Other Pets

Birds and Cats

Since many well-meaning people feed feral cats, the population levels are much higher then they would be in a natural environment, and these artificially high population levels enable the cats to kill many more fledgling birds than they would if feeding did not occur.

I have to disagree on this one. I also feed the wild birds in my yard, have numerous full birdhouses and fledglings. The cats would actually sit near the feeders or in trees near the bird house for fresh food. I started getting cans of cheap cat food at Big Lots – the cats arent in the trees (although one still watches the birdfeeder more than I would like). The feral cats are actually lazy enough to go for the can food instead. I do hope to catch them eventually and remove them – but for now I am glad they arent still near my birdhouses. Linda

They will keep the population of ferals in control. I have 5 that were originally ferals. They drive all the other ferals away. when one dies, the others will let one more into the home situation, and then chase the rest away. For some reason unknown to me, the cats have decided that 5 is the number of cats I should have. They do not bother the birds. They climb all over the aviary, but the birds don’t seem to mind, and will incubate, and raise their babies, right under the cat’s noses. I had one years ago, that I could take into the flight with me, and he would hunt mice, and leave the birds alone. The problem is more the birds. I have had two birds, that I cannot trust to leave the cat’s tails alone. The cats have learned this, and when they see those birds, (a Rosella, and a Mitred Conure) heading in their direction, they move away. Incidently, they also chase hawks off the roof of the flights. Nadine

This is interesting to know. We had a *colony* of 5 outside cats. We are down to one (I saved from dying after bouncing against a fast moving car). The others disappeared or died from snake bite or something. I am about to add more to it to keep the mice, etc. population down. Andrea

According to Niels Pederson (one of the cat gurus), cat colonies break at bout 5-6 cats so evidently your group has decided that 5 is the limit for its colony.  Sammie

I have a friend who has 2 birds that are loose in her house at all times with about 30 (no, I am not joking) cats. They coexist. How, I don’t know. It has been going on for years. Andrea

Hello all, I find many of your comments about cats and bird to be very interesting. As I write this I have a adolescent cat on my lap AND a mature male U2 also on my lap as well as a flighted Sun Conure buzzing around from shoulder, head, or to hands on keyboard (tough typing at times LOL). I have a house full of birds, many of which are freeflighted (indoors and outdoors) and I always have cat loose in the house for critter control. Naturally, I do not start with adult cats, but instead start with young kittens – it is easier and safer, especially since I have a few flighted small birds in the house.

It has been my experience that cats do not normally bother the larger birds as much as the smaller birds. The problem is especially aggravated if the bird is flighted. The reason for this involves the predators natural instinct to pounce upon the prey’s attempt to flee. This will often result in cats “sneaking up on” parrots then sitting and watching the bird, waiting for some clue as to what to do next – if the bird does not go into “panic flight” mode there is no trigger to pounce. Thus with any low flying parrot, especially the smaller birds, there is a natural instinct that urges the cat to pounce. If started at a young age though, the cat can learn that some birds are part of the family and are not to be for killing. I had a Manx that left with my ex that would sit on the back of the recliner looking out the window at the birds in the yard, doing an odd jaw chattering (I gotta have that bird kind of thing) while all the time there sat either very near him or even occasionally on his back, a Blue female Indian Ringneck who just loved him – the cat would tolerate the birds “preening” his fur, but barely.

So far I have never had a problem with my birds and the cat that lives in the house. Obviously there is a need to use some common sense but cats and parrots can LEARN to peacefully coexist. Parrots: More Than Pets, Friends For Life Chris Biro ESENCE Website: http://www.thepiratesparrot.com Freeflight List: Freeflight-subscribe@onelist.com Trainright List: Trainright-subscribe@onelist.com Tel & Fax (360) 498-5559

HBNewsletter Spring 2003 article about the effect of feral cats on our native bird population plus a look at both sides of the trap/ neuter/spay/ release programs for ferals. http://www.holisticbirds.com