Post User Polls

Are you a cat or bird person?

In his gardening column, Adrian Higgins writes about bird lovers' worries about cat attacks, and cat lovers' desire to let their cats roam free. Whose side are you on?

By Jodi Westrick  |  September 27, 2010; 12:28 PM ET  | Category:  Local Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Perhaps the birds should be kept indoors or on leashes - when you're providing feeders and birdbaths, you're already making pets of them.

People like nature as long as it's 'pretty'. Well, nature includes predators and prey. Cats capturing birds are part of nature's balance.

Posted by: kitsia | September 30, 2010 9:22 AM

People like the trouble-free aspect of having an outside cat. You can leave it out for hours while you're away, and it accomplishes most of its "business" outside--less litter box cleaning for you. If the cat is hit by a car, poisoned, or hurt in a run-in with another animal--oh well, it's just a cat. Please, people.

A domestic cat should be inside. If it knows no other life, it will not feel "deprived." If you worry about how it's amusing itself at the expense of your things, have two cats--they will amuse each other at least some of the time. Get the best scratching post you can afford. Train your cat. It can be done--it just takes time and effort. A pet is a commitment, not a toy.

Having said that, I am lucky enough to be at home, where I can attach my cat's collar to his outside, staked tether-- many times over the course of a day. Obviously I have to look out often to check on him. He looks longingly at birds and squirrels, but cannot catch them.

Humans have done--and are doing--so much already to eradicate other species that at this point we should be actively seeking out ways to preserve them. Wild birds are colorful, silver-tongued, mite- and worm-infested, and essential to the balance of nature--and not only as prey for cats who have fancy food waiting inside. A domestic cat catching a bird is not part of nature's balance.

Posted by: nikskat | September 30, 2010 11:05 AM

I've owned a lot of cats, that go out, over the years, and they've killed remarkably few birds. Their overwhelming prey of choice was field mice, voles, house mice, and rats. I dispute the notion, that cats reduce bird numbers to any noticeable degree. I would have noticed the bodies, in front of my door.

Posted by: ihateregistration1 | September 30, 2010 6:59 PM

Anybody wanting to learn more about the true cost of outdoor cats (on birds and other animals) can find a wealth of information here:

http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/cats/index.html

It also has tips for managing a cat's transition from outdoor to indoor.

In addition to shortening the life of your cat, the e-coli from cat waste can be a serious problem in some areas. And your neighbors probably don't appreciate your cat using their gardens, kayaks etc. as a liter box.

Posted by: Simian2 | September 30, 2010 7:37 PM

And thanks to the Post for taking on this controversial issue

Posted by: Simian2 | September 30, 2010 7:37 PM

This is a stupid poll since it doesn't have an "I love and own cats, and I would never let them roam free outside because roaming free is just as dangerous for cats as cats are for birds" option.

Posted by: solsticebelle | September 30, 2010 10:08 PM

I agree this poll is missing an important option for us cat owners who keep our cats indoors at all times. My cats are healthy and quite content to watch birds safely from their window perch.

Posted by: shmoozer | September 30, 2010 11:58 PM

My cat was a stray that had apparently been cared for as he was neutered and related very well to people. He had the run of the neighborhood which I felt was a fairly safe place...lots of dogs in fenced backyards but plenty of escape routes for him. He brought back lots of rats, mice, lizards and, yes, birds too. I saved and released a good portion of all of these, even rats that were so big and aggressive that he was frightened of them after releasing them inside the house. Now I am in a townhouse complex with lots of garages opening and closing and lots of coyotes at night. He has to stay in but I walk him as often as I can during daylight. It is not an easy transition from outdoor to indoor cat and I feel for his frustration but his safety and longevity outweighs this concern. I am very glad, though, that no more birds will come to grief at his hands (paws).

Posted by: Coruscator | October 1, 2010 12:10 AM

When I grew up, people generally believe that cats needed to go out. Over the years, I became more knowledgeable about cats as well as birds (I'm a birdwatcher as well as a cat owner).

Parts of Sol S and Nikstat's post truly resonate with me. I've learned that cats are happy inside (with "kitty tv" included -- a nice window with birds viewed), but also that they are healthier and encounter fewer dangers when restricted to the indoors. I have two unrelated cats -- dumped as kittens and found diseased and ill -- who now are 18 years old.

