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How to Stop Cats From Catching Birds

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You can stop cats from catching birds. Pet cats have shown through several scientific studies to be a serious threat to songbird populations and other native wildlife. A single housecat can kill hundreds of birds in one year. This leads to millions of songbirds and small mammals killed by domestic cats each year reports the American Bird Conservancy. Although many people and organizations are concerned about the human impact on the environment and wildlife, the impact of our beloved housecats is largely ignored. Yet, stopping your cats from catching birds and other wildlife may be one the easiest things you can do to have a huge positive impact on the environment.

First, you have to accept that cats are exceptionally good predators. A cat catching a bird is not showing bad cat behavior, he is showing normal good cat behavior. When cats’ natural instincts take over, keeping your cats well fed and cared for and active with cat toys are not going to stop them from hunting. It may even increase their success rate, because they are well fed and healthy.  Bells on the collar, a common tip given to stop cats from catching birds, often don’t slow down a cat’s success rate. Stealthy cats can silence a bell, or two or three bells, and birds may not recognize a bell as a signal for danger.

Of course keeping your cat indoors is the best prevention, with the added benefit of keeping your cat healthier and living longer. But you don’t have to deny a cat the outdoor experience to keep the cat and birds safe.

cat window perchWindow Perches

Put cat shelves and small perching areas into windows. This gives indoor cats a nice sunny spot to watch the world without going outside.

Outdoor Cat Enclosure

Build your cat an outdoor enclosure. Attach the enclosure to the side of the house with a pet door for the cat to use. Your cat can now enjoy the outdoors, of his own free will, but be restricted from birds and other wildlife. The enclosure can be as big or small as you like.

Stop cats catching birds Cat Fencing

Modify your backyard fencing with a containment fence for cats. Several options are available. Some cat fencing is mesh fences that enclosure the backyard. Other systems attach to the top of your existing fence at an angle preventing cats from climbing out. There are also cat electronic fences to keep them confined to a certain area.

Leash Train Your Feline Friend

Leash train your cat and take him for walks just as you would your dog. Most pet stores will carry cat harnesses with lightweight leashes. It will probably take some time and lots of treats to teach your cat to accept the harness. Walking a cat is not like walking a dog – you follow the cat. Don’t expect your cat to readily follow you. But walking a pet feline on a leash can be done and it can be enjoyable for you both. While harnessed, he can watch birds but never catch them.

Other Tips for How to Stop Cats Catching Birds

Do not feed seed or other foods to birds or other wildlife in your backyard. This just creates a hunting ground and easy buffet for yours and your neighbor’s cats. Instead, attract birds naturally with native plants. When birds are fed artificially from bird feeders, they tend to congregate on the ground and overeat. This makes them easy prey.

If you must let your cat outside, don’t allow kittens outside at all until they are adults. Adult cats that did not practice hunting and catching birds as kittens will not be quite the successful hunter as an adult.

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