Cats are obligate carnivores, natural expert solitary hunters, they quietly prey on their target and then attack. Felines prey on a wide range of animals including insects, birds, and rodents.
It’s not necessary that only outdoor cats are active hunters, even your indoor cats are great hunters but they don’t get an opportunity to sharpen their skills.
Pet parents who are bird feeders also often face issues, where their feline pal tries to attack birds. This has become a serious issue in many pet parents’ houses.
Keeping all this in mind we have done some footwork regarding the best possible ways to keep your cat away from the bird feeders. Along with this, we have also jotted down tricks that should not be followed to prevent kitty from entering the backyard.
Just scroll down, and gather an ample amount of information that will surely help you to stop your kitty from hunting down.
The 8 Ways to Keep Cats Away From Bird Feeders
Cats are solitary hunters, and if you are both bird and cat lovers. Then it becomes a little tricky for you to handle in the same house.
To resolve your problem, we have come up with eight easy tricks, which will help you to keep your cat away from the bird feeders.
Let’s dive in to explore tricks, which can keep cats away from bird feeders.
1. Use Citrus Spray/Deterrent
Cats hate citrus, they cannot stand the smell of the citrus spray. On the other hand, birds don’t have much smelling senses, so it’s tolerable for them.
Sprinkling citrus spray near the bird feeders is one of the great options to keep your cat away from the bird feeders.
All you need to do is sprinkle citrus spray, or make a boundary with essential oil, including citrus. By doing so, your kitty will not be able to come closer to the bird feeder zone because of the citrus smell she won’t be able to stand nearby.
Apart from citrus, you can also use other oils which work as a deterrent. For instance, vinegar can also be used to keep your cat from entering the backyard. But, it is not good for your plants, and in-house vegetables, so it is recommended to use in very small amounts.
You can also keep citrus peels under the bird feeders if your kitty climbs up still she won’t be able to attack the bird due to the citrus smell.
2. Place Tall Feeders
When you have a cat in the house, then selecting the perfect bird feeder is very important it should tall enough, metallic body, and be lean in shape. In another word, if the bird feeders are tall enough and lean in shape then your kitty will not be able to reach that pole.
For instance, you have placed this bird feeder at a distance in the backyard and still, your kitty’s able to track it. So now if she tries to climb that pole, your feline pal will be able to jump high but her paws will not be able to hold the grip of the bird feeders.
After attempting so many times, she will eventually give up and won’t try to grab that pole. This automatically decreases the chances of attacking birds, and successfully you are able to keep her away from the bird feeders.
3. Avoid Birdseed Littering on the Floor
Only focusing on the bird feeders will not help you, felines can easily attack ground-feeding birds. So, if you want to keep your kitty away from the bird feeders and not attack birds also for that you have to keep your backyard floor clean.
For instance, you have sprinkled food for birds to eat, but if you forget to clean the floor then there are chances that birds will come again to have it and during that time if your feline pal is also there, she will try to attack birds.
So, encouraging ground feeding is a big no, especially when you are parenting a cat it increases the risk of attacks.
It’s better to go for the bird feeders and keep your kitty away from the birds.
4. Use Pepper to Keep Your Kitty Away From Bird Feeder
Cats have a strong sense of power, their sense of smell is fourteen times more powerful than human beings. They cannot tolerate the spicy smell, so you can use this option to keep your kitty away from the bird feeders.
Your feline pal cannot stand the pepper smell because it includes capsaicin, which is a spicy chemical in the pepper. All you need to do is prepare pepper spray, and sprinkle it around the bird feeders zone.
Whenever she will try to go closer, the pepper smell won’t let her enter the zone. In this way, you can stop her from attacking the birds.
Don’t worry pepper spray will not harm her eyes, nose, or respiratory system.
If you do not want to prepare pepper spray, you can simply sprinkle pepper powder on the floor, which will also help you to keep her away from the bird feeders zone.
5. Install Motion Activated Sprinkler
Nowadays so many devices are available in the market, and technology is at its peak. With a simple one-touch, it can detect and solve many problems. Similarly, installing a motion-activated sprinkler will surely help you to keep your kitty away from bird feeders.
Being a pet parent you already have an idea that your feline pal hates getting wet, this sprinkler device is a great option. As soon as your kitty tries to enter the bird feeder’s backyard zone the water will start sprinkling on her. A sudden water splash will scare cats away, and after twice or thrice incidents she will avoid entering that zone.
In this way, you can keep her away from attacking the birds.
