important for responsible cat people to recognise that predation by
domestic and feral cats is a severe threat to songbird populations.
In order to keep your balcony, rooftop and garden a safe haven for
both songbirds and cats we suggest the following:
1. Keep your cats indoors. Not always an easy thing to do, but consider
this: Acccording to the American Bird Conservancy, free roaming cats
kill hundreds of millions of birds each year, in addition to small
mammals which are the prey of raptor species, such as owls and hawks.
Cats themselves often become prey. Free roaming cats have an average
lifespan of 3 years compared to that of indoor cats at 17 years.
2. If you have a large space, such as a garden, ground level deck
or rooftop, you can try these techniques:
Make it uncomfortable for cats to stalk or pounce by surrounding bird
feeding and watering areas with barbed wire or bramble thorns. These
can be hedges, or a barrier constucted specifically for the purpose.
Alternately, leave large areas of open space around areas where birds
feed and water. This allows a clear view for the birds and no cover
for the cats within pouncing distance.
Well fed cats DO kill birds. Cats have been observed leaving their
food bowl while eating in order to make a kill, returning immediately
afterwards to their food bowl without eating their kill.
Bells are not necessarily a deterent to bird killing. Most kills are
accomplished with a single pounce, and most bells make no sound until
that pounce. Also, birds may not associate the sound of a bell with
Most birds or small mammals thatescape a cat attack die
later from infection caused by a bite, or from internal injury. Even
if treatment is administered immediately, only approximately 20% will
Cats arent the only pet problem. Its important to remember
that uncontrolled dogs are a significant threat to waterfowl and ground
birds. Make certain your dog is leashed.
(Information on cat predation is from the American Bird Conservancy)