Last Updated on: September 18, 2023 by Crystal Uys
While your bird may be proud of his bird-catching skills, it’s not the most pleasant sight to see a bird caught in your cat’s mouth. Along with being unsightly, birds can spread infectious diseases to cats.1 So, your cat’s hunting hobby can also be a safety hazard.
Fortunately, you can try several different things to prevent or discourage your cat from catching birds. All cats are different, so you may have to test out different methods to see what works for your cat. Here are some ideas you can try out so that your cat doesn’t catch wild birds.
Our 6 Tips to Stop Your Cat From Catching Birds:
1. Place a Bell on Your Cat’s Collar
While this method isn’t completely fail-proof, it can definitely reduce the chances of your cat successfully catching a bird. Just make sure that you use a bell that emits sounds between 50–60 dB, as cats are typically unaffected by sounds under 80 dB.2 If your cat seems to be bothered by the sound of a bell, you can try using a colorful cat bib that’s designed to make cats more noticeable to prey animals.
When it comes to bells, you can find many different cat collar bell options that are specifically designed to prevent cats from catching prey. Try to look for one that’s easy to attach and detach from your cat’s collar so that you can remove the bell whenever your cat’s not outside.
2. Reduce Boredom for Your Cat
Some cats may be more eager to hunt for prey if they’re not getting enough exercise. Energetic cats can look for outlets to express their energy and can resort to hunting birds. You can try having your cat play with cat wands with feather tails on them or use treat dispensing toys to encourage your cat to use their hunting instincts on safe toys rather than animals that can spread infectious diseases.
3. Let Your Cat Out When There Are Less Birds
If you have a cat that enjoys stepping outside regularly, try to schedule times when they are let out when there are fewer birds. In general, birds are most active between dawn to late morning, and they have a second active period from late afternoon to sunset. Your cat has a higher chance of catching a bird during these time frames when birds are out foraging, singing, and calling out to each other.
4. Make Sure Your Cat’s Nutritional Needs Are Met
Sometimes, cats may feel the need to hunt for food if they’re not eating enough or have a nutrient deficiency. So, if catching birds is a relatively new behavior that your cat hasn’t ever engaged in before, it’s helpful to schedule a visit with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can conduct a physical exam to see if your cat requires adjustments to their diet.
5. Add Fence Guards to Your Backyard
You can find fence guards specifically designed for cats. These fence guards make it difficult for cats to get a good grip on the top of fences, which prevents them from prowling or pouncing at birds. They’ll also discourage birds from sitting on your fence and getting too close to your cat.
6. Install an Outdoor Catio
One of the safest ways to let your cat experience the outdoors is to install a catio in your backyard. Catios allow cats to spend time outside without wandering off, and they don’t allow other animals inside. Some catios are designed to attach to a window, making it extremely convenient to let your cat in and out of the home.
There are several different ways you can let your cat safely enjoy being outside and prevent them from catching birds. Depending on your cat, the solution can be as simple as attaching a bell to their collar, or you may have to make some modifications to your outdoor space. If you’re really having a challenge preventing your cat from catching birds, it’s always helpful to enlist the help of a reputable cat behaviorist. Cat behaviorists can help you find safe alternative ways to keep your cat healthy and entertained.
Featured Image Credit: Kuttelvaserova Stuchelova, Shutterstock
About the author
Cat mom to Ivy – a feisty little rescue kitten that is her one and only child. For now! Throughout her life, she has been introduced to the special love that can be found in the bond with a cat. Having owned multiple felines, she is more than certain that their love is unmatched, unconditional and unlike any other. With a passion to educate the public about everything, there is to know about felines, their behavior, and their unique personalities, Crystal is devoted to making sure that all cats and their owners know the importance of conscious living – and loving!