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Cats and blackbird fledglings

(16 Posts)
Caroleapats Fri 03-Jul-20 22:51:59

I have a silver tabby and he is driving me bonkers. I got a fledgling blackbird off him last night. Kept it safe, released it today at 5.30am. Bought cat a collar with a bell and let him out about 9pm this evening. I followed him silently and he was straight over to the bushes where the fledgling hangs out. I caught him just as he was sniffing it out and mid pounce. He's s used to going out whenever he likes. How long should I keep him in? He's getting quite cross with me. I can't stand all this stress of trying to rehabilitate wildlife every night as he brings his prey home alive, to torture. Ive had cats for years, but I am getting worn out with all this stress.

geekesse Fri 03-Jul-20 23:05:13

It’s normal cat behaviour. If you can’t stand the stress, you’ll need to rehome your cat.

paddyanne Fri 03-Jul-20 23:14:06

Its been muder central here ,two deaths last week of wee birds and one mouse.Mine bring them in for me.Tonight though I got a huge surprise when I heard one of the cats meowing in the kitchen .I went in to find her sitting nose to beak with a wee sparrow .Neither was moving so I picked it up and put it back outside.It was so calm ,not fluttering like they usually do when the cats bring them in .Belle got a treat for not killing
When she wanted out at tea time yesterday I told her be home for nine or I'll keep you in tomorrow,she has been staying out late because of the light nights ,after 12,bless her she was in at 10 to 9 .My GD was on the phone so I told her and she thinks we have the cleverest cat that tells the time

Starblaze Fri 03-Jul-20 23:23:35

We have 2 older cats who haven't troubled themselves to catch anything for years. Then we got 2 kittens. They went on hunting overdrive, I guess providing for them. It's horrible and breaks heart. I don't know if it's possible to overcome those instincts. Just know your cat thinks he is doing his bit to provide for his colony

Caroleapats Sat 04-Jul-20 09:38:54

Last night my cat was a nightmare as he was creating merry hell. I got up at 5am again to feed him but waited until 7am to take him out supervised, in my pjs. The collar and bell are useless as he holds his head to prevent tinkling and it seems more distressing to his prey. Ive since thought about it logically. I live in an almshouse, an old stone cottage in really large gardens in Exeter. Since he is the only pet out of 12 cottages he regards it as his territory, and sentries it day and night. I realised after a harrowing night that he actually keeps out all the "other" preditors ie ferral and domestic cats, dogs, magpies etc at night and during the day. Its probably best to have 1 cat doing the rounds than several visiting. I mean he doesnt eat his kills, so the odd pigeon is left out for a fox that is very wary of him. He has chased it before. I will keep an eye on him and avoid the hour after dawn and before dusk. Obviously I'll rehab what wildlife I can and my vets is closeby. Does anyone agree with me? Please let me know as I have had no sleep for two nights and this is so time consuming. Following his every move when outside. Exhausted, Exeter.

Davidhs Sat 04-Jul-20 10:46:58

Cats are responsible for a large number of garden bird deaths as well as other animals it may not be you cat because if they are out at night they hunt over a wide area. A bell with a good ring is the best you can do, even then a fledgling may not escape.

Caroleapats Sat 04-Jul-20 11:31:22

Well the "island" type gardens i live in, they must be 250 mtrs long x 30 mtrs wide and they are flanked by 2 busy roads, shrubs, trees flowers and bushes like holly are around the periphery. I can put the collar on with bell but he keeps out other preditors with his patrolling. Hence when the roads quieten down at night and other cats feel like wandering into the gardens, he wont let them. I am just thinking 1 is better than the several that might appear from the terraced houses short distance away or ferrals, if i contain him completely. Hoping the fledglings fly soon, plus I have sprayed him with water everytime he goes towards the hedges which he hates. Other than that i just have to be vigilent and rescue whenever possible. Not let him have free reign.

GagaJo Sat 04-Jul-20 11:35:15

My cats are inside cats only now. First ones I've not let outside but it's too dangerous for them and the wildlife.

quizqueen Sat 04-Jul-20 11:44:29

I don't think it's cats killing wildlife you need to worry about, it's humans who do the most damage. Building houses and other infrastructure does the most harm to wildlife habitat and then there's factory farming, car accidents, hunting etc. Maybe we should all wear a bell around our necks to warn animals to keep away from such a dangerous species which they, unfortunately, have to share the planet with!!!

Namsnanny Sat 04-Jul-20 11:54:57

Well she is worried so best give helpful advice or verbal support reallysmile

Namsnanny Sat 04-Jul-20 12:00:55

There have been lots of threads about cats catching wildlife. All with lots of suggestions that might help.
The quickest imi think is to out down small branches of holly around the area where the fledgling is (as you mentioned the cat goes directly there) which prevents the cat from hiding g and stalking.
Then if you want to go further some of the gadgets on the market might help.
You can only do your best.
After which its each man/fledgling for himself!
I do wish more people were like you though smile

Caroleapats Sun 05-Jul-20 10:59:16

I think i have succeeded in detering my Chico. I went out and bought 10 lemons and sliced them up, placing them to the entrances to the bushes. Then I bought a pump action kids water gun that shoots spray from 5mtrs. This has definitely helped as when he sees me walking he scarpers toute suite. I keep him in those 2 important hours, an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset, like the vet said. If hes been gone out patrolling for too long I check. All my neighbours in the row of cottages are aware of my lemon deterrent, and when they're outside they let me know which direction hes gone or where he is. I dont expect him to be completely hunt free as that's the cat. All the neighbours know him as hes the only pet here. I know he poos at the other end of gardens, ive offered to search where but theyve said dont worry. He is quite clever as he can walk without bell tinkling, its pointless wearing it, and i am not happy about the quick release. I did buy this from the vets. Hes out now, happily roaming the gardens at the other end. All the neighbours have been brilliant and im glad I spoke to them about it. Thank you for your posts.

Whitewavemark2 Sun 05-Jul-20 11:01:50

I’m down to one baby seagull chick out of three in the nest.

Caroleapats Sun 05-Jul-20 11:18:05

And as a footnote: Since we moved here 2 years ago all the other visiting cats have stopped coming. My neighbours told me. Also no rats have been sighted either, which were evident before. He does have some uses for his instincts.

Caroleapats Sun 05-Jul-20 12:09:29

Im sorry to hear about your seagull chicks as I love these much maligned birds. The chicks are amazing. Have you told a wildlife trust, a sanctuary or telephone a vets for advice? Maybe the RSPB can help. I love all animals and wildlife. Sometimes local people have their own bird sanctuary. Here in Exeter i have managed to find an "Aunty" for hurt pigeons or orphaned birds. I sent an orphaned field mouse to the vets after speaking to the RSPCA and he/she got sent to an "Aunty" for mice. Nature is beautiful but so cruel. I try to do the best i can to help any creature survive but i have limited expertise and funds. I do get some wonderful outcomes but also heartbraking ones, especially if i think ive made the wrong decision. Just do what you can to help and pat yourself on the back, for caring. Good luck

Eloethan Sun 05-Jul-20 13:25:57

I quite like cats but one of the reasons why I wouldn't have another one is because of the risk of them killing wildlife. We did have a cat for 21 years but I don't recall her ever bringing in dead animals - though slim and healthy she was for some reason too slow off the mark, fortunately.

We were very upset recently when we found two dead robin chicks in our garden and the mother nowhere to be seen. We had watched the mother build her nest and bring food to her newborn chicks and it was so upsetting to see the fate that little family.