6. Engage Your Kitty With Indoor Activities
One of the most effective ways to keep your kitty away from bird feeders is to keep her inside the house. For instance, try to engage her with indoor activities, play with her, spend time while watching tv, and give her time and attention.
In this way, you can divert her mind from birds, and she will be less interested in attacking bird feeders. Furthermore, even if she wants to spend time in the backyard, make sure she is within boundaries, and keep an eye on her so that she won’t try attacking bird feeders.
Try giving her training to not enter the bird feeders zone, and repeatedly stop her, in this way you can restrict her from entering the bird feeders backyard zone.
You can also do one thing, engage her with such activities where she can brush up on her hunting skills and won’t try somewhere else, you can also take her for a walk.
7. Add Spikes Around the Feeder
You can also add spikes around the feeder to keep your kitty away from the birds. Adding spikes doesn’t refer to metal spikes, we are talking about the plants, and bushes with spikes. Just like us, felines also don’t like plants with spikes like cactuses, or those plants with spike stems.
For instance, if you cover the bird feeders with cactuses or any other plants with spike stems then it reduces the chances of your feline pal attacking the bird feeder. They won’t try to come closer to the area filled with spikes because their paws will get hurt, so this trick can be used to keep her away from bird feeders.
Don’t worry about the birds because they will not touch the ground, so there is no chance of getting hurt by spikes.
8. Use Plants to Hide Bird Feeders
One of the easy ways to keep your kitty away from bird feeders is to go for a plantation. Let me explain to you in a better way, try hiding the bird feeders by planting long plants. But, make sure to place the bird feeders at a distance, so that cats cannot track them.
As we know, felines have the habit of eating the leaves and stems of a few plants. It is advisable to go for such plants that your kitty won’t be able to ingest and have strong smells. So that she avoids entering that particular zone and won’t be able to focus on the bird feeders.
Things to Avoid While Keeping Kitty Away From Bird Feeders
So far we have discussed the tips which will help you to keep your feline pal away from bird feeders. However, knowing what not to do is equally important, let’s dig in to know the tricks, which are not safe for your kitty, birds, or other animal living in your house.
Installing fences in your backyard area will not harm your kitty or birds but it is an ineffective method. This is because we all know cats are great climbers, and they love to jump, so fences will not be able to prevent them from attacking birds.
It’s just a waste of money if you are exclusively installing it to keep your feline pal away from attacking bird feeders.
Avoid inappropriate expenses.
Many pet parents use petroleum jelly on bird feeder poles, they think cats will stay away from poles and won’t attack birds. But this trick will not help you to keep your kitty away from bird feeders because they like petroleum jelly and its smell does not hinder them.
However, petroleum jelly is not safe for birds, if it gets stuck to their wings or legs, it could affect their ability to fly and escape themselves from cats or any predators.
So, you should not try such tricks, which are harmful to your feline pal or birds.
It has been observed that many guidelines and pet parents suggest using mothballs to keep felines away from bird feeders. Just because they don’t like the smell of the mothballs, other animals also have problems with mothballs.
If by any chance your kitty accidently ingests mothballs or even tries to lick them, it will lead to severe health issues for your feline pal.
Here’s a request to not use mothballs to prevent your kitty from hunting bird feeders.
Can I stop my kitty from killing birds?
One of the best ways to keep your kitty away from bird feeders is by simply keeping them indoors. Make sure you engage your kitty with indoor activities so that her mind will not divert, and she will not try to escape to the backyard to attack birds.
Why you should not put a bell on your cat?
Bell is harmful to your kitty, especially when it is hanging to your cat’s neck. It is located near your kitty’s ear, which can affect her hearing aid. This is the reason it is suggested to avoid using a bell on your kitty.
Confidently we were able to bring the appropriate content to the table regarding how to keep your cat away from the bird feeders.
One thing is clear we cannot stop felines completely from hunting, so it’s better to opt for different methods, which will help to keep her away from the backyard zone.
Like we have given you options where you can use a citrus spray to prevent her from entering the backyard, buy a tall metallic surface bird feeder so that the kitty won’t be able to grab the pole. And always make sure the backyard floor is clean enough to avoid ground-feeding and many more other methods.
One of the easiest and simple is to train your kitty not to enter in bird-feeder zone, or keep her engage with indoor activities to divert her mind from birds.
Try any of the methods it will surely help you to keep your cat away from the bird feeders, and also you can save your birds.
In this way, you can keep your kitty away from the bird feeders, and freely birds can come and have their food.
- Beckerman, A. P., Boots, M., & Gaston, K. J. (2007). Urban bird declines and the fear of cats. Animal Conservation, 10(3), 320-325.