It’s easy to make your yard a paradise for birds, but don’t forget to keep an eye out for cats.
One birder took to Reddit last year to ask for help because a negligent neighbor’s cat was terrorizing the avians in their garden.
“The neighbor has a cat who is always ‘free’ to go around the neighborhood,” the poster wrote. “He always jump over my fence, enter in my garden and kills the birds or destroy the nest with chicks.”
“I told my neighbor to keep her cat in her property,” the poster further wrote, “She said she doesn’t care because that’s how nature works … I don’t want to hurt the cat because it’s not his fault if his owner is a stupid person, but i can’t let him keep killing my birds.”
Commenters suggested the poster could use a water gun to deter the cat from coming around, install fence rollers to keep the cat out of the yard, or let their dog scare the cat away.
Cats are responsible for the extinction of 63 species of wild birds, mammals, and reptiles and “continue to adversely impact a wide variety of other species,” according to the American Bird Conservancy.
In the United States, outdoor cats kill 2.4 billion birds every year. The domestic animals are the top human-caused threat to birds in the U.S. and Canada.
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) advises keeping cats indoors, providing cover for birds, and using safe feeder and birdbath placement. Stray cats should not be fed, and the NWF does not support trap, neuter, and release programs because they don’t minimize the impact of feral cats on wildlife.
Traps can also be used to capture stray or feral felines, and cat owners can keep their pets’ claws short. A BirdBeSafe collar may also work wonders, though the NWF stated that such solutions aren’t viable.
“I love cats. I hate when idiots let their cats roam like that,” one commenter said. “Cats are NOT a part of nature, they kill so many songbirds that did not evolve with housecats and are vulnerable to them. It’s also not good for the cat, dogs and other predators will attack a cat, then there are cars, rodenticides … No one that really cares about their cat would let it wander.”
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