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  PETS & BIRDS


It’s 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.

EXPLODING MYTHS:
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 danger.

Most birds or small mammals that”escape” 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 survive.

Cats aren’t the only pet problem. It’s 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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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