Can Cats and Pet Birds Live Safely Together?


Cats and birds are natural enemies, and anytime you put a predator and its prey together, you’re probably asking for trouble. Even the friendliest and laid back house cat may find her hunting instinct triggered by a high-energy bird. For this reason, cats and birds don’t usually make good housemates.

If you want to keep both, it is imperative that you carefully manage all interactions between the two species. In a recent article on, I provided some tips on how to ensure that cats and birds can safely live together. Click here to read the full article.

Do you have birds who live peacefully with your cats?


6 Comments on Can Cats and Pet Birds Live Safely Together?

  1. Tom Randall
    July 16, 2014 at 10:16 am (3 years ago)

    A friend of ours had cats and birds together for many years and never had any issues whatsoever. Mind you two of them were large parrots but the third was a cockatiel which is a little tiny thing. I do agree though that as a rule it is a chancey thing to do at best unless you’re dealing with larger birds and really mellow cats. Just for the record when our friend’s cockatiel did get killed it was a dog that did it not one of the cats.

    • Ingrid
      July 16, 2014 at 10:50 am (3 years ago)

      That’s so sad about your friend’s cockatiel, Tom!

  2. MittensMom
    July 16, 2014 at 9:33 am (3 years ago)

    We have always had birds since moving in with my original cat (it was his house first). The parakeets were strictly kept in a cat-free zone (cats were allowed only when supervised and the birds were caged).

    Now, we have a bigger bird (dove) and he actually shares his room with the kitties’ play room. While he’s caged, the kitties don’t really bother him, as they’re usually elsewhere in the house or hanging out in the windows anyway. I keep a cat tree close enough so they can observe him from a distance; far enough away from his cage to not encourage trying to jump on the cage (which only the kitten has done on a couple occasions). Also, his cage is rather large so, if they did manage to get to the cage and try to reach in, he has plenty of room to get away. When I opened the room up, I built a coroplast surround, to give him some privacy, prevent cage climbing and keep any flying seed away from kitties’ curious mouths. (safety first!)

    For the most part, the bird doesn’t pay the cats any mind and vice versa. It’s really too much effort for the cats to bother with the in-house bird (who is big and also scary to them) when they have plenty of windows to observe little critters outside in the trees.

    Now, when it’s time for the cage to be open and bird to be free, the cats get locked out of the room. Especially since, due to an injury he sustained before I took him in, he doesn’t fly well and, being a breed of pigeon, is also a ground-dweller anyway.

    Cats will be cats, so I would never trust them all on the loose together. I still barely trust my crazy kitten and the 9yr old together. 🙂

    • Ingrid
      July 16, 2014 at 10:49 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you for sharing your experience, MittensMom. Your last sentence made me chuckle! 🙂

  3. maru
    July 16, 2014 at 8:40 am (3 years ago)

    Yes I have seen it.
    My first experience was with a parrot my mom had for 25 years, all that time there were also cats, and a dog at home. All the cats and dogs learnt that that little green fellow was a particular character and should not be attacked, eventhough he used to escape from his cage and went around the house, walking on the floor, looking for my mom. The cats were amazing, they kept their distance, carefully avoiding the (menacing) little green wanderer.
    Nowadays I live with my brother and he has a beautiful tropical bird in a cage (this one does not go around) and the three cats have understtod that bird belongs to a different category (they try to catch every bird that comes near the windows) and with a little supervision at the begining they understood it cannot be touched. It took only a few days for them to learn. Nowadays they just seem not to look at each other.
    Have a look at my black boy gracefully ignoring the rather noisy bird.

    • Ingrid
      July 16, 2014 at 8:52 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you for sharing your experience, and what a lovely photo!


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