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cat - birds

Discussion in 'Wildlife Chat' started by serpentseye, Jun 8, 2010.


  1. serpentseye

    serpentseye PetForums Member

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    i want to attract wild birds to my garden (no one else around where i live does :(
    but the problem is, i have a cat. She isn't in the house or the garden much, she is very much an outdoor cat. She is shy, and only comes home to be fed. she doesn't bring home birds any more, and i haven't seen any carcasses around, but i am still uncomfortable about it. I would hate her to harm anything.:eek::eek::eek:

    your thoughts please?
     
  2. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    I don't think it's fair to either the birds or your cat if you are actively encouraging birds in to your garden.
    She may hunt when she is out but you are unaware of this. If birds are fed reguarly at a place they may become more complacent about obvious dangers.
    Even if you hung feeders very high up they may spill seed on to the floor & attract ground feeding birds who are particularly vunerable.
    Seeing all those birds gathering in her territory may revive her hunting instincts again :scared: & make you feel terrible.
    Are there any RSPB santuarys near you or other wildlife parks where you could go & watch birds in hides that are specially set up? Resevoirs are another good place to go; I've seen so many different species when walking around these.
    You could even invest in a cheap pair of binoculars (I got my first pair from Argos & they were great for a first timer)
     
  3. Paul Dunham

    Paul Dunham PetForums Senior

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    Pop a decent bell on it's collard, which will alert the birds to her aproach. It doesn't guarantee the cat won't still get the odd bird, but it will prevent the cat from getting many of them.

    The RSPB have a campaign encouraging people to feed birds in their gardens.
    It would be a sad situation if the only place we saw birds was in a reserve.
     
  4. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    It is possible to have cats and feed birds, but like with everything, it requires effort.

    I have 5 cats, and i feed the wild birds all year around.

    I keep my cats in when its the main feeding times (especially during the winter and when there are fledglings) plus i had 8 foot high bird tables made, as most commercially available ones are far too short and easily accessible and reachable for most cats.

    I make sure the table isnt near a fence, or something a cat could stand on in order to set up an ambush.

    My cats very rarely catch anything, as i control their access and take measures to limit the impact on wildlife.

    I cant remember if its the RSPB or the Small Mammal Society that say that domestic cats actually have very little impact on wild bird/mammal populations.

    Still an aspect of cats i dont like though. If i had the finances, id have a cat run.
     
  5. Paul Dunham

    Paul Dunham PetForums Senior

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    Cats are simply pre programmed to hunt and killed. There are some breeds which are relatively inactive compared most breeds. You know the breeds which spend most of their time impersonating a cushion or a pillow all day.
    There are also individuals which learn not to touch things their owners disaprove of.

    Here's what the Mammal Society says;

    Based on the proportion of cats bringing home at least one prey item and the back-transformed means, a British population of approximately 9 million cats was estimated to have brought home in the order of 92 (85-100) million prey items in the period of this survey, including 57 (52-63) million mammals, 27 (25-29) million birds and 5 (4-6) million reptiles and amphibians.

    As you can see cats are pretty devastating to wildlife here in the UK.
     
  6. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    I wish mine were these individuals, they look at me as if I'm mad if i try to tell them what to do (they are indoor cats so I don't have to worry about them catching wildlife)!!!

    My sisters cats are, unfortunately hunters & despite wearing bells on their collars still manage to bring in all sorts of animals. One has a particular liking for frogs so it's not unusual to suddenly see a frog hopping out from underneath the sofa! But mainly it's mice & birds
    One of them recently bought in a a whole nest complete with chicks that he destroyed... she came down to bird bits everywhere, it was quite upsetting.
    Her eldest cat was a hunter in his younger days but would also eat his kills despite being a well fed boy. Many times he would bring a bird back into the garden while we were having a bar-bq & sit there crunching it in front of us all :eek:
     
  7. JANICE199

    JANICE199 PetForums VIP

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    My friend has had cats all her life and she spends a fortune on bird food.Her cats don't bother the birds.Unlike in my garden where all the local cats come in and chase the birds away.:(
     
  8. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    I dont think there is enough scientific research either way when it comes to cats, and their impact. Yes, they kill birds and mammals in vast numbers, but what effect this has on the populations is a debateable and controversial matter.

    According to the RSPB:

    The RSPB: Advice: Are cats causing bird declines?

    Obviously this applies to birds only.

    I imagine in certain areas, the effects on rare mammals/bird/lizards etc could be profound. In which case maybe more should be done in order to control the domestic cat.
     
  9. Paul Dunham

    Paul Dunham PetForums Senior

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    It's impossible to have accurate scientific research on this. But these figures are very conservatively based on one prey item a day. I've come across cats which kill many more. I think it's foolish for the RSPB not to accept cats have an impact simply because it's not possible to do a scientific study and it also seems to be severely at odds with their claims over the last few decades that there's been a major reduction in the numbers of song birds.

    There has to be a negative impact on wildlife. It cannot be positive. Much of what cats kill is part of the food supply for much of our wildlife.

    Obviously there's very little which can be done about our own pet cats. But there are too many feral cats in the countryside feeding almost exclusively on our wildlife. We should at least try to limit the feral population.
     
    #9 Paul Dunham, Jun 11, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  10. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    There's always arguements about the impact of cats on another forum I go; never gets anywhere although I enjoy reading all the differing opinions! :D
    Personally, I'd say it's humans destroying habitats, trapping, poisoning animals every year that would have far more of an impact on wildlife.
     
  11. hawksport

    hawksport Banned

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    In my garden the birds chase the cats
     
  12. Paul Dunham

    Paul Dunham PetForums Senior

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    Absolutely 100% right! It has always been "US" which have been destroying the environment. "US" who spray the pesticides in the countryside killing the food our wildlife eats. "US" who spray herbicides which kill the plants which our wildlife feed. "US" who have destroyed the forests and the wilderness. "US" who have taken away the cover in which our wildlife can hide and "US" who poisons and sanitises the countryside to the extent where the wildlife is dying.

    If we left them enough of the countryside to live in and places to feed and hide then cats wouldn't be a problem.
     
    #12 Paul Dunham, Jun 11, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
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