Saturday, March 2, 2013

How to Stop a Cat from Killing Birds

Cats are predators; they like to kill things. Cats naturally kill mice and birds. Nobody seems to mind to much when a cat kills a mouse, in fact cats are often kept as mousers, but people tend to be very upset when cats kill birds.

There are several ways a cat owner can prevent their cat from killing birds.

Preventing Outdoor Cats from Killing Songbirds

Cats that go outside are a major threat to songbirds. While some cats do not bother birds, and others are quite inept at catching them, a clever, and patient, cat can kill a bird every day that it is outside. There are several things you, as a cat owner, can do to reduce the risks of your cat catching and killing birds.

Provide your cat with a collar and bell. A clever cat will learn how to move without ringing the bell but at least it is better than nothing. Birds are good at seeing colors so try to buy a collar that is easy to see on your cat.

Safe Cat Breakaway Collar Zebra

Click here to see Safe Cat Breakaway Collars

Do not encourage birds in your yard, do not have a bird bath or feeder that would attract them.

Build your cat an outdoor cat enclosure so when your cat is outside it is enclosed. Not only will this make it harder for your cat to catch birds, but also keeps your cat safely within your yard.

Let your cat out on a harness. Cats must be trained first for this and ideally not left tied outside without supervision.

Keep the cat indoors, or at least indoors more often.

Training Your Cat Not to Kill Pet Birds

If you have a cat and have pet birds you may be concerned about your cat going after them and killing them.
Small and flighty birds are the ones that a cat is most likely to attack. Larger birds, and those that are not as nervous, will not behave like prey and as such the cat is less likely to go after them. Large birds such as parrots can bite back if threatened.

Cats can be discouraged from attacking pet birds through consistent training. When a cat shows any interest in the bird the cat should be given a quick squirt with a water bottle. Never squirt the cat after it leaves the area as this is just tormenting the cat and it will not understand the relationship to the bird.  Until the cat is fully trained and shows no interest in your pet bird they should not be allowed together. 

Offer the cat treat rewards when in the room with the bird and is ignoring it.

Your pet bird must have a safe, and secure bird cage (one that will not tip over), just in case!

A and E Dometop Bird Cage with Shelf Black

Click to see A and E Dometop Bird Cages

If you do not already have a cat, but do have a bird and are considering getting a cat, you may want to select a kitten.  Kittens are easier to train rather than a mature cat that perhaps has already enjoyed chasing birds. Or you might try to adopt a cat that has already lived with birds and is good with them.


Please note declawing does not prevent a cat from killing birds; cats kill with their teeth. Remember that cats are natural predators, to punish a cat for being a cat is unfair, a good owner would find other ways to prevent their cat from killing birds.

Other Reading

How to Build a Cat Enclosure

Article has been republished on Full of Knowledge

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