Cats may look like harmless, gentle creatures to you, but scientists in Poland think otherwise. A Polish scientific institute has classified domestic cats as an "alien invasive species."

The Polish Academy of Sciences cited the "damage" the cats cause to birds and other wildlife as the reason behind the classification. The scientists also suggested that cat owners should limit the time their pets spend outside during bird mating season.

The scientists also cited a study which claimed that cats in Poland kill and eat 48.1 to 583.4 million mammals and 8.9 to 135.7 million birds every year, according to a report in Science Alert.

The Academy defined house cats as aliens because they were domesticated in the Middle East 10,000 years ago, which implies that cats are not native to Europe from a scientific point of view.

Japanese knotweed, raccoons, clearwing moths, and mandarin ducks are among the other species described as "invasive alien species."

Classifying cats as invasive aliens has not gone down well with cat lovers in Poland, who have expressed outrage over the development. They believe that this move could incite people to abuse them.

Some have called the classification "simply stupid and harmful," while others have been slamming the scientists left, right, and centre.

Wojciech Solarz, a biologist at the state-run Polish Academy of Sciences, said that he was not expecting such an extreme reaction, adding that no other entry on the list had attracted such a response. "The database already had 1,786 other species listed with no objections," Solarz told the Associated Press.

The Academy had to issue a clarification on its Facebook page after the backlash. They said that defining the domestic house cat as an invasive alien species does not mean that they can be ill-treated or abandoned. They said that the decision was taken keeping the European Union guidelines in mind.

Quiz Pawgarts
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