Studies conducted by American Bird Conservancy states that domestic cats are the number one most direct reason for predation to birds. Thus, making them a top human-caused threat to little birdies.
Hence, naturally, even if your furry friend is a quiet little loner, those paws have spikes to kill. So what can you do to keep your beloved Mr. Whiskers away from the backyard bird feeder? Let’s find out.
If you own a pet cat or have neighborhood felines circling your backyard, you definitely need to keep the bird feeder safe. So what can you do to save the birds from an unfortunate doom?
A quick and easy way is to get a tall, sleek pole type of bird feeder. This ensures that the birds are high up and difficult to reach. Also, the sleek pole is a challenge for your cat to climb that will end in failure.
Keep on reading for more extensive information in ensuring you feed the birds and not your cats!
5 Ways to Keep Your Cat Away From the Bird Feeder
Here is an easy five-way round-up to make sure your furballs are not using their murder mittens to kill.
Perfect The Feeder’s Placement
The best way would be to get a tall, sleek pole bird feeder for your backyard. However, if you already have a hanging one and want to use it, placement is key. To ensure the birds’ safety and keep your cat from attacking them, the feeder must be placed perfectly.
So the best way is to find an open area to do so. This way, your cat cannot hide undetected and pounce upon the unaware birds. In fact, when in the open, the birds will notice the predator and do a pretty good job of staying alert.
Use Citrus for Your Advantage
Believe it or not but your Tommy hates the smell of limes, lemons, oranges, and all things citrus. Yes, it is factually proven that cats hate the smell of citrus, but how does it help you? To answer that, you can place the peels or zest of the citrus fruits around the bird feeder.
Commonly, smaller birds’ sense of smell is minimal at best. Therefore, the orange peels and lemon zests don’t keep them away from the feeder. However, you would want to sprinkle the citrus around the feeder and not mix with the seeds as it is not good for birds to ingest.
Find Your Furry Friend’s Fears
If you are the crazy cat lady of the neighborhood, chances are you know more about the feline friends than anyone else. So why not use that to your advantage? Find out what your pet cat absolutely hates or something it is really scared of.
For instance, many cats are fearful of the shape of cucumbers and bananas. Although pranking your cat by shocking them is not good for them – placing the fruit or the vegetable around the bird feeder will keep them away knowingly.
Spice Things Up
If the orange peels and bananas aren’t helping, don’t worry. Your next solution may be in spicing things up. However, we condone sprinkling dry spice as it will harm the cat. The idea is to create a spice oil. You can easily do this by mixing your cayenne peppers with any oil and spraying it around the bird feeder.
As the cats’ have a great sense of smell, the waft of the cayenne mixed with oil around the feeder would keep them away from the bird feeder for good. It will deter them if they come any closer or if they go around sniffing, it will be an unpleasant surprise.
Invest In a Motion Sensor Sprinkler
One of the best investments you can make –both for your backyard plants and keeping the tabby away from the bird feeder – is a motion sensor sprinkler. It is a well-known fact that most cats hate water. Hence, the motion sensor sprinkler spraying water around will surely keep the cat in the dry land.
Although this investment will surely be a bit more on the costly side, it will surely keep the little birdies safe, and your plants are growing. However, it is important to note here to keep the sprinkler spraying water low instead of high as you don’t want the birds getting sprayed either.
Additional Tips to Stay In the Clear
Not every cat loves lasagna like Garfield to happily stay indoors. They like to venture out from time to time, and there is only so much you can do to ensure they don’t go on a killing spree.
So what do you do if all your DIY solutions are going in vain, but your furball doesn’t seem to be tired of playing catch with the birds? Your resort to the following ways:
- Avoid spreading birdseed on the ground – A complete no-go if you are a bird owner. Keep the birdseed in the bird feeder only, even if it isn’t attracting many birds at the moment. Slowly but surely, the birds would understand where to find their meals.
- Clear up any spills – Naturally, if your bird feeder is placed high up and attracts many birds, there will be a spill under it on the ground. You need to ensure the spills are cleared before birds start feeding on there and attracting their feline hunter.
- Don’t feed stray cats – You can essentially only work on your own pet cat to not use its murder mittens. What you can’t do is ensure the strays also do not kill the birds. So the solution? Don’t feed the stray cats when they come back and find the birds.
What Do The Cat Owners Have To Say?
According to a recent news piece, cat owners were asked if they are open to taking measures against their pets to restrict bird killings and stop the damage caused by cats to bird populations.
The shocking revelation came when more than half of the cat owners took no interest in keeping their cats on their property at all times. And the remainder strongly disagreed with the whole idea.
This shows that education and awareness in this aspect are crucial. Cat owners need to understand that birds are essential for the ecosystem, and their cats should be trained to keep them safe.
Understandably, keeping your pet cat away from the bird feeder is difficult. After all, it is in their natural instincts to be predatory towards them. However, as a responsible cat owner, you must safeguard the birds and train your cat to keep the birdies safe.
Hence, the best way to keep the birds safe is to place the bird feeder high or eliminate one completely. Unfortunately, it is in everybody’s best interests to have either a pet cat or feed the birds. A mutual happening of the both may result in a killing or two – good luck!