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  • Pets can make us aware of our choices
  • ^ Allen K, Blascovich J, Mendes WB, K (2002). "Cardiovascular reactivity and the presence of pets, friends, and spouses: the truth about cats and dogs" (Free full text). Psychosom Med 64 (5): 727–39. 
  • *time to eat the dog book
  • *helpful info not exactly what is said
  • *feeding groups
  • In the yard it can pollute ground waterActually, indoor cats are unlikely to carry the Toxoplasma parasite. Cats can pick it up from infected rodents (if they hunt) or from eating raw meat. So an indoor cat that does not eat raw meat should not be infected, and its litter will be safe to flush The Legislature finds and declares that several types of nonpoint source pollution are harmful to sea otters, and that scientific studies point to links between cat feces, the pathogen T-ghondii, and sea otter mortality. The Legislature further finds and declares that efforts to reduce the flushing of cat litter and car feces are steps toward better water quality in sea otters’ natural habitat. Any cat litter offered for sale in this state shall contain one of the following statements: “Encouraging your cat to use an indoor litter box, or properly disposing of outdoor cat feces, is beneficial to overall water quality. Please do not flush cat litter in toilets or dispose of it outdoors in gutters or storm drains.” A general statement that encourages the disposal of cat feces in trash and discourages flushing cat feces in toilets or disposing of them in drains. (See California Fish and Game Code Section 4501). 
  • Manufacture and disposal
  • *treatment for t.g.??When biodegradable cat litter ends up at the landfill, it does eventually break down (assuming it is not wrapped in a plastic bag), but it does not “biodegrade” as the American Society for Testing and Materials uses that term nor as it is used by most state codes.  The newer generation of plant-based cat litter is a better answer than older clay-based cat litter, but they are not a perfect solution, nor do we have enough data to determine if cat feces should be flushed or trashed. Choose litter with lowest packaging-pound ratio
  • Meet the parents clip
  • *hookworm video
  • A search of "environmental impact predation felis catus" on googlescholar yields 2,740 resultsSometimes these species play important functional roles, like the entire class of ground nesting birds that are often wiped out when cats colinize an island.This is behind loss of wildlife habitat and fragmentation caused by human development, which ultimately is also associated with introduction of pets, cats included.I realize the areas where this develoipment is likely to occur are probably areas with different dynamics than the United States, but it is still interesting to think about that different management decisions are taken in ..for example developing countries.Competition with native predators due to the predation of local organisms. Even animals considered pests (i.e. small rodents) can be valuable prey for owls, hawks, bobcats, foxes, etc. All of these advantages control native populations. Warm climates: a female cat can have 3 litters per year, with 4-6 kittens per litterThese can ultimately lead to a situation where cats outcompete native predators for food
  • *crop out “fugly”They also have thecapacity to reproduce rapidly in thewild, with up to three litters per year
  • Owners from England recorded each dead prey item delivered by their cat during an 8 week periodBells reduce predation of wildlife by domestic cats (Felis catus)Ruxton et. al 2001
  • Cat-related losses of wildlife on islands isoftenpar t i c u l a r l y s eve re , e s p e c i a l l yw h e r e f a u n a h a s e vo l ve d w i t h n opredators.
  • In all, 43% of variation in predation on introduced species (predominantly rodents) was explained by distance from potential prey source areas (i.e. rural/grassland habitat) and cat density
  • Cat controlisparticularlyimportant for those who live in rural areas. Studies have shownthat the average # of birds and otheranimals killed by cats annually isgreaterin rural areas, as would be expected.
