Cats and birds, which are both inquisitive creatures, have a natural fascination for one another. Even though cats hunt birds as prey in the wild, they can coexist peacefully and amicably together in your home. Here are a few tips that will help you keep the would-be problem areas of your household in check.
Feline necessities like a large, fresh water bowl and clean litter box can be potentially dangerous for a pet bird. Deep water dishes can cause drowning, and the dust from litter boxes can cause respiratