How to protect backyard birds from your cat

Image Credits: Pixabay

Domestic cats kill a large number of wild birds, with fatalities in the millions. You can take a few precautions to ensure that your cat does not kill any bird, be it a migrating one or which is owned by your neighbor. You can adopt many methods to achieve this aim. The risk of birds can easily be minimized.

Dealing with the cat

It is impossible to tame the hunting spirit of any cat, including the gentlest animal. This is as the hunt is genetically implanted in your kitty. A few training techniques, however, can be useful to curb such behavior. This is easier than what most people think.

The first and most obvious method is to keep the cat inside the house at all times. If the kitty goes outside, it must be a supervised excursion. Do not permit the cat to go out early in the morning or during bird feeding times. If your cat wants to go outside all the time, create a cat patio. The cat patio or “catios” are an arrangement which permits kitties to go outside at no risk to the birds. If your cat catches any bird, including an unwanted one, do not praise or reward the feline. Any kind of positive reinforcement would encourage your kitty to attack wild birds and felines not discriminate between native species and foreign species.

The claws of the cat must be trimmed to make it difficult for the animal to catch wild birds or climb trees. It is not recommended nor necessary to declaw. Trimming the claws will reduce the effectiveness of the cat’s most dangerous weapon. The front paws must be particularly trimmed. It is an excellent idea to collar bell your kitty. The tinkling will alert the birds of an incoming predator. In a similar vein, putting patterned collars or bright collars on cats will alert the bird’s attention as your kitty silently goes in for the attack.

Strays

Do not give food to feral cats. Their instinct is hunting, and a well-fed stray cat has more energy to hunt. If you see a feral cat, then capture it, put the animal into a cage and take it to the local animal shelter. Do neuter or spay your pet cat to prevent a rise of the pet population. Uncontrolled births add to the stray cat population. If any cat has kittens, then make sure that all kittens get adopted by responsible families who will take the time and the effort yo neuter or spay their young family members. Keep the bird baths and bird feeders a minimum of five feet distant from cover or shrubbery which may conceal stalking predators.

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