  • On a CA state handout produced by Dept fish n game
  • *keep pet indoors for its own safety – roadkill*differentiate between outdoor cats & feral cats
  • Pets

    1. 1. Reducing your pet’s environmental pawprint<br />EarthSys210 – Winter 2011<br />Claudia Chern, Chris Lang, Alisa Royer, Steve Scheele, Trista Shi<br />
    2. 2. “What benefits the animals benefits the people too.”<br />- César Chávez<br />
    3. 3. Let us introduce ourselves...<br />And our furry loved ones<br />
    4. 4. Claudia Chern<br />
    5. 5. Chris Lang<br />
    6. 6. Alisa Royer<br />
    7. 7. Steve Scheele<br />
    8. 8. Trista Shi<br />
    9. 9. Overview<br />Specific Question<br />What makes it interdisciplinary<br />Goal<br />Methods<br />
    10. 10. Outline for Our Presentation<br />
    11. 11. Why we have pets - benefits<br />
    12. 12. Teach kids responsibility<br />Safety<br />Love/trust<br />Friendship/Companionship<br />Alleviate negative attitudes of their owners<br />Swiss study 2003: the effect of a cat’s company appears to be comparable to that of a human partner<br />Benefits to owning a pet<br />
    13. 13. Reduce physical responses to stress<br />Moderate blood pressure<br />Emotional balm for the lonely/anxious<br />Creates contentment<br />14-62% of the 165 millino dogs/cats in US sleep in bed with humans<br />Raise levels of oxytocin in people’s body<br />Benefits to owning a pet<br />
    14. 14. Critique of how problem is currently being addressed<br />Pet Industry & Consumerism<br />
    15. 15. Petco<br />Petsmart<br />Pet Stores in the US<br />
    16. 16. Pet Stores:Local/Green Alternatives<br />
    17. 17. Dogs<br />The environmental impact of man’s best friend<br />
    18. 18. Arguments proposed by “Petsimists”<br />Increased demand on US agriculture <br />Dogs have larger carbon footprint than SUVs<br />Increased toxicity from fecal matter<br />
    19. 19. Dog Food impact on US agriculture<br />37 million cows, 100 million hogs slaughtered/year for food production<br />Almost all meat by-products from cattle and pigs<br />Total food retail sales: $1.1 trillion<br />Total dog food/treat sales: $11.56 billion = 1 % US food economy<br />
    20. 20. Doggy Diet<br />~50% of food-producing animal actually used for human consumption<br />Dog food composed of otherwise discarded animal by-products<br />Mid-sized dogs consume about 30 calories per pound<br />
    21. 21. Breeding factories:produce puppies for profit<br />Inhumane conditions --> spreads disease<br />Birth defects, deformities<br />~25% purebred dogs afflicted with serious genetic disease<br />Puppy Mill Problem<br />
    22. 22. Puppy Mill<br />Estimated 300,000 to 400,000 puppies sold each year<br />Only 1/2 of the bred dogs in mills survive to make it to market<br />About 25% purebred dogs afflicted with serious genetic disease<br />
    23. 23. Ebay “classifieds”<br />
    24. 24. Animal Welfare Act (1965) didn’t foresee commercial breeders’ ability to sell directly to public vi a internet<br />No required license or inspection by USDA<br />Attracting puppy mill breeders on site<br />
    25. 25. Spreading Disease<br />Transmission of infectious diseases from domesticated to sympatric wildlife<br />Canine Distemper (CDV) in African Wild Dogs <br />Sarcoptic mange in foxes<br />
    26. 26. Genetic problems<br />
    27. 27. Puppy Lemon Laws<br />
    28. 28. Humane Society efforts <br />
    29. 29. What you can do!<br />Go to animal-friendly pet stores that refuse to sell puppies<br />Get your dogs from local animal shelters<br />Pick up after your dog<br />
    30. 30. Cats<br />History & impact of our feline friends<br />
    31. 31. Impact of Cats<br />
    32. 32. There are more than 77 million pet cats in the United States. <br />A 1997 nationwide poll showed that only 35% are kept exclusively indoors. <br />No one knows how many homeless cats there are in the U.S., but estimates range from 60 to 100 million.<br />Recent Statistics<br />
    33. 33. East Africa  Eygpt  Romans<br />Spread throughout the world during the Age of Discovery (control rodents on sailing ships)<br />Cat History & Mythology<br />
    34. 34. Egypt<br />Cat History & Mythology<br />
