Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster kicked off a lively debate on the UK’s cat population, as a report suggested cats were a danger to wildlife and how other countries have announced curfews for feline pets.
Identified as the main threat to native species in Australia, a new report has shown cats have a dietary consumption of over 2,000 species globally.
The report, written by Medriva, concluded that domestic cats pose a major threat to native wildlife, with nearly 350 of the species they consume being of conservation concern.
The study highlights that cats are “non-discriminatory” in their choice of prey, consuming a variety of creatures from birds and reptiles, to mammals and insects.
Cats owners in Australia are being told to put their cats on a lead if they want them to leave the house
In Australia, the domestic felines have helped wipe out 27 native species, from the pig-footed bandicoot to the desert rat kangaroo.
Six state councils in Australia have the powers to impose curfews or full cat lockdowns across South Australia, including Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland.
Reacting to the Medriva study, GP and Medical Writer Dr Renee Hoenderkamp told the GB News panel that the move was “cruel”.
Presenter Isabel Webster admitted she was “conflicted” on the issue as a cat owner herself.
Isabel said: “I’m conflicted on this. I have to say I totally want my cat to go out, I think it’s cruel to keep them in, but I do believe that the bird population is being damaged and hurt by by cats.”
Eamonn hit back at Isabel: “A bird has to be smart enough to deal with a cat. I mean it’s nature.”
Isabel agreed: “Cats are wild and natural and often native, and our domestic cats are bred, and I don’t know I’m conflicted on it.
“I like both cats and I like birds. I love my cat to bits and I will be letting him out, but I won’t take pleasure in seeing him killing the birds.”
Isabel Webster and Eamonn Holmes disagreed on keeping UK cats indoors
Dr Hoenderkamp chimed in on the argument: “It’s very rare for my cat to catch a bird, and I must admit I’m so thankful for that because they make such a mess in the house.
“But he does catch mice and rats, which I’m more than happy about.”