Polk County Conservation

Cats Hunting Birds

  • I enjoy watching and feeding the birds in my yard. However, my cat kills at least 2-3 birds a week. I hate to keep my cat indoors, she loves it outside. Is there any way to keep my cat from doing this?

    Free roaming cats have a huge impact on wildlife. There are an estimated 60-90 million pet cats and millions of stray and feral cats in America. The number of birds killed per day is in the millions. Cats are natural predators. Birds and rodents are among their favorite prey. To prevent your cat from killing birds, you could keep your cat indoors. Outdoor cats face many more risks than indoor cats. Outdoor cats are exposed to serious infectious diseases, like rabies or feline leukemia. Outdoor cats can also get fleas, ticks, and other intestinal parasites. Coyotes, great horned owls, and other wild animals are known to regularly kill and eat cats. Cats that spend time outdoors require more medical treatment and their life spans are much shorter compared to indoor cats.

    If you do let your cat outdoors, keeping her well fed will not keep her from hunting. Hunting is a natural instinct. Attaching a bell to your cat’s collar will not scare birds away. Birds do not associate a ringing bell with being stalked. One product that seems to work well is the CatBib. The CatBib is attached to the cat's collar and hangs loosely over the cat's chest. It works by gently interfering with the precise timing and coordination a cat needs for successful bird hunting. The CatBib is a triangular shaped piece of thin neoprene, backed on both sides with nylon. Cats should only wear it when outside. For more information about CatBib, visit www.catgoods.com.

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    Administration Office
    12130 NW 128th St
    Granger, IA 50109

    P: (515) 323-5300
    F: (515) 323-5354

    Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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