The bottom line is that cats do (sorry, ihaterrestration1) hunt by nature and birds do suffer especially as the number of cat-pets grow. Did you know that more pet-owners are likely to have a cat than a dog? But this is an owner issue, not an issue about cats. Cats are not evil for their hunting no more than birds are evil for carrying disease vehicle that threaten humans.

And, while I agree with Sia that feeding birds does put this into proximity with domestic dangers, I don't believe this makes birds "pets".

Please folks -- capture a wild cat, have it neutered and then -- if no fostering is available, sure -- release it. While it may kill birds, this cat will not produce tens of kittens who will do the same. Think grey.

Keep your cat indoors -- feed birds, enjoy nature. Support our environment.

Also, please support bird-watching. Birds are an integral part of our environment and should be admired, not dismissed. By taking trips that include birdwatching, we strengthen our mission to support birds and the environment.

Thanks,

IG

Posted by: ikeygram | October 1, 2010 12:32 AM

My cat cares about two things - getting fed and indoor/outdoor access. Love and affection from his owner is a distant third. As far as prey goes - he brings home four mice for every bird. He's been doing this for thirteen years.

Posted by: dy1123 | October 1, 2010 12:38 AM

Live out west, have double digit cats that live outside, so far this year -- which is late in the year -- I have found one pigeon and one woodpecker in my yard. (Strange combination, I'll admit.) I don't think that's a lot for well fed cats. What I have a BIGGER problem is bird lovers who hang bird feeders which draw bears into town. They say, "I take the feeders in at night." But, of course, what about the spillage. These people are in their 70s and 80s, I know, I play bridge with them, and say, "I have to watch the birds in the morning". I would like our hardware store to stop selling bird seed, thanks, Montana

Posted by: arood | October 1, 2010 12:40 AM

I'm curious Arood --- I've drawn various critters in as a side-show (raccoon, possum), but bird seed draws bears? Never heard that before.

Thanks,
IG

Posted by: ikeygram | October 1, 2010 1:18 AM

IG, its our location, no doubt, mountains, we don't have possums, but a few racoons, skunks and NO squirrels. We had a forest fire in 08, and a lot of "new" animals came to town due to having to move away from the fire, had a squirrel in my tree for a day or so and then took off, bears are huge around here now because their food sources in Yellowstone Park, and a certain pine, can't remember, are dwindling, so they come to town, garbage cans, restaurant dumpsters and bird feeders.

Posted by: arood | October 1, 2010 1:39 AM

@Kitsea so I am a predator... can I attack the cats?

Posted by: f0rTyLeGz | October 1, 2010 1:47 AM

Cats vs. birds Poll | Bird lovers are worried about feline attacks on their feathered friends. Whose side are you on?

Birds (I don’t hate them … I like hawks, owls, and hummingbirds(their aerodynamics), for example) are but feathered remnants of dinosaurs (extinct); while felines are the only hopeful creatures in the most positive sense for the planet and Cats should roam free!

Posted by: alpeia | October 1, 2010 2:54 AM

There are too many feral cats. There are too many semi-feral cats too. If your cat goes on someone else's property, it may not come home. If someone wants to trap and kill cats on their own property, there is nothing that prevents them from doing it.

Posted by: Nymous | October 1, 2010 3:53 AM

Dear Sirs

Caroline is not a slim cat. But she is a skilful enough to jump to the sparrow’s house. She usually watches birds from our home with – probably –her big sorrow. We love cats and birds but wishes them to live separately in our garden.

Lech Kantoch, Warsaw, Poland


Posted by: lechkantoch | October 1, 2010 4:24 AM

Cats are the ultimate hunter on land. This comes from millions of years of evolution. Even the most common house cat has the instinct to hunt. Cats also keep down the rat and mouse population. Cats killed rats that carried disease when the Black Plague ravaged Europe. Nature is brutal. People must understand that behind the beauty in nature is the constant hunt for food.

Posted by: bobbo2 | October 1, 2010 4:42 AM

A few neighbors in our rural area keep outside cats. We see the cats occasionally, but almost any walk on our property reveals a small pile of feathers where a cat apparently got hold of a bird. The one year I did not discover any piles of feathers was when some coyotes moved into the area. I did find the head of a cat and a pile of its hair nearby. The coyotes have since moved on, the cat population is back up, and there are more piles of feathers to be found.

Perhaps those advocating a "natural" predator-prey relationship involving cats would like to see more coyotes introduced?

Posted by: Tenmile1 | October 1, 2010 5:32 AM

Hi,

I'm so glad that someone is finally talking about this issue. I work with lower vertebrates and cats decimate local populations of not just birds, but reptiles, frogs, chipmunks and insects. One cat can clear a 20acre tract of almost all animals (I've seen this happen.)

