Monday, September 10, 2012

20/20 Kitty Cam Segment

  20/20 segment "Kitty Cam" one-sided 

Falsely portrays pet cats as serial killers


This past Friday, 20/20 (an ABC news program) aired an hour long segment called "The Camera Doesn't Lie" with various topics. One segment was called "Kitty Cam" where cameras were affixed like collars to outdoor pet cats to track their activity. At first we thought this was going to be light-hearted and show cat musings and antics.  However, for cat educators like myself, the final report was far from comic relief. It highlighted cats as serial killers.

Sadly, the segment was grossly misleading. The reporter interviewed George Fenwick, the president of American Bird Conservancy (ABC). According to George Fenwick,  cats are responsible for the extinction of 33 bird species (but couldn't name two in prior interviews) and for killing 1.2 billion birds. Just last month that number was 500 million. George--why the big jump in one month? Maybe George has had one too many Cat Nip-tinis. (Or maybe he needs one!)

The program showed some cats attacking and killing birds. Yes cats are instinctive predators. But pet cats that are well fed killing mass birds? Not at all! What the program failed to clarify is that in one week, 55 cats  killed 5 birds.  ABC (the bird group) has yet to conduct and publish scientifically reliable studies about cat activity on the mass declining bird population. Other reliable studies have scientifically proven that declining bird populations are due to urbanization, pesticides, acid rain, pollution, and other causes.

Unfortunately, 20/20 failed to conduct any in-depth, professional research nor did they interview any cat experts. Therefore the story was one-sided and not well balanced.  Many of us work extremely hard to overturn misconceptions and educate the public about cats. But when segments like this are ill-reported, it sets us back. Therefore, we need your help.

Please sign this petition requesting ABC news to report the facts about cats and a well balanced report

Also, please share your concerns directly with ABC News through their online form.

Thank you for helping to educate residents across America and make a difference!

Here are helpful links on the subject:
Alley Cat Allies issued a press release on the 20/20 segment.

Peter Wolf (Cat Man) of VoxFelina is the outdoor cat expert when it comes to studies.Peter judiciously reads, studies, examines every study, press release, journal...every medium about outdoor cats.
  Aug 6, 2012 Kitty Cams and PR Scams
  Aug 7, 2012 Kitty Cams and PR Scams BINGO
  Aug 9, 2012 More Kitty Cams and PR Scams


  1. I already signed the petition and am sending the info out on my site tomorrow.

    p.s. Did you ever try to get past the word verication on your blog? Took me six tries.

  2. So sad that the news organizations have twisted this so. We've signed the petition. Thanks for sharing the link.
    xo, Katie & Glogirly

  3. Thanks so much for another view and links. We have already shared via Vox Felina.

  4. I signed the petition!

  5. Signed the petition-I can't stand selective reporting and animals cannot defend themselves-it's up to us, so thank you for this story and the links! Raine Dawson