As in many countries, cats are the leading cause of death for garden birds. A recent data from the Mammal Association estimates that cats in the UK catch up to 27 million birds each year, for a total of 275 million prey each year. In the United States, this number is between 130 and 4 billion birds, and most institutions think it is around 2.4 billion.
At the same time, cats are also a threat to global biodiversity. Cats have caused the extinction of 63 species of wild birds, mammals, and reptiles and continue to adversely affect various other species, including those at risk of death, such as the pipe plover.
Although this number may seem incredible, it represents the combined impact of tens of millions of outdoor cats. So it is that the state of being hungry or complete does not affect the decision of cats to kill birds. This is something in their genes. We all know that cats are not easy to tame.
So there is nothing we can do?
Doing nothing is unacceptable to a kind person and bird lover. Therefore, after many tests, we give the following effective methods for reference. But before that, I will first list several invalid and dangerous ways that some people often say.
6 Invalid Methods
- Error 1/ Mothball. Many websites recommend placing mothballs around the bird feeder.The problem with this method is that it is dangerous to cats, your yard, and other creatures. If your cat ingests mothballs or has long-term exposure to mothballs, the cat may develop serious illnesses. The same is true for other animals.
- Error 2/ Fence. This is another safe but ineffective option to keep cats away from bird feeders. As you may know, cats are very good at climbing and jumping over fences. In most cases, the fence will not keep the cat out. You may want to fence your yard for other reasons, but if you just want to prevent cats from getting the bird feeder, you shouldn't waste money on the fence.
- Error 3/ Bell Collar. Another commonly used method of protecting birds from prying eyes, but it is largely ineffective. The idea behind the bell collar is that it can remind birds to pay attention to cats. Unfortunately, most birds don't notice this sound when eating, and unprofessional necklaces may hang cats on branches, which is not what we want to see.
- Error 4/ Vaseline. It is another method that is technically effective for cats, but it can be dangerous. The idea behind the Vaseline method is that it prevents cats from climbing on the feeding pole. Just look at cats, this is a safe and effective method. The problem with adding petroleum jelly to the bird feeder is that it gets on the bird's feathers. This can severely hinder the ability of birds to fly, eat, and escape from other predators. Do not add petroleum jelly to the bird feeder to protect the birds.
- Error 5/ RUTA. Many people suggest growing ruta because its strong smell will repel cats, but ruta can be toxic if ingested and can cause unpleasant skin reactions.
- Mistake 6/ Sprinkling chili (black pepper, cayenne, etc.) is also a bad idea. Not only does the pepper have to be reapplied frequently, but there is also the risk of animals walking past it and licking its paws or rubbing its eyes. Children can also pick up peppers with their hands, and then put their hands in their mouths or touch their eyes.
7 Effective Ways
Other collars to warn prey
Brightly colored collars. Most birds are very sensitive to bright colors. If your cat wears a rainbow collar (well this may make others misunderstand you), the probability that it wants to approach the bird silently will dramatically drop.
The correct way to place the bird feeder
A good way to keep cats away from bird feeders is to ensure that the bird table is high and out of reach.
Best results: Please hang the bird feeder on a high pole in the middle of the yard. Placing the bird feeder in an open place will make it more difficult for the cat to sneak close to the bird or climb on the bird feeder. You don't want the cat to be able to climb up the deck or tree to easily access the bird feeder. In addition, adding a good baffle to the pole will achieve almost perfect results. Many people make the mistake of placing bird feeders on the back of the deck or hanging them from trees. When you place bird feeders in these locations, cats can easily hide and climb up to get close to the birds.
Note: Hang high in the air, away from window sills, fences and branches. If the feeder is connected to a pole or stake, it should be made of metal or plastic, not wood that the cat can climb. Enclosing bird feeders and bird baths with barbed wire will also make bird visitors safer.
RSPB also recommends that the feeder should be placed about 2m away from the dense vegetation to prevent sudden attacks by cats, but to allow birds to easily enter the shelter. Keep the nest box away from cats, as they may prevent the parent birds from entering the nest box.
Let the cat hate a specific place-automatic sprinkler
Most cats hate being sprayed. Buying a spray gun and spraying it at the intruder a few times can usually solve the problem. You can also use a motion-sensing sprinkler system. The motion-sensing sprinkler system will spray water on any animal (or person) moving in the area. You can imagine a cat or other uninvited guest moving silently and suddenly a water spray on the body panicked. Believe me, your cat will quietly find a place to start combing his hair in the next half an hour.
Let the cat hate certain places-choose the correct smell.
Lavender and lemon thyme are safer choices. Scent is indeed a good way to stop cats from approaching bird feeders without harming them.
Other options: You can easily add homemade fragrance to prevent cats from using bird feeders. Sprinkling vinegar or citrus oil around bird feeders is usually a very cost-effective way to stop cats from hanging out. If you don’t want to make your own, you can also buy a pre-made deterrent.
Whether you are using a home formula or buying a pre-made concentrate, it is important to understand that you should not put the fragrance directly on the feeder. You don't want birds to accidentally ingest it. Instead, place the scent around the bird feeder to deter cats without risking the birds.
Let the cat hate certain places---change the covering.
Covering the soil with rocks, shale mulch, or pine cones can greatly reduce its appeal to cats. Using upside-down plastic carpet slides (tips facing up) to line the perimeter can be very effective, because cats don't like to walk on these points.
Make the most of plants
Although this may be a very uncomfortable thought, one way to keep cats away from bird feeders is to plant the feeder in a prickly or uncomfortable shrub (such as a holly tree). If there are specific areas that cats like, planting a series of upright branches in the soil will solve the problem. It is also very effective to spread thick prickly roses or some cacti around the yard or the area where the cat crosses the fence.
This will definitely make it more difficult for cats to get close to the feeder, and we are pretty sure they won't try to jump or enter the bush anytime soon-even with attractive snacks.
Make the indoor environment irritating
The more exciting the house you build for your cat, the less he wants to roam outside. From building a DIY cat stand so that it can peek out and investigate the outdoors, to food puzzles, let them express their intuition in a productive way.
Invest in cat circle catio
If you have a beautiful large garden, then your cat has no reason not to continue enjoying the outdoors.
Last but most important
We understand that not everyone has so much time and energy on these things, but when birds are most vulnerable, please keep your cat indoors: at least one hour before sunset and one hour after sunrise. Especially during March to July and December to January, and after severe weather such as rain or cold weather, allow birds to come out to feed.