Its not fare that someone’s pet should effect everyone’s natural experience. You can't control an out door cat period... If you afraid of the Snakehead you are misinformed. Cats are the number one invasive species throughout much of the world and cat owners are one of the environments biggest foes. De-claw all cats and if that is "cruel," don't keep cats as pets. Do it for the Golden Finch, the Baltimore Oriel, the Northern Grey-treefrog, the Chipmunk and the Box Turtle.

Thank you

Posted by: Adam_freedman | October 1, 2010 5:33 AM

The coyote is one of the few animals in North America which has expanded its range since Europeans arrived.

Why? Well, the general execution of the wolf, the cutting down of forests, but one reason for sure is because they eat cats.

Yumm yumm, all you humans leaving your 'too wild to be caged' domestic cats outdoors all night, you're just setting the dinner table.

http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.2193/2008-033

Posted by: eezmamata | October 1, 2010 5:44 AM

Dear Sirs

Caroline is not a slim cat. But she is a skilful enough to jump to the sparrow’s house. She usually watches birds from our home with – probably –her big sorrow. We love cats and birds but wish them to live separately in our garden.

Lech Kantoch, Warsaw, Poland


Posted by: lechkantoch | October 1, 2010 5:48 AM

Outside Cats are a nuisance to everyone but
the owner, and some are devastating to the bird population.
A good hunter will wait patiently listening for "fledgling"
noises and easily kill each baby bird in succession.
The "survival of the fittest" argument is ridiculous and self-serving-most feral cats die on their own.
Cat lover (indoor only)

Posted by: mobeale | October 1, 2010 6:04 AM

I first ask people to keep their cats at home. Then I trap them and take them to the humane society. If I cannot catch them I shoot them. It is not fun to do this, I hate it, so please keep your cats at home.

Posted by: commerce3 | October 1, 2010 6:18 AM

Mobeale is correct. Cats get a bit of their own medicine in my neck of the woods. Cats that stray from barns, noticeably those that are "teaching" their kittens to "hunt" birds and chipmunks get eaten by foxes and hawks in a matter of hours. Someone's female cat with a litter of seven unapproachable youngsters lasted three days stalking our yard. Cute as they were, we could not save them; so much for nature.

Posted by: merrill1 | October 1, 2010 6:46 AM

Responsible cat owners don't let their pets roam free. Loose cats can and do get hit by cars and attacked by other animals. My kitties are only outside when I am and I leash trained them until they learned to stay in our back yard.

Posted by: MNUSA | October 1, 2010 7:05 AM

I do believe that 'nature' creates its own balance. It's called the 'food chain'. Larger animals prey upon smaller animals. So it is for cats, dogs, and the other critters (racoons, rabbits, squirrels, possums, garter snakes) I've seen roaming around my backyard. I don't like snakes, but people told me to let the garter snakes stay in the yard to eat bugs. Well, they didn't eat enough bugs, as far as I'm concerned. Crickets and beetles devoured as much of my garden as they could this summer. (I planted that stuff to be MY food, not theirs!)
One of my cats was abandoned by her previous 'family' when they moved out of the neighborhood. Out of need to feed herself before we adopted her, she hunted birds, squirrels, rabbits in the neighborhood. Now that she is certain she's got enough food to eat in the house, she hunts less outside.
The birds keep her 'in check' too. One day we were in the backyard; she saw a bird on the ground so she tried to catch it. All of a sudden a group of larger birds started targeting her 'Hitchcock-style' (remember "The Birds"?) flying fast and low at her, screeching loudly, until she gave up hunting the little bird.


Nature does have its own balance. Cats and birds have been 'enemies' since time began, and both have survived. Nature gave birds wings to get away from cats who are hunting them. There are more birds in the world than cats. Nothing to worry about.

***Love your cats, enjoy bird watching with them. Put out plenty of bird feeders so your cats have something to do while they're stuck in the house all winter.***

Posted by: momof20yo | October 1, 2010 7:17 AM

Merely one of millions of examples of Americans being too lazy and self-centered to think about the well-being of other creatures on the planet, and, indirectly, the ecosystems that keep all of us alive. It's simply too much trouble for most of them to take care of their cat; it's much easier to just let it roam outside.

Birds have to contend with habitat loss as well; habitat for cats is increasing. So the notion that there are lots more birds in the world than cats is ignoring the future and the past. Anybody remember how many passenger pigeons there once were. Anybody seen one lately?

