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.
While this mockingbird did not fall victim, others have not been so lucky.
Although, to be fair, those feathers belonged to the victim of a hawk, not my cat.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
Immediately I stopped finding dead birds.
He can look, but he can’t get there before the birds see him and fly to safety.
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.
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?