The ability to hunt, kill, and eat rodents is a permanent part of the cat brand, right alongside aloofness and scratching up the couch.
Not so fast, says a team of researchers with a new study out today in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, which provides rare insight into the cat-rat dynamic in an urban environment. The team, led by Michael H. Parsons of Fordham University, has found that feral cats (Felis catus) are seemingly ineffective predators of city rats (Rattus spp.), despite the cats’ reputation as urban rat-control agents. The team studied a rat colony living in a waste management facility in Atlas Obscura’s own Greenpoint, Brooklyn, over a period of five months, between December 2017 and May 2018. In that time, the surrounding feral cats landed just three confirmed kills. Read more at Atlas Obscura