How to stop your cat catching and killing birds

Posted by Maggie the Moggie. April 3rd 2015.

Our feline friends can often form an integral part of our family set up, and as we watch them tuck into a tasty cat treats or purr contentedly on their dedicated cat bed, it can be all too easy to forget about their true animal nature.


While your cat may to all intents and purposes appear to have stopped walking on the wild side, a study from the University of Washington has revealed that cats are actually only semi-domesticated. So what does this mean for cat owners? Well, in essence it means that they should be prepared for displays of cat’s innate animal instincts and this includes a desire to hunt birds and other small animals – even when their cat bowl is full to bursting with tasty morsels of kitty food!

Below are some top tips to help cat owners avoid the chaos of a ‘cat amongst the pigeons’ moment.

Keep cats well fed

Ensuring your cat has plenty to eat throughout the day, may help to suppress their hunting instincts and ensure that they don’t stray too far from home in search of something to satisfy their appetite.

Move temptation out of harm’s way

While it may be impossible to stop our four-legged friends from sprinting across the garden the moment a bird is in sight, there are steps you can take to minimise the chance of predator and prey crossing paths. Setting bird feeders high up on trees, rather than closer to the ground, may be enough to make your cat think twice about chasing after their winged target. If your cat is a keen climber, who’s not intimated by the size of tree many times their height, then placing spiny plants around the base of the tree could be an effective deterrent.

Ensure that cat and bird timetables don’t coincide

Birds will often head out to feed at sunset and again at sunrise, as well as filling up on food after bouts of bad weather. As birds may be more focused on their meal than surrounding dangers at these times, they may be particularly susceptible to an attack by a larger animal. As a result you may want to consider placing an in-house curfew on your cat during these periods. After all, what they can’t see, they won’t be tempted to act upon.

Alert birds of a cats presence

Cat’s are known for their ability to mount a surprise attack and are experts at creeping up on their prey. To ensure that birds are left with no doubt as to your cat’s location at any given moment, why not place a bell on your cat’s collar? To demonstrate how effective this course of action can be, a survey conducted by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) revealed that cat predation of birds can be reduced by 41% as a result of a correctly fitted collar and bell.

Curb your cat’s chasing instincts and your garden could soon become an oasis for your local bird population.

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