Posted by: DaveR1 | October 1, 2010 7:25 AM

Why is this a "vs"? You can be both. Cats should remain indoors IF they are capable of doing so. Most are. My cats were former ferals socialized as kittens and live indoor only. One boy goes out on a leash. But some cats, mostly ferals and former ferals socialized as adults, really are unhappy or even traumatized to remain indoors. The owner should do what is right for the cat, and that may mean letting him outside, which means that they might attack birds. But there is unquestionably a risk to the cat - cats that live outdoors all or part of the time do not live as long and aren't as healthy as cats who live indoors.

Where the two groups should be coming together is the control of feral cat populations. Trap, nueter, release programs reduce the number of ferals overall by preventing them from breeding. This in turn helps the bird population.

Posted by: DCCubefarm | October 1, 2010 7:35 AM

This is a very difficult issue for me. We have taken in stray cats for years. The problem is that the males, because they are older when they were sterilized, spray in the house. Therefore, we keep some as outdoor cats. I do not do anything to attract birds to my yard. One neighbor did not have her cat sterilized and now there are stray cats which will never be domesticated. I trap them, have them sterilized and rerelease them. If I don't do this other strays will just come to the area to fill the void. A lot of the problem is due to irresponsible cat owners.

Birds are under so much pressure with habitat loss and disease. As for the argument that hunting is natural, that is a ridiculous comment. Hunting is natural for food, not for sport.

Posted by: EFDTN | October 1, 2010 7:43 AM

There is no natural order represented with pet cats. If you think that your cat is part of nature, stop feeding it.

Cats are an introduced, apex predator. They have a stable, artificially nutritious diet that: A, makes them larger and more fit and healthy than most natural predators. B, makes their predation unnecessary to their own survival.

Cats are most harmful to baby animals and you usually see no sign of their destructive behavior.

If you want a homogenous landscape, with only Squirrels, Ravens, Pigeons and White Tailed Deer. Keep up with the cats

Thanks

Posted by: Adam_freedman | October 1, 2010 7:48 AM

The number of outdoor pet cats versus the number of feral cats in our neighborhood is very small. And from my observation, the bird-hunting abilities of the pets opposed to those of the feral cats is even smaller. What all of the cats are good at is protecting my garden from voles and moles and protecting my house from mice. I like it that way. For a reasoned discussion of the subject, I suggest http://www.myteacherpages.com/webpages/rgunnar/ap.cfm?subpage=348265 You'll never find a better exposition.

Posted by: goaway1 | October 1, 2010 8:02 AM

My personal opinion is that pet cats should be kept indoors as much for their own safety as much to protect the songbirds. There's a lot out there that can kill an outdoor cat. This includes cars, predators like foxes and hawks (yes, the birds occassionally bite back), stray dogs, and even diseases from feral cats. Keeping a cat indoors is a safer alternative and it will live a longer, healthier life.

Posted by: archanubis | October 1, 2010 8:16 AM

Cat ownership, if you can call it that, comes with responsibilities. When you "own" a cat, you "own" its actions, just as you are responsible for for your children. Far too many people "adopt" a cat, do not spay it, then turn it loose on the world. They are irresponsible pet owners. Feed your cats properly and keep them inside when possible. The exception is for "barn cats" since they have a purpose, to control rodents.

Posted by: pjohn2 | October 1, 2010 8:24 AM

I have one cat that can kill birds. Most cats can not do this. I should note that BP did alot more damage to birds than any cat. Damage is part of life but it is unlikely that people will stop- there complaints which also seems to be there nature. Than again creating wars seems to be alot worse than killing a few birds, so humans are alot worse than cats and we are certainly putting alot of people in cages in United States and worry when these try to fly away.

Posted by: artg | October 1, 2010 8:26 AM

I'd bet cats have killed rediculously more birds than bp did with the gulf spill. Also, why would you want to be part of the problem?

There are targeted methods of killing rodents that are more efficient and environmentally sound than cats.

Live in the now people.

Posted by: Adam_freedman | October 1, 2010 8:33 AM

Domestic cats should not be allowed to roam ouside. Just as one does not tolerate dogs defecating in gardens and other's property, one should not allow cats to do the same. Outdoor cats are susceptible to abuse, disease, cat fights, unwanted pregnancy, and accidents when left to their own devices outside. Lastly, on the bird thing, our American thrushes fledge on the ground and domestic cats (since wild cats have been hunted) are directly responsible for the silence of spring. Sad that cat owners do not care enough about their animals to properly look out for them.

