Cats are predators and hunt, and birds are one of their natural prey, so this can cause problems if these two pets live in your home together.
I will tell you that outdoor cats and even house cats stalk and trap birds, I know from experience, as these behaviors are pure instinct.
But can these natural instincts be overcome and pet birds and our cats coexist peacefully?
Coexistence of birds and cats
First, so that your cat and a bird can live together in your house, you will have to take certain precautions so that your cat cannot physically reach it at any time.
The natural instinct of a cat leads it to try to capture the bird, and this can happen at any time. But of course every cat and every bird is different. Some cats may ignore a pet bird, while others will try their best to catch up. You will need to assess your cat’s personality and be on your guard if you allow your bird and cat to interact.
The natural instincts of cats and birds
Wild cats, by natural instinct, kill millions of birds and small mammals such as squirrels, voles, moles and bunnies. When cats kill these little critters, they are taking food from other predators like foxes, bobcats, and birds of prey like owls and hawks.
That instinct is preserved by house cats. Our cats often view birds as fun to play with or as food, and they don’t differentiate between pet and wild birds.
Many times we defend that it is natural for cats to hunt and that we should not interfere with nature. However, in the face of this, it can be argued that the domestic cat is not something natural to any ecosystem, it is an introduced species that has become one of the most widespread predators in the world.
Regarding the instinct of birds, both in captivity and in the wild, they will fly at the slightest start, noise or observation of a cat if they feel threatened. The bird may even try to alert other birds to the presence of the predatory cat.
Birds kept as pets are generally not large enough to defend themselves against a cat, but even if a cat approaches a large bird, such as a parrot, it is normal for this bird to flee before fighting.
What danger do cats pose to birds?
Cats can hurt or kill a bird very easily. They can damage it with their sharp claws and cause serious injury.
Our furry can also remove feathers necessary for flight, balance and warmth or cause serious mental trauma to a bird that has been attacked or threatened.
Cats can even eat small birds.
Can birds be dangerous to cats?
In some cases a large bird can hurt an unsuspecting cat. Large parrots have strong beaks and claws that can grab and sting a cat, especially if the cat is scared and does not attempt to attack the bird.
This is most often seen with shy or curious cats and frightened parrots acting in self defense.
How cats and birds can coexist in our homes
Even though cats instinctively want to catch and even eat pet birds, there are things you can do to help these species live together in peace in your home.
You can take the following precautions:
- The bird cage must be safe
If you have a curious cat, make sure they can’t manipulate the cage so you don’t have to worry about them when you’re not home.
Try not to let your cat tip it over. Secure the cage to a sturdy stand or table and make sure it is heavy enough that your cat cannot knock it over.
Finally, make sure your cat cannot open the bird’s cage doors.
- Keep your pets in separate rooms
Consider placing the bird cage in a room where you can keep your cat away. A caged bird that is harassed by a cat can cause you unnecessary stress.
Never allow the cat to enter a cage and spend time in it. You should prevent your cat from thinking of these areas as her own places and developing a sense of ownership over them.
- Try introducing your bird to the cat
This is a very slow and difficult process, if you are not sure to get it right, avoid it . You should start by allowing the cat and the caged bird to see each other from a distance. You can gradually decrease the distance between the two of you after making sure that you are both comfortable and not stressed.
Some people who have cats go so far as to remove their bird from its cage and allow the two to see each other. If you feel comfortable trying this, you should do it with great caution and awareness of the danger.
How to prevent your cat from hunting birds outside
The only way to prevent a cat from killing birds is to keep it indoors . Although this solution is the most effective, today there are two other options:
As a first option, there is a simple and inexpensive invention called CatBib , it is a thin neoprene bib that is placed on the cat’s collar.
Your cat will be able to run, climb, stalk and jump, but when it reaches out to catch a bird in its claws, CatBib moves at the critical moment, preventing it from hooking its prey. It takes about five minutes for a cat to get used to wearing this bib.
The second option is an enclosure for cats, which they call catio, an enclosed space where cats can have air and sun, and birds but cannot catch them. These spaces range from large aviary-shaped enclosures to secured balconies and terraces or fully fenced patios.
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