If you have outdoor cats, you know the importance of cat proof bird feeders for both the safety of your cat and for the safety of the birds. It can also be necessary if you have neighborhood cats that prowl the area as well. There is nothing worse that having your bird feeding hobby becoming lunch for your cat! In this article we’ll take a look at some different bird feeders that will help deter cats, as well as some tips for cat proofing your bird feeder, so you can enjoy both the birds and your cat.
Option 1: Invest in a Cat Proof Bird Feeder
While there are few bird feeders that are specifically marketed to guarding against felines, there are several that are anti-squirrel bird feeders that can make for a good substitute.
The Audubon Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder, pictured here, is just one example of a bird feeder that has protective grid work that will make it difficult for your cat to reach the birds. Another excellent choice is the highly reviewed Droll Yankee Wild Bird Feeder with Domed Cage which also features protective wire cage around the bird feeder. With these types of feeders, it is extremely difficult for your cat to reach his or her paws into the cage to touch the birds, especially if hung out of reach.
If you already have a similar tube style bird feeder, you can also likely create your own protective wire mesh cage to go around the feeder by making a simple trip to your local hardware store to purchase the fencing materials. However if you are not handy, then buying one
The drawback to this method is that only very small birds will be attracted to the feeder because larger birds will not be able to reach the seed. While small songbirds are a joy to have and watch, you may want to attract other types of birds. For that, you’ll need to find a way to deter your cat from the feeder all together.
Deterring Your Cat From the Feeder
The other thing to do is to deter your cat from the feeder as much as possible. Here are some tips to make your bird feeder less appealing to cats:
1. Hang the bird feeder on a tall shepherd’s hook or pole: A 10′-15′ pole made out of metal should be sufficient and your cat will not be able to climb or reach by jumping as most cats find it very difficult to climb anything made out of metal. The higher your bird feeder, the harder it will be for the cats to reach.
2. Hang From a tall tree branch: Hanging your bird feeder from a tree branch your cat cannot reach is another option to consider. Cats can climb trees however, so this may not work for all cats, especially if your cat enjoys climbing.
3. Give your cat a bell: You cat may not like wearing a bell, but it will help alert birds when the cat is nearing, giving them time to fly off. This will eventually teach your cat the birds will all fly away and can possibly cause your cat to lose interest in the feeder. However, some very sneaky cats are good at silently preying on birds, so a bell does not always work. If that is the case, you may need to try instead a sonic collar that emits a high pitched sound birds can hear but cats and humans cannot.
4. Install Fencing Around Your Yard: If the problem is not your cats, but your neighbor’s cats, you may wish to install fencing around your yard that will keep other cats away. This however, can be very costly, and you will likely need to check with your township to see if a building permit is required to install a fence around your yard.
Cat Enclosures: One nifty invention is the ABO Gear Happy Habitat for Indoor Cats, shown right. The cat enclosure, which is much like a tent for your cat to enjoy the great outdoors safely, will keep them contained and away from the bird feeder. This is also much more practical than say, trying to train your pet cat on a leash
We hope you found this article informative and that some of these ideas will work for you to help you keep your feathered friends safe from bird feeders. If you have any questions, or would like to share what techniques have worked for you, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!
FeedingTheBirds.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com