Posted by: otis1 | October 1, 2010 8:36 AM

Just put a bell or two on your cat. Believe me, you do NOT want cats to eat bug-eating birds! Where are the birds that eat mosquitos, because we need to introduce millions of them to this area. The purple martin? Is that what it's called?

Posted by: HookedOnThePost | October 1, 2010 8:38 AM

The Vietnamese have the best solution/use for cats.

Posted by: snowbucks | October 1, 2010 8:43 AM

Hookedonthepost: thank you for saying that about the bells. I put a bell on my cat when she roams (only in the back yard) and she has not been able to sneak up on any birdies. Before the bell, she did bring in a half dead bird that freaked me out so much that I had to either keep her in or get bells. They work, really.

Posted by: tigerpooh | October 1, 2010 8:52 AM

Survival of the fittest??

Then fine. Let your cat roam free over to my yard to do its business and harass the wildlife and we'll just see who's fittest, your cat or me.

Control your animals. If you don't, I will. This is not a matter for debate.

Posted by: trippin | October 1, 2010 9:04 AM

Amazingly there are still a lot of birds out there. This is a non-issue. Somewhere Darwin is rolling over in his grave over the people who are worried about the birds that can't avoid cats.

Posted by: ouvan59 | October 1, 2010 9:05 AM

We put bells on our cats' collars. For years, they and the birds happily co-existed in our backyard sharing - in turns - a water-filled whiskey barrel.

Any bird that can be caught by an overweight housecat with a bell on its collar doesn't stand much of a chance in nature's gene pool.

Posted by: malcomj | October 1, 2010 9:08 AM

Our cats VASTLY preferred to hunt rodents. Birds? Not nearly so much.

Posted by: malcomj | October 1, 2010 9:10 AM

Keep your cats inside and give them watching posts by windows and toys that engage their natural behaviors. I live with two indoor cats and four parrots - and I feed wild birds outdoors. My cats have killed the occasional sparrow that wandered inside and like to catch mice in winter. It's their predator instinct. It's what they evolved to do. We have a hawk in the neighborhood that helps keep a balance outdoors. Were you bird lovers planning to stop her too?

Posted by: greyK | October 1, 2010 9:11 AM

TRIPPIN: I have had cats all my life and NEVER had one that did its business outside. Cats generally prefer their owners clean up their box. Dogs...well...go for it.

Posted by: tigerpooh | October 1, 2010 9:13 AM

This past summer we had two robin nests under our deck. Cats nowhere in sight, but the black snakes got fat on baby birds. We actually caught one snake who was nice and fat curled up in the bird house. There are other predators besides cats, who get a bad rap as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: GenuineRisk | October 1, 2010 9:22 AM

Please keep your cats indoors, or supervise their outdoor adventures in a limited area. It's better for the birds AND the cats.

Posted by: angelomer683 | October 1, 2010 9:26 AM

Cats are an introduced species and they do kill a lot of birds, some of which, like European starlings, are also introduced and a nuisance species. Starlings are more harmful to native bluebirds than are cats. We have three cats and they kill a lot of rodents, but there doesn't seem to be any shortage of rodents. Occasionally they might get a bird and we stop them from killing it if we can get there in time, but I wouldn't stop them from killing a starling. I wish I could train them to molest the Canada geese that befoul my lawn.

Posted by: mycroftt | October 1, 2010 9:36 AM

These user polls need some serious adult supervision. They are usually inane at best, and at worst, like this one, have totally wrongheaded assumptions or posit polar opposites that are not on the same spectrum.

At least add two additional standard choices: None of the above, and Very poor question(er).

The value of the comments greatly exceeds that of the question.

Posted by: trh123 | October 1, 2010 9:38 AM

Not mentioned yet is the damage that feral cats can do to BAT populations, which are already seriously threatened by habitat loss, pesticides, and fungal infections.

Here in Puerto Rico, I have witnessed cats catching bats inside caves and they also hunt bats emerging from small entrances at dusk. I presume they may also hunt bats in colder climates as well.

Bats pollinate a wide variety of useful plants, and eat large numbers of insects (controlling disease, and reducing agricultural damage without pesticides); it is very short-sighted to expose them to predation by pets as well. Please people, keep your cats inside!

