Cats are incredibly lovely, furry animals that will never let you get bored. Unlike dogs, who will crave your attention, cats couldn’t care less. They like to keep themselves busy and you will mostly find them lounging around the house without a care in the world.
However, you should know that keeping a cat and a bird in the same house is going to be a bit of a problem. By their very nature, cats like to run after flying animals and they love birds. In the wild, cats often kill pigeons and other birds for fun and usually eat them too.
But you wouldn’t want such behavior at home. In most cases, though, you won’t even have to worry about it. If raised from an early age together and trained properly, cats aren’t going to hurt the birds at all.
However, this is highly unlikely. You need to understand that their intrinsic nature is likely to take over the animal from time to time and if they see the bird fluttering about its cage happily, there is always a risk that the cat will pounce.
Therefore, it is best if you always take some measures to keep the cat away from the bird cage. You won’t be around to supervise what the cat is doing so the best thing to do is to make sure that you take certain steps to ensure that the cat remains away from the bird cage.
Even if the bars in the cage have relatively little space, you should know that a cat’s nails are considerably large and it is going to reach in from time to time to try and grab hold of the bird.
1 – Keep it Atop a Perch
The best thing that you can do is to keep the cage atop a perch. For instance, you can use a round table with less room on all sides, thus ensuring that the cage is the only thing that can be placed on the table.
This will prevent the cat from jumping on the table and finding enough space to move around freely, which will ultimately mean that it won’t be able to get up to the bird.
If the cat can only look at the bird from down below and can’t jump up, you’ll be able to rest assured that the cat won’t jump up on the table and then use its paws to pry open the cage.
More importantly, if you are going to keep the cage on a table (which will help keep other pets away too), you need to make sure that you keep it at least on eye level with yourself, roughly at a height of around five feet.
Secondly, you should make sure that the cage has appropriate breathing room for the bird itself. In case the cat is able to find its way somehow near the cage, the bird should have enough room to move around the cage and get away.
Birds are incredibly intuitive and intelligent creatures so they will start making a racket as soon as they notice a threatening presence.
The bird should never feel vulnerable or threatened inside the cage. Make sure that the bird has enough space to move about freely in case a curious paw enters the cage.
You need to understand that cats are excellent climbers and their senses are usually heightened when they are stalking prey. Therefore, keeping the cage just a bit out of reach isn’t enough.
2 – Install a Nesting Box
Birds love nesting boxes; it is only instinct for these animals to go to deep and dark places. You need to make sure that you install a nesting box or at least a warming nest inside its cage so that the bird is able to move inside its nesting box in case of a threat.
Think of the nesting box as a room inside a room. When the bird feels any kind of a threat, it will just move inside the nesting box.
3 – Be Careful
More importantly, you need to exercise a bit of caution when it comes to caring for the bird. For instance, many people like taking their birds, especially parrots or parakeets, out of their cages when they are at home. However, you should make sure that the cage door is closed and properly locked when you are not around.
The last thing that you would want is to come home one day only to find that the cage door has been opened and the bird is creating a racket with the cat running after it. This is arguably the best and the safest way to ensure that your bird remains safely inside the cage.
Secondly, you need to be a bit vigilant when the bird and the cat are in the same room. If you are slowly introducing the two together, you need to make sure that you supervise all visits.
Whenever the cat approaches the cage, you should say a firm “no” and then maybe spray a bit of water in its face. When done on a consistent basis, the cat will associate the “no” command with the spray. Whenever you say “no,” it is going to move away from the cage.
With the passage of time, the cat is going to leave the cage alone altogether. Also, you need to make sure that you familiarize the two animals properly. Make sure that you keep one hand on the cat whenever you bring the two closer so as to avoid any unnecessary surprises.
Bring them about ten to twelve inches apart from each other and let them get acquainted. It is going to help satisfy the cat’s curiosity; once that is sated, the cat is going to stay away from the cage altogether. Before you know it, the cat will completely stop caring about the bird altogether.
4 – Reinforcing the Cage
You might be surprised at just how strong the cat can be when it is stalking prey. You should consider buying a strong, durable cage that won’t be easy to bend or break. Your cat is quite likely to knock down a light cage as compared to a big, durable one.
Also, ensure that there is a big lock on the cage door so that the bird is not able open the door. Birds are fast learners and are able to figure out how to open a lock with great ease; however, a big lock is not going to be easy to open.
When buying a cage, you should make sure that you buy one that has bars which are spaced under 2 centimeters apart. Ideally, you should consider a cage with bars that are 1.3 centimeters apart.
Also, make sure that you buy a cage with bars made of metal instead of plastic. This is going to do a much better job of keeping the cat away.
5 – Drape a Cover at Night
Another important thing that you can do to keep the cat away from the cage is to drape a cover on it at night. Birds generally like to sleep in closed surroundings and any kind of light is going to disturb your feathery friend.
By draping a cover on the cage at night, not only will you ensure that the bird gets a sound night’s sleep but it will also not become a target for the cat.
There are plenty of cage covers that are available that will fit bird cages properly. Make sure that part of the drape is not hanging below because the cat might try to bring the drapes down and may topple over the cage itself. The drapes should be just the appropriate size to cover the cage and there should be no parts of the cover hanging below.
Also, make sure that the cover is washable. Most covers can be washed in your standard washing machine and you have to wash it at least on a weekly basis. For the best results, you should make sure that you keep the bird in a separate room, take the cat out of the room at night, and then close it.
6 – Give Your Cat Other Sources of Stimulation
Cats need proper stimulation at home in order to remain calm. If you have a relatively active cat, it is important that you give the animal several sources of stimulation. For instance, a few interesting toys and a scratch post are going to do a great job in keeping the cat away from the bird.
There are numerous different kinds of toys that you can buy from your local pet store and each one is going to provide a different kind of stimulation for the animal. You should know that cats tend to get bored after a while with the same old toys so it is always a good idea to switch things up a bit.
These are just a few different things that you can do in order to keep the cat away from the cage.
I have two Associate’s degrees, one in Medical Assisting and the other in Computer Technician, and I am roughly five classes from a bachelor’s degree. Though I never ended up working in the medical field, I have five and a half years of experience in IT. I recently became a stay-at-home mom to my two young boys and also have two dogs and two cats. I grew up with pet dogs, cats, hamsters, budgies, cockatiels, and fish and also love horseback riding. In my spare time, I love to bake and read pretty much anything I can get my hands on.