TIPS FOR HELPING CATS AND BIRDS COEXIST

04/11/16

Pets Plus Us is a proud sponsor of Keep Cats Safe and Save Bird Lives, a campaign led by Nature Canada, the oldest national nature conservation charity in the country. This initiative celebrates the contributions cats and birds make to our lives, our environment, and our communities.

As stated on catsandbirds.ca, “Many of Canada’s birds are in trouble; some have declined by over 90%, and cats add to the list of risks that birds face.” They go on to say, “Environment Canada research estimates that, in addition to the impacts of climate change and habitat loss, 270 million birds a year die as a result of people. Cats, both pet and feral, are estimated to cause 75% of those deaths.”

We invite you to consider what you can do to make Canada a safer place for both cats and birds with these tips:

Keep your cats indoors as much as possible: This is the most effective way to protect birds from cats, especially if you can’t watch them when outside. Keeping cats indoors also reduces the spread of disease, overpopulation and injuries such as being hit by a car. It’s important to remember that indoor cats can still have accidents, become ill or develop diseases such as cancer, which is why pet insurance is equally beneficial to indoor and outdoor cats.

When outside, keep your cat on a leash or in an enclosure: Keeping your cats in a controlled environment and ensuring they are supervised at all times when outdoors will not only keep birds safe, but will keep your cat safe too.

Spay and neuter your cats: Feral cats prey on birds and other small wildlife and spaying and neutering your cat will help reduce the feral cat population.

Respect your cat’s instinctive nature: Cats don’t need to be hungry to prey on wildlife. Hunting is a sport for cats. Don’t assume that your cat won’t hunt for birds and wildlife just because they just finished a meal. Laser pointers and engaging your cat in play that involves chasing a cat nip toy are two ways to fulfil your cat’s prey drive.

Place bird feeders out of reach: Place fencing around feeders and ensure they are placed in open areas. Guard fencing around the base of trees where you have nesting birds will also prevent cats from disturbing the nest.

Report stray cats to your local animal control: This will allow the cat to be captured and brought to a shelter where it can find a furr-ever home.

Don’t assume declawing will help: Even without claws, your cat can be an effective hunter.

Put bells on your cat’s collar: While this isn’t seen as the most effective way to protect birds, it may give birds the extra reaction time needed to escape. However, many birds may not understand the significance of the sound until it’s too late.

Take the pledge to keep cats and birds safe!

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