Posted by: cucho | October 1, 2010 9:57 AM

I feed the feral cats in my neighborhood. Yes they occasionally get a sparrow or morning dove. But I am a bird lover. I have been feeding birds at my feeders for over 30 years. I've found that the cats are the only thing that will keep squirrels off the feeders. Plus they also get mice and moles that destroy my garden. Can't we all just get along?

Posted by: koppo55 | October 1, 2010 9:58 AM

There's something perverse in demanding that cats not kill birds. It reminds me of some friends who had a cat for a while and tried to make a it a vegan (it wasn't easy for any of them).

Yes it is a bit sad, maybe even tragic that cats kill birds and other small animals. Life is like that sometimes. Some species are predators and some are prey.

If you have any respect for the mystery and wonder of life, then you also need to have some respect for the role of death in life. To do otherwise is dishonest and worse than childish.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | October 1, 2010 9:59 AM

Domestic Cats are just the wild like there wild cousins the Lions of Africa. An they have exact same behavior as them only thing they are much smaller. They are natural born hunters an carnavers. You can't with all your might to stop them from what comes naturally to kill an eat there prey. I have owned several cats they are wonderful to kill rats an any kind of critters an bugs that would love enter your home an wreak havic. I will always love cats they are very smart an can alert you before you even know it that your sick or someone else is even if it ain't family. Mine did that for a neighbor who had a bad heart my cat jumped into his lap to alert us. A Cat I seen on Animal Planet the owner wanted to give her away because she was having a baby. She kept her cat reluctenly. The cat was upstairs watching an listening an suddenly they baby stopped breathing. The mother was down stairs when the cat meowed really really loud in to the baby monito to get her attention. The lady ran upstairs to find they baby turning blue. Mother gave baby cpr an was revived thanks to her cat that saved babies life. God Bless Little Lions Cats because that is really what they are.

Posted by: JWTX | October 1, 2010 10:01 AM

What's dishonest is the idea anything a DOMESTIC cat does is "natural."

Posted by: Adam_freedman | October 1, 2010 10:06 AM

I don't like any of the options for voting. The true issue here is responsible cat ownership not cats vs birds. Many cat owners, even those who also own dogs, treat cats like disposable property. Rather than keeping their cats indoors where they are safe, they let them roam freely, where they are victims themselves to wild animals, cars, and disease. Cats are loving family members when they are treated as such. If you want an outdoor 'pet,' plant a tree. Don't even get me started on people who get tired of their cats after a few years and throw them outside permanently!

Posted by: EllKell | October 1, 2010 10:08 AM

What we need to figure out is how to take cat owners, cat vets and stores, who don't mandate indoor only, and sue them under the endangered species act and the migratory bird act.

Posted by: Adam_freedman | October 1, 2010 11:15 AM

I wish I could train them to molest the Canada geese that befoul my lawn.

Posted by: mycroftt | October 1, 2010 9:36 AM
-------
Cats aren't stupid - they know better than to mess with a Canada goose! You probably won't see them waiting to pounce on a red tailed hawk either. Some birds know how to take care of themselves. We don't call a group of crows a "murder" for nothing!

Seriously, though, studies show that cats do a lot of damage to migratory birds. Bells and other devices can help, but keeping cats inside protects both the birds and the cats.

Posted by: ancient_mariner | October 1, 2010 3:21 PM

While some cats do kill birds, I think that cats are getting a bum rap for reducing the bird populations. Humans are more responsible - it's the loss of habitat that causes bird populations to decline. And leading to the intermingling of both in urban/suburban areas. I do think that cats should be kept indoors - they live longer that way. There are too many irresponsible cats owners, but don't blame the cats. They're only doing what comes naturally.

Posted by: Dr_Steve | October 1, 2010 9:53 PM

Studies do show that domestic cats indeed kill millions of songbirds, and the poor birds have enough man-made enemies as it is. Habitat destruction, pollution, global climate change, tall buildings lit up at night, etc, are decimating bird populations on their own, never mind human-indulged felines hunting outside.
I'm on my second inside-the-house-only cat. Guess what--he's fine! He doesn't need to "hunt" to feel fulfilled! I think humans project that onto their cats. My cat and I play inside. He often looks out the window without weeping copiously at what he's missing. He naps without hunting-deprivation nightmares! He doesn't seem to miss killing birds. Cat owners have to get over themselves. Sorry for the sarcasm, but anybody who has seen/listened to a warbler recently and had their heart broken from its beauty will understand that anything we can do to save these precious creatures is worth doing.

Posted by: Kas300 | October 3, 2010 11:53 AM

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