If you are a cat owner, you have probably noticed how much cats like looking on the windows and staring at birds.
When a cat watches birds, he might be thinking like a predator, which is an instinct in felines, and wants to catch the bird.
So, Do Bird Feeders Frustrate Cats?
No, bird feeders do not frustrate cats. Instead, a bird feeder provides a super-simple entertainment form for your cats. Indoors can get a bit boring for your cat.
This is why your cat must stay entertained and active even when you are away from home. One of the easiest ways is to provide your feline friend with a convenient place to view the outside world.
Watching the outdoors through the window is mentally stimulating to the cat and even more entertaining and stimulating when observing the goings and comings of birds at the garden bird feeder. Watching the birds is an interactive, stimulating, and enjoyable pastime for cats.
How To Set Up a Bird Feeder for Your Indoor Cat
Bird feeders provide entertainment to your cats as well as beauty to your garden.
Fortunately, they are also very easy to set up in your garden.
The steps for setting up a bird feeder include;
1. Have A Window At Least Ten Feet Above The Ground.
This is because you want the feeder to be high enough to prevent cats or squirrels from reaching it. If the birds don’t find it safe, they won’t come more often.
2. Choose The Type Of Feeder Based On The Types Of Birds You Want To Attract.
Different bird types eat different types of food from different types of feeders. Conduct some research to check if the birds you would like to attract eat from perch or platform feeders and their type of food.
3. Ensure To Secure Your Windows And Window Screens.
Before setting up your feeder, you should ensure the window and window screens are secure.
Even though the window screens are solidly closed, you should inform your household members not to open the window anymore.
This will ensure your cat is safe and will not fall out.
Also, if you have big glass windows with no window screens, you should place some reflector or indicator on the outside of the glass to ensure birds don’t fly into the glass.
4. Prepare An Easy Viewing For Your Cats.
Here, you should make a comfortable place for your cat to rest as it enjoys the view of the feeder and birds.
You can do this by adding a cat tree with perch, a window ledge pillow, or simply a shelf with a pillow. The place should be at least five inches from the feeder.
5. Add Food To The Feeder And Wait For The Birds.
Although it might take some weeks, the birds will regularly visit the feeder. Your cat will be one of the happiest.
How To Keep Birds Safe from Cats?
While bird watching keeps your cat entertained, it might not be pleasant to see your cat hunting and killing the birds.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent the chances of the garden birds from being hunted without causing harm to the cats.
1. Feed Birds Naturally
If your cats use the bird feeders as their hunting grounds, the responsible thing to do is get rid of your feeders to protect the birds.
Instead, feed birds naturally through native plants that offer berries, seeds, and insects.
The native plants will not make the birds congregate in one spot in high numbers like they do in a feeder, so it attracts hunting cats.
2. Offer cover
Birds and other wildlife use dense natural vegetation to hide from predators.
If your lawn is bare, it does not provide any cover.
When designing your landscape or garden, you should include dense plantings of trees, shrubs, wildflower gardens, or meadows where the birds can hide.
If you design your landscape with native plants, they will cover the birds and provide food sources and nesting places.
3. Keep Your Cats Indoors
The only way of keeping birds safe from your cats is to keep the cats indoors.
The other tips on the list are only partly effective and only addresses the symptoms rather than the underlying issue.
Keep in mind that it is not the fault of your cat to kill the birds; they are only following their instinct. It is up to you to keep your cats indoors and solve the issue.
Therefore, keep the cats indoors, particularly during the periods that the birds will be most vulnerable such as an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset.
This will be especially useful during the breeding and winter seasons throughout the year.
4. Keep The Cats Well Fed
One of the reasons why most cats prey on birds is hunger.
Therefore, a well-fed cat is a happy cat and is less likely to hunt and kill innocent birds.
After your cat has eaten, the possibility is that they will curl up for a nap.
This will keep your birds safe to feed on the feeders in your garden, and your cats will be happy too.
Also, do not reward or encourage a cat that kills or catches a bird.
5. Cat Collars And Bells
Another tactic to keep birds safe from your cat is putting a bell or collar on your cat.
The bell or collar will warn the birds of the presence of a predator, in this case, your cat.
However, ensure that the collar is a fast release because if it gets caught in branches or fences, it can cause more damage to the cat.
6. Positioning Of The Feeder
You can reduce the chances of cats preying on the garden birds based on where you position your feeders.
You should avoid low-hanging and ground feeders that keep the birds within close reach of the cats and ensure you clean up any spilled food.
Try positioning the nesting boxes about eight feet off the ground to prevent the cats from jumping on them.
Place the bird feeder at least twelve feet away from any cover a cat can hide.
This way, you will be giving the birds a higher chance of reacting in the event of an attack, and the cat will be less likely to get a successful kill.
7. Cat Deterrents
Another obvious way of preventing cats from hunting and killing birds is using cat deterrents.
There is no guarantee the cats will stop going into the garden completely, however with cat deterrents, you will make their visits less common.
For natural cat repellent, you can try planting some lemongrass or citronella in your garden.
Alternatively, you can scatter orange or lemon peel as the cats don’t like your citrus smell. You can also deter cats from using ultrasonic repellers.
These devices emit noise at a frequency that only the cats can perceive, discouraging them from entering the garden.
Bird feeders are a good form of entertainment for your cats.
They provide your cat with a way to remain active and entertained during the daytime, which reduces the chances of developing behavioral problems.
We hope you can easily set up a bird feeder for your cat and prevent the cat from killing the birds with the tips reviewed. The guidelines will help prevent outdoor cats from stalking the birds.
Birdwatching, Fun, or Frustrating? – Cat Forum
Do Cats Get Frustrated from Staring at Birds? – the cat site
Is it a good idea to get a bird feeder so my indoors-only cat can view wild birds- Quora.com