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Cat killing baby birds

(33 Posts)
specki4eyes Fri 28-Jun-13 22:41:34

Help! My lovely young cat is on a killing spree..its so upsetting. Tonight she came in with a beautiful baby blackbird in her mouth. The bird was screaming, the mother was going crazy outside. I was so upset, I've now put a collar on her with a bell but I was reluctant to do that because I want her to catch vermin. What else can I do? Any ideas?

tanith Fri 28-Jun-13 22:45:16

I've kept cats all my life and I never managed it. You could keep her in but its what cats do I'm afraid , its just nature.

Charleygirl Fri 28-Jun-13 22:57:20

My cat caught 2 birds in one day. I managed to rescue the adult sparrow and then I went out. When I returned, the minx had devoured most of a baby bird.

She has never caught a bird before, when on a killing spree it is 3 takeaways (mice) a night for maybe a couple of nights and then a rest for a couple of months.

I was so cross when the sparrow was brought home alive and screaming that I felt like fitting a church bell around her neck!

Speck4eyes there is nothing else to do except fit a collar with a bell but check that the collar does not become entangled under one of its "armpits" as happened with my last cat.

Hunt Fri 28-Jun-13 23:16:03

Just think ,if your cats did not catch birds we would be over run with them.(birds, that is) Think of it as culling.

merlotgran Fri 28-Jun-13 23:25:49

My cat doesn't kill baby birds. She's too busy catching baby rabbits!

Tegan Fri 28-Jun-13 23:37:48

You probably know this anyway Specki but put the baby bird outside so the mother can see it's dead. When I had cats I had a distraught mother bird ouside until I put the dead baby where she could see it; she then went away. I have a cat pen and when I used to have cats I used to keep the cats in when I knew the birds had fledged. One day I went into the garden to see how the young birds were getting on; I scared one of them and it flew though the mesh of the pen, straight into the waiting mouth of one of my cats [I still feel bad about it years later]. I had a cat that was a silver tabby at the time, and I'd read that they were the worst of their breed for killing birds [she was a British Shorthair] and she certainly lived up to her reputation.

specki4eyes Fri 28-Jun-13 23:46:51

Yes Tegan mines a silver tabby!
How are you? Hope you're not still working too hard.
I think only you and I are still up - I'm going to bed now, night night

j08 Sat 29-Jun-13 09:40:57

Hunt we would NOT be "overrun with birds"! We are losing quite enough of our garden birds as it is. We are lucky to see a sparrow round here, and we never get a starling - used to have loads.

I'm glad the cat now has a collar with a bell. Couldn't you find some other way to control vermin?

nightowl Sat 29-Jun-13 09:48:43

I love cats but they are a menace when it comes to birds. My old cat who hasn't killed anything for years brought home a baby blackbird last week and I was furious with him. I wish I knew the answer, I'm not sure even a bell helps with baby birds who haven't learnt how to get out of the way quickly enough sad

Marelli Sat 29-Jun-13 10:01:41

Our cat does catch a good few birds, but tends to bring them in the house alive and usually unharmed. She sits at a respectful distance and stares at them. We then carry the bird outside, putting it on top of the shed, and keep her in for a wee while. She's also a great mouser, though, and sits at the bottom of the bird feeder tower where mice have burrowed and made nests....shock.
We have lots of sparrows, more this year than ever before. smile

j08 Sat 29-Jun-13 10:13:51

I was thinking that too Nightowl - about baby birds. sad

j08 Sat 29-Jun-13 10:15:12

My son has plenty of sparrows in Exeter. Don't know where they have gone round here.

Tegan Sat 29-Jun-13 11:36:46

How strange that your cat is a silver tabby specki. I read the article before I bought her and paid no attention to it until the carnage began. I dismissed it thinking that a cat with such bright colouring would be seen a mile away [unlike a beautifully camouflaged brown tabby]. Do female cats tend to bring their victims home to 'feed their family' whereas tom cats just dispose of it outside? We get plenty of hedge sparrows round here but not many house sparrows. Was there talk of their numbers going down a while back? I think they're beautiful little birds.

numberplease Sat 29-Jun-13 18:32:48

And fitting a collar with a bell is no good, the cat soon learns how to move without making the bell tinkle!

j08 Sat 29-Jun-13 18:37:50


Deedaa Sat 29-Jun-13 20:53:31

I know the robins have a nest in our honeysuckle, they are flying in and out all the time. So far the cats don't seem to have noticed but I don't know how much longer the robins can get away with it. We once had a whole nestful of fledgling blue tits fluttering round the garden and the cats never found them at all so we may be lucky.

Deedaa Wed 10-Jul-13 22:56:12

I haven't seen the robins round our honeysuckle for some days now, so the babies have presumably left the nest. We have had one baby laid out on the cloakroom floor, it had lost its yellow beak so must have been out of the nest for a few days. Hopefully the others all got away successfully.6

kittylester Thu 11-Jul-13 08:05:18

Our cat is on a spree at the moment and catches something most days. He leaves mice in the patio but brings birds in and eats all but the legs and lights - odd! He has taken his collar off three times in the last few weeks!

sunflowersuffolk Thu 11-Jul-13 08:18:22

I love birds and cats, and really the two don't go together. One day I was so upset with one of our cats stalking the baby moorhens on the pond (he had already killed some) that I crept up behind him, grabbed him, and chucked HIM in the pond. Only a little way in, just so he got a bit wet.I got a very dirty look - it put him off for a few days only. I've tried bells, they manage to creep along without making a noise, also a water pistol. As soon as my back is turned, they're at it again.

whenim64 Thu 11-Jul-13 08:28:24

My daughter's cat, name of Eric Cantona (!!), goes on a murdering spree every summer. Last year, he jumped on the bed and sat on SiL's chest. SiL opened his eyes to find the cat inches from his face, glaring at him with a wriggling bird in his mouth! SiL screamed and leapt up in the air, the cat dropped the bird on the bed and ran, and my daughter lay there laughing helplessly whilst SiL frantically tried to stop the bird from hiding under the bed. In the end, they were both hysterical (one laughing, the other panicking) so MiL was called over from her nearby house to capture the poor bird. Makes me giggle every time I remember it grin

gillybob Thu 11-Jul-13 08:33:46

Next door has a horrible hairy, sly cat. It sits on the fence eyeing up the birds in my garden (and sh*ts all over too but that's another story) . I am a very keen gardener and it has ruined the planting under part of the fence where it jumps down and it obviously sits in my garden chairs when we are at work as we often find cat hair in the material (also as soon as my husband sits down he has sneezing attack). Living by the sea side we get very few garden birds as the seagulls scare them off and I can't understand why responsible cat owners don't put bells on them just to give young birds half a chance.

whenim64 Thu 11-Jul-13 08:54:43

gillybob daughter's cat has a collar with a bell that was the biggest they could find, short of a cow bell. Doesn't stop his murdering ways, unfortunately. Cats learn to stalk so silently and smoothly that their bells don't jingle until too late sad

Tegan Thu 11-Jul-13 11:06:05

Well, it's not just cats. Plenty of birds kill other birds and some raptors have their young slightly later than songbirds because they know there will be a plentiful supply of gormless little fledglings on the ground to feed them on [hope my little blackbird is safe from our local sparrowhawk that is having a field day at the moment sad].

gillybob Thu 11-Jul-13 11:13:11

My husband has a water-blaster that he uses to scare next doors cat. He very rarely hits the target but the horrible thing doesn't doesn't half make a run for it.

Sorry to all cat lovers. I don't hate cats I just hate them pooping all over my garden, ruining the plants and scaring the birds.

Deedaa Wed 14-Aug-13 00:01:26

My idiot cat is still bringing frogs in. He never seems to hurt them, but they can take ages to catch and repatriate!