Two wild cats eat from a sardine can.
A promotional photo from ‘Running Wild’ (

Conservationist and University of Guelph adjunct professor Elizabeth Gow appeared on a TVO documentary called “Running Wild: The Cats of Cornwall” on Tuesday, Nov. 24, to discuss her research on the effects of outdoor cats on bird populations.

Gow also appeared on The Agenda with Steve Paikin for a panel discussion ahead of the documentary’s broadcast.

“Running Wild” examines the ongoing feral cat crisis in Cornwall, Ont., which reached a peak in 2017 when 764 stray cats had to be taken in by the local OSPCA.

Gow, an animal behaviouralist and ornithologist in the Department of Integrative Biology, discussed her research on what cats do outside when nobody is looking, and how wild bird populations are affected by both feral cats and domestic cats that roam outdoors.

photo of Elizabth Gow standing in front of water
Elizabeth Gow

As a Liber Ero postdoctoral fellow, Gow assessed the impacts of these cats using GPS tracking and video cameras attached to cat collars to determine how many and what species of birds cats kill.

Her aim has been to identify where cats pose the biggest threat to birds and where cats may also face the biggest threats and to then create conservation plans that benefit both cats and birds.

“Running Wild” will air again on Saturday, Nov 28 at 9 p.m. ET and Sunday, Nov 29 at 10:30 pm ET. It will also be available for 24/7 streaming on

Watch The Agenda episode below:

Watch the “Running Wild trailer below: