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Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer by [Peter P. Marra, Chris Santella]

Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 181 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Cat Wars is a work of commanding reasonableness, with plenty of facts and figures and the testimonies of experts to support its unpalatable conclusions. There are some fascinating digressions, too, including sympathetic profiles of activists on both sides of the debate in the U.S." ― The Australian

"[Cat Wars] is a [book] we'd all benefit from reading."---Ed Kanze, Bedford Record-Review

"Cat Wars has a broader, more ecological focus, documenting the global impact of cats on wildlife, both by preying on animals and by transmitting diseases. . . . Marra and Santella explore the solutions (keeping cats indoors, catios--an enclosed area outside the home--and killing strays). . . . This is an important and eye-opening book that clearly says: 'keep Tiddles a house cat.'"---Adrian Barnett, New Scientist

"Peter Marra and Chris Santella base their case in the end on an appeal to the scientific evidence, which they set out as calmly as they can. . . . What they fear most, however, is the inaction of ordinary, decent people who have just not grasped how quickly the tapestry of the world's ecology is unravelling before our eyes."---Jeremy Mynott, Times Literary Supplement

"One of’s 10 Best Conservation and Environment Books of 2016"

"Cat Wars covers not only the data corroborating the problems posed by loose cats but also the people involved in the story. Marra and Santella interview researchers and activists on both sides. The readers learns of efforts to bridge differences between factions, so the massive mortality caused by cats can be effectively reduced. This is a well-written summary of a complicated problem that deserves great attention."---Joel Greenberg, BirdWatching Magazine

"In this book, the authors provide a detailed examination of the threats to global biodiversity, the environment and public health posed by free-ranging cats. They describe many scientific studies that use population modelling, feline diseases and extinctions, and they share the history of how small, but extremely vocal, special interest groups successfully prevent any action being taken to deal with the vast population explosions of feral and free-roaming cats. Cat Wars examines this complex global issue and proposes scientifically sound real-world solutions to this problem. This painstakingly researched and readable book is a must-read for all pet owners (whether you have a cat or not) and is an iron-clad argument that the best thing for local wildlife, people and the cats themselves is for cat owners to keep their pets indoors, always.", a "10 Best Conservation and Environment Books of 2016",

"Cat Wars, a brilliantly crafted book, describes numerous scientific studies that link bird disappearance to free-ranging feral domestic cats." ― NSTA Recommends

"This deeply researched overview by conservation scientist Peter Marra and writer Chris Santella interlaces discussions of feline domestication and avian conservation with the science of decline and of feline spillover diseases." ― Nature

"Marra and Santella thoughtfully examine the severe ecological damage caused by feral cats and outdoor pet cats. Highly readable. . . . Cat lovers are presented in a sympathetic light throughout, making the book worth reading no matter a reader's position on free-ranging cats." ― Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the hardcover edition.


"Very few people enjoy thinking about the calamitous problem of free-roaming cats and biodiversity, and even fewer dare to talk about it openly. Marra and Santella's book is therefore doubly welcome. It's not only important reading for anyone who cares about nature. With its engaging storytelling, its calmly scientific approach, and its compassionate handling of a highly fraught issue, this is also a book that a person might actually read for pleasure."―Jonathan Franzen

"Cats, most of them unowned free-ranging cats, kill as many as four billion birds in the United States each year. What, if anything, should be done about it? Cat Wars tackles this difficult dilemma. If you are a cat lover, a bird lover, a philosopher, an ethicist, or just anyone interested in gut-wrenching dilemmas, you will find this a gripping book."―Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel

"Here, at last, is what native-ecosystem advocates have been waiting for―a complete, dispassionate examination of America's free-ranging cat debacle. It's all here―from the horrendous bird mortality to the cat-borne pathogens blighting wildlife and humans to the cruelty and futility of Trap-Neuter-Return. Everyone gets to speak―including the feral-cat lobby."―Ted Williams, environmental journalist

"The level-tempered approach of Cat Wars will win many advocates. Anyone interested in the broader topics of a healthy environment and healthy human society will benefit from reading this book. It's as powerful as TV ads featuring the ‘crying Indian' in the antilittering campaign of the early 1970s."―Bill Thompson III, editor of Bird Watcher's Digest

"In Cat Wars, Peter Marra and Chris Santella lay out the extraordinary (and extraordinarily devastating) toll that America's favorite pet inflicts on America's favorite birds. At a time when native bird populations are in desperate trouble, and the number of free-ranging cats has never been higher, the authors bring clear-eyed science and commonsense solutions to one of the most polarizing issues in avian conservation. This is an important book, even if the message is not a comfortable one."―Scott Weidensaul, author of Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds

"A great overview of a complex and often emotional challenge. Cat Wars unravels yet another layer of the global decline in biodiversity and frames the potentially drastic consequences of inaction."―Grant Sizemore, American Bird Conservancy

"Cat Wars is a brave, engaging, and careful accounting of the cats we love and the devastation they inflict on birds and other wildlife."―John M. Marzluff, author of Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing Our Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and Other Wildlife --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Publisher : Princeton University Press; Illustrated edition (August 29, 2016)
  • Publication date : August 29, 2016
  • Language : English
  • File size : 4789 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 223 pages
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 181 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
181 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2019
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11 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on May 13, 2018
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11 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on May 2, 2018
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15 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2017
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11 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 6, 2018
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9 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on July 21, 2017
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6 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Pen Name
3.0 out of 5 stars Great scientifically based, engaging read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 17, 2019
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Marian Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read that clearly explains both the field research and ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 1, 2017
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Dr. Csányi Sándor
5.0 out of 5 stars cuddly killers
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 4, 2017
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Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and balanced reporting of the impact of house cats ...
Reviewed in Canada on February 24, 2017
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2 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Junk science at its best
Reviewed in Canada on August 11, 2017
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