Bad Cat!

The trouble with cats is that many of them can not ignore a pretty bird. Or even just a regular old backyard bird who gets too close.

Mockingbird

While this mockingbird did not fall victim, others have not been so lucky.

Bird Feathers Cottonmouth Creek

So sad.

Although, to be fair, those feathers belonged to the victim of a hawk, not my cat.

Sundance 1

Last summer Sundance discovered the joys of bird hunting and I began to find bird feathers and other bird parts around the patio and in the yard.

Sundance 2

While Sundance is a sweetheart, he is deadly to naive little birds who forage too close to his hiding place.

He was killing a bird almost every day.

The first thing I did was to trim all the undergrowth around the shrubs he hangs out under.

Then I added bells to his collar.

But to no avail. Almost every day  I was still picking up bird parts and putting them in the trash.

His partner in crime is Zeus, this little Chihuahua.

Zeus

Zeus does his best to dispose of the evidence. and I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t play a part in the murder, although I never caught him in the act.

But Zeus is not quiet enough or stealthy enough to do the deed.  That’s all on Sundance.

With his golden gray tabby coat, Sundance is perfectly colored to slink really close to his prey and I wondered if it would help if I put a bright colorful collar on him.

 

DSCN1234 (2)

I did some research on “How to stop cats from killing birds” and came across that very kind of contraption. It’s called Birdbesafe and they’ve done research on how successful it is.

I didn’t have time to order something, birds were “falling like flies” on a daily basis. I do, however, have a lot of bright fabric. A piece of yellow cotton was handy so I got busy and cut it into strips to make a big fluffy collar.

Sundance with Collar

Sundance is a huge cat, and with his long hair, he looks even bigger. I had to make a collar that would be bigger than his fluffy coat.

And lo and behold, it works.

Sundance 4

Immediately I stopped finding dead birds.

Sundance on the prowl

He can look, but he can’t get there before the birds see him and fly to safety.

Sundance 3

Evidently bird’s eyes are made to see bright colors in low light conditions so by adding bright to my dark cat the birds can see him coming.

After a few months the collar gets dingy and loses its fullness. I was concerned it might not do the job and I was right.

One morning I found a bird on the patio. And before I could make a replacement there was a second bird to dispose of.

Sundance 6

So now I know to keep his collar fresh and bright.

Bright collar = no dead birds. This is 100% effective on my cat.

I know it would be best for the birds, and the cat, to keep him inside, but that’s not possible right now. And I don’t know his history, he just showed up and adopted me one day, but he likes to be outside. He’s closed in the garage at night with the dogs, and spends much of the day sprawled on a metal patio chair since his hiding place isn’t such a secret anymore.

Anyone else have killer cats?

Jan

 

 

 

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About Jan

I write. I cook. I take pictures. I sew. I design. I create.
This entry was posted in Birds, Pets and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Bad Cat!

  1. Pingback: A Bird Collar for Sundance | Jan Made It

  2. Tami says:

    Awwwww he’s so gorgeous!!! I wonder if there is anything you can do around your yard that will reduce the number of birds in his territory. I know that’s not a great plan either because I’m sure you want lovely birds around. Maybe windchimes or scarecrows or pinwheels or something. 🙂

    • Jan says:

      Tami ~ I don’t think so. There’s a massive dead tree along the fence, that’s still as tall as the power lines and it is COVERED by English ivy and grape vines. I think there are half a dozen birds that have nests in there. And my neighbor has a boat load of trees tilling the back half of his yard. (Our yards are really deep.)
      But, I have resisted putting water in a bird bath, it’s becoming a planter, and I don’t put out bird seed in the winter. Beyond that, I think the birds need to take advantage of the warning. So far it’s working.
      Jan

      • Tami says:

        Sometimes Jan as sad and gross as it is we just have to accept that nature is going to do what nature needs to do I guess. Cats are hard wired to hunt birds and birds have the means to make a quick escape most of the time. Of course it’s easy for me to say that because I’m not picking up dead bird pieces on my porch. 🙂

        • Jan says:

          I know Tami. And I didn’t try to stop him from killing moles at my old house, even though I DID NOT like them at my doorway!
          But somehow the birds make me sad, and if I can keep my cat from killing birds I’ll do it. I mean, it’s not like he’s hungry!
          Jan

  3. Pingback: The Show-Stopping Stargazer Lily | Cottonmouth Creek

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