    35. 35. Cat History & Mythology<br />Maneki Neko (good fortune cat, Japan)<br />Freyja, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility rides a chariot drawn by cats (Norse mythology)<br />Cats have multiple lives (inbuilt automatic twisting reaction while falling)<br />
    36. 36. Cat History & Mythology<br />Negative superstitions<br />Black cat  bad luck<br />historical periods of wide unpopularity: disease vectors<br />Cats  witches (extermination of cats in Europe in medieval times)<br />
    37. 37. Indoor cats<br />Issue of clean disposal<br />Clay litter production (clay is mined, clays are not biodegradable)<br />Waste left in yard<br />Fecal bacteria: T. gondii<br />Feline distemper<br />Leukemia<br />Environmental Impact: Cat Waste<br />Outdoor cats<br />
    38. 38. Litter Choice<br />Clumping litters: clay-based & produced by strip mining<br />The clay, known as bentonite, is found under several layers of soil, which are removed in the mining process. <br />They are also already in their final decomposition state (aren't biodegradable)<br />
    39. 39. Litter Choice<br />Plant-based Litters: Probably the least environmentally harmful<br />Generally biodegradable and flushable<br />Wood, wheat, corn pellets, etc.<br />However, flushing litter with cat feces has the same potentially harmful environmental issues as noted earlier.<br />
    40. 40. Toilet Training!<br />
    41. 41. Environmental Impact: Feline diseases<br />Unvaccinated cats can transmit diseases, such as rabies, to other cats, native wildlife and humans. <br />Cats are the domestic animal most frequently reported to be rabid to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. <br />Cats are also suspected of spreading fatal feline diseases to native wild cats such as mountain lion, the endangered Florida panther, and bobcat. <br />
    42. 42. Cryptosporidium<br />Hookworm<br />Toxocara (14% US Population)<br />Toxoplasma (40-60% cats are infected)<br />Allergy (hay fever, asthma, skin rash)<br />Disease Transmission to Humans<br />
    43. 43. Children<br />Pregnant Women<br />Elderly<br />Cancer Patients<br />Organ Transplant Recipients<br />People at Risk<br />
    44. 44. avoid walking barefoot<br />wash all produce thoroughly<br />wash your hands after pet related activities<br />clean pet defecation sites promptly and thoroughly (~ takes 24 hours for toxoplasma parasite to become infectious)<br />avoid changing a cat’s litter box<br />cover children’s sandboxes when not in use<br />seal all cat waste in plastic bag to prevent inhaling<br />wear disposable gloves when changing cat box and then wash hands thoroughly<br />Ways to Reduce Risk<br />
    45. 45. Environmental Impact: Predation of local organisms<br />No discrimination between invasive species/pests/common species and rare, endangered species<br />California Gnatcatcher<br />Rosy Starling<br />
    46. 46. Environmental ImpactPredation of local organisms<br />Competition with native predators. Cats have advantages: protection from disease, predation, competition and starvation, also can exist at much higher densities. In warm climates, cats are prolific breeders<br />Ultimately, cats can be classified as invasive species (especially after <br /> release); invasive are the <br /> second most serious <br /> threat to native species<br />
    47. 47. Cat Predation Studies<br />Cat predation studies have been extensively performed throughout the world, and find drastic variation in the number and types of animals killed by cats:<br />Woods et al., 2003: Predation of wildlife by domestic cats Felis catus in great britain. Mammal Review, Volume 33, Issue 2, pages 174–188<br />Ruxton et al., 2001: Bells reduce predation of wildlife by domestic cats (Felis catus). Journal of Zoology, Volume 256, Issue 1, pages 81-83<br />Hawkins et al., 1999: Effect of subsidized house cats on California birds and rodents. Transactions of the Western Section of The Wildlife Society Volume 35, pages 29-33<br />Veitch, CR. 1985: Methods of eradicating feral cats from offshore islands in New Zealand. ICBP Technical Publication 3, pages 125-141<br />Barratt, DG. 1998: Felis catus (L.), in Canberra, Australia. II. Factors affecting the amount of prey caught and estimates of the impact on wildlife. Wildlife Research, volume 25, issue 5 pages 475-487<br />CA Dept. of Fish and Game. “Reducing cat predation on wildlife” Outdoor California. May-June 1999<br />
    48. 48. A British study showed approximately 9 million cats were estimated to have brought home in the order of 92 (85–100) million prey items in the survey period, including 57 (52–63) million mammals, 27 (25–29) million birds and 5 (4–6) million reptiles and amphibians<br />The number of birds and herpetofauna brought home per cat was significantly lower in households that provided food for birds. <br />The number of bird species brought home was greater in households providing bird food. <br />The number of birds and herpetofauna brought home per cat was negatively related to the age and condition of the cat.<br /> The number of mammals brought home per cat was significantly lower when cats were equipped with bells and when they were kept indoors at night. <br />The number of herpetofauna brought home was significantly greater when cats were kept in at night.<br />Woods et al., 2003<br />
    49. 49. Ruxton et al., 2001<br />Twenty-one cat owners from a 100 km2 area in Lancashire, England<br />8-week period<br />one of three experimental schedules, each of which required each cat to have a bell on a collar for only half of the time. <br />The mean number of items each cat delivered to the owner was 2.9 in the 4 weeks when the cats had a bell attached, compared to 5.5 for the equivalent time when the bell was absent. <br />The bell had no effect on the relative numbers of different prey types delivered<br />No evidence that the cats adapted their hunting behavior to reduce the effect of the bell over time<br />
    50. 50.
    51. 51. Hawkins et al., 1999<br />East Bay Regional Park District, CA<br />Two-year study was conducted in two parks with grassland habitat.<br />One park had no cats, but more than 25 cats were being fed daily in the other park. <br /><ul><li>There were almost twice as many birds seen in the park with no cats as in the park with cats.
    52. 52. California Thrasher and California Quail, both ground-nesting birds, were seen during surveys in the no-cat area, whereas they were never seen in the cat area. </li></li></ul><li>In addition, more than 85% of the native deer mice and harvest mice trapped were in the no-cat area, whereas 79% of the house mice, an exotic pest species, were trapped in the cat area. <br />The researchers concluded, “Cats at artificially high densities, sustained by supplemental feeding, reduce abundance of native rodent and bird populations, change the rodent species composition, and may facilitate the expansion of the house mouse into new areas.”<br />Hawkins et al., 1999<br />
    53. 53. Cats on Islands<br />Because some island bird populations evolved in the absence of mammalian predators, they have no defense mechanisms against them.<br />When cats are introduced or abandoned on an island, elimination of entire bird populations can result. <br />Domestic cats are considered primarily responsible for the extinction of 8 island bird species, including Stephens Island Wren, Chatham Island Fernbird, and Auckland Island Merganser, and the eradication of 41 bird species from New Zealand islands alone. <br />On Marion Island in the Sub-Antarctic Indian Ocean, cats were estimated to kill 450,000 seabirds annually prior to cat eradication efforts. <br />Basically, cat-related losses of wildlife on islands is often particularly severe<br />Veitch, 1985<br />
    54. 54. 12 month survey of vertebrate prey caught by house cats in Canberra<br />The amount of prey taken was not significantly influenced by cat gender, age when neutered, or cat breed. <br />Nor did belling or the number of meals provided per day have a significant influence on the amount of prey caught. <br />The age of the cat and the proportion of nights spent outside explained approximately 11% of the variation in the amount of prey caught by individual cats. <br />. The mean number of prey reported per cat over 12 months (10.2) was significantly lower than mean predation per cat per year based on estimates made by cat owners before the prey survey began (23.3). Counts of the amount of prey caught by house cats were highly positively skewed. In all, 70% of cats were observed to catch less than 10 prey over 12 months, but for 6% of cats, more than 50 prey were recorded. <br />Impacts on native fauna are likely to be most significant in undisturbed habitat adjacent to new residential developments. <br />Barratt, 1998<br />
    55. 55. DFG Factsheet<br />Studies in Wisconsin have shown that outdoor cats reached densities of about 114 cats per square mile in some areas.<br />Cats have been artificially maintained at numbers up to 100 times or more the typical abundance of their wildcounterparts<br />The domestic cat can be a serious threat to wildlife in California. <br />They prey heavily upon native birds, small mammals, and reptiles and amphibians. Ground nesting birds, like the killdeer (below), are especially vulnerable.<br />
    56. 56. Birds seem to hover around 25% of the total kill (27% in Crooks et. al 2007, 24% in The Mammal Society 1998)<br />The number of animals killed is colossal. Researchers estimated that outdoor” house cats and feral cats were responsible for killing nearly 78 million small mammals and birds annually in the United Kingdom in 1990. <br />University of Wisconsin ornithologist Dr. Stanley Temple, who has done extensive studies with radio-collared cats, estimates that 20-150 million songbirds are killed by rural cats annually in Wisconsin alone. <br />There is a report of another study in suburban desert neighborhoods near Tucson, Arizona, where cats killed slightly more than 80 small animals each per year; about 26 percent birds, 62 percent mammals, and 11 percent reptiles.<br />DFG Factsheet<br />
    57. 57. The cat advantage<br />Urban myth: feeding and other human care will diminish hunting. <br /><ul><li>FALSE; wild predators decline in abundance when prey becomes scarce, but cats fed by humans will remain abundant and continue hunting.</li></li></ul><li>“Predator status notwithstanding, cats are not “bad.” They are an important aspect of modern society and can still be pets. Fortunately, people have the opportunity to implement practical measures to reduce cat predation problems. The main solution is responsible pet ownership.” –DFG Handout<br />Overall…<br />
    58. 58. Food ($12-15/month)<br />A safe environment <br />Litter Box ($6-$200)<br />Litter ($10-$20/month/cat)<br />Vet Care<br />Spay ($70-$120)<br />Neutering ($45-$70)<br />Vaccinations ($80/year)<br />An annual veterinary examination ($60-$125)<br />Emergency vet care (varies, could run in the thousands)<br />The Cost of Responsible Cat Ownership<br />
    59. 59. Keep cats indoors<br />Or at least at night<br />Sterilize cats<br />Product choice (litter, food, etc.)<br />If bird nests/feeders and/or bat boxes are necessary be sure to locate them out of the reach of cats minimizing their exposure to cat populations<br />Don’t feed outdoor cats<br />Declaw (not reliable in terms of predation)<br />Find alternate forms of pest control<br />Bells<br />Tenants of environmentally-minded cat ownership<br />
    60. 60. Fish<br />Beyond the world of dogs and cats<br />
    61. 61. Freshwater fish: farmed<br />Marine fish: wild caught<br />Poor collection practices for reef fish<br />High mortality<br />Live rock and invertebrates: wild caught<br />Source<br />
    62. 62. Environmental Impact<br />Unsustainable fishing<br />Consumerism<br />Energy use<br />large reef tank with live corals: several thousand kWh/yr<br />small freshwater tank: 150kWh/year<br />
    63. 63. Transport of invasives<br />aquatic plants: Azolla, Water Hyacinth, Water Lettuce, Canadian pondweed, various duckweeds, and Salvinia<br />animals: European carp, American crayfish, koi carp, goldfish, guppies, terrapins and snapping turtles<br />fungus: chytrid fungus<br />Environmental Impact<br />
    64. 64. Buy used tanks and equipment<br />Use new technology equipment<br />Species choice<br />marine: need skimmers, heaters, power heads, ultra-strong lighting<br />freshwater tropical fish: heater, filter<br />coldwater fish: heater<br />Buy wild-caught from sustainable fisheries<br />Project Piaba<br />Responsible Ownership<br />
    65. 65. Conclusions<br />How to be a responsible pet owner & broader implications...<br />
    66. 66. Summary & Our Solution<br />Seafood Watch-inspired wallet guide<br />
    67. 67. Broader Implications<br />
    68. 68. Future improvement<br />Areas for future research<br />In the future...<br />
    69. 69. Resources<br />
    70. 70. Other Resources<br />