death suffering greatly as the cat repeatedly releases it, and plays with it until it finally succumbs.
It never ceases to amaze me that in order to have a dog one has to buy a licence, have the animal micro chipped, ensure that it has its annual shots; it has to be walked on a leash, and confined to the owner's property, yet with cats there are no such restrictions. You can own a dozen cats if you wish and let them out all day, every day, without any regard for the well being of the cat or your fellow citizens.
It is high time for people to keep their cats indoors, have them spayed or neutered, and it is time for municipalities to start regulating them in the same way that dogs are controlled. Petition your local council to have them enact appropriate by-laws to help to bring this problem to an end.
And if you think that declawing is the answer, think again. First of all, it is cruel to the cat, but it does not stop them from batting down birds, as the picture of the cat with the Hooded Warbler above clearly shows, and once the cat gets the bird into its mouth a whole soup of toxic bacteria is transmitted from cat to bird.
I am sure that for many people a cat is a wonderful companion and an important part of a home, but it is long past the time when they should be permitted to decimate our wildlife at will. And don't forget a cat is not native to North America, and if need be should be treated like any other invasive pest.
(Note: All pictures taken from the Internet).