Cats were added to a list of "alien invasive species" in Poland earlier this month by the Polish Institute of Nature Conversation, citing the damage cats have done to birds and other wildlife, the institute said in a report earlier this month.
The main scientist behind the report has now had to come out and defend the findings after cat lovers have been reacting emotionally to the classification in recent days and weeks.
Wojciech Solarz, a biologist with the Polish Academy of Sciences, which is state-run, entered "Felis catus," which is the scientific name for the domesticated feline or house cat, into Poland's national database, which is facilitated by the Institute of Nature Conservation.
The public outcry was more than Solarz expected. Solarz told the Associated Press that the other 1,786 species entered into the database had no objections.
As Vice reported, the blog, which is in Polish, states that "The domestic cat, felis catus, was domesticated probably around 10,000 years ago in the cradle of the great civilizations of the ancient Near East, stretching from the Nile Valley to southern Mesopotamia." It says, “Therefore, from a purely scientific perspective, in Europe, and therefore also in Poland, it should be considered an alien species."
Cats, in the opinion of the report, tend to wreak havoc on wildlife where they live. But, in a television segment regarding the decision, a veterinarian in the segment said, "Ask if man is on the list of non-invasive alien species."
Solarz said he doesn't have anything against cats but said he is a dog owner.
The institute urges cat owners to limit their pet's time outside during bird breeding season.