7 Tips for Preventing Cats from Killing Birds
Cats and birds can get along beautifully if they're able to socialize with each other, but cats that haven't been trained to leave local wildlife alone are more likely to harass birds and even kill them. That's why it's important to teach your cat how to coexist peacefully with the wild birds in your neighborhood, as well as encourage it to use an indoor litter box instead of going outside when nature calls. Here are some tips for preventing cats from killing birds around your home so you can enjoy watching these adorable creatures flit about without worrying about any feline interference.
1. Supervise your cat outdoors
The best way to prevent your cat from killing birds is to supervise it outdoors. Keep it on a leash, or create an outdoor enclosure where it can play safely. This will keep your cat from wandering and hunting freely, and help prevent it from becoming injured or lost in its environment. In addition, if you live near a bird sanctuary—or even just a park with lots of trees—consider installing netting around your windows to prevent cats (and other animals) from getting into your home.
2. Maintain a safe environment
If your cat is a predator, make sure they can't roam freely outside. Their claws should be trimmed and they shouldn't have direct access to an open window. If you don't want to turn your outdoor space into a tiny prison, keep them inside during dawn and dusk (their prime hunting times) or when it's windy and rainy. You can also consider putting bells on their collars so birds will be aware of their presence.
3. Provide toys
One of the best ways to ensure your kitty is too busy to go on hunting trips is to keep her well-stocked with toys. Keep plenty of toys around, and rotate them every few days so they don't get stale. Another great idea is to invest in an automatic toy dispenser like a FroliCat Bolt or PetSafe Boltaway which will dispense treats as cats play with it.
4. Add cat trees
If you have a cat, especially an indoor cat, that needs some exercise and entertainment, consider getting them a tall cat tree to climb. Cats love climbing trees as much as they love chasing birds—and it might just help keep them out of trouble. Try an all-wood unit instead of carpeted ones, so you don't have to worry about your feline friend bringing home any unwelcome friends in his or her mouth. Also, be sure to put it near a window where he can enjoy watching birds through glass. A little bird-watching is better than hunting them down!
5. Add plants
Putting plants in your yard not only adds beauty, but it may also keep cats away. Cats aren't interested in going near greenery because they don't like to get their paws dirty. While most of us love our feline friends, birds and butterflies need a cat-free environment to thrive. So make sure you have plenty of plants around your house to keep your indoor kitty away from outdoor avians.
6. Place bird feeders far away
The mere presence of a cat near your backyard feeder will scare birds away. Keeping bird feeders 30 feet or more away from windows and doors will give birds a sense of security and keep them coming back. The further you can place bird feeders, the better off your feathered friends will be.
7. Use motion-activated sprinklers
It's relatively inexpensive and easy to set up motion-activated sprinklers around your garden, which will help deter stray cats. These mischievous felines are scared of sudden movements and loud noises, so set up a few water features outside in places where you know birds like to hang out. Many pet stores also sell ultrasonic deterrents that can be hung on trees or placed near windows; these devices emit high-frequency noise that cats find uncomfortable, causing them to stay away.