My cat is killing the birds in the garden, what should I do?

How do you get a cat to stop killing birds? Adobe Stock

For the cat, hunting for birds or small mammals is a natural behavior. How do you react if your cat kills the birds in the garden? What are the recommended methods to solve this problem without preventing your pet from going outside?

If your cat has retained its predatory instincts, it may be more or less inclined to pursue other animals, such as birds.

Why does my cat hunt and kill birds?

The cat tends to hunt, mainly rodents and mice. Feral cats do this out of necessity to survive. A domestic cat may reproduce this behavior for “play” or simply because its mother instilled it in its training. Above all, remember that your pet remains a natural predator.

Furthermore, there are no predetermined rules. An indoor cat probably develops excellent hunting instincts through play and never pursues prey.

Conversely, a cat that goes out daily may lose interest in birds. It all depends on his temperament, his upbringing.

What impact on bird populations?

In isolation and individually, a cat killing the birds in the garden does not seem to have a noticeable impact on the environment. But on the scale of a country or the world, there are real consequences. Some sources suggest that the cat would be responsible for the death of 1 to 4 billion birds per year in the world. Others suggest that birds make up only a quarter of the prey hunted and killed by felines.

These are estimates that are likely to vary from one institute to the next. In the same way, we talk about raw data that is not interpreted or put into context. For example, with the total population of a particular bird species or the impact of other dangers to birds such as human activities.

How do I stop my cat from killing birds?

In the event that your cat kills the birds in the garden, there are simple tips to apply to prevent it, at least reduce the risk.

If he has no hearing problems, you can hang a bell on his collar. In most cases, the sound of the bell is enough to scare the birds away.

For these, you can set up nest boxes or automatic feeders in height. This gives them a good vantage point of the surrounding area while staying out of the cat’s reach.

The darkness helps your pet to hide. If it is difficult to bring in a cat that does not make up its own mind, you can encourage it by setting a fixed time for its meals. Thus he returns before dusk. Use the same technique in the morning so it doesn’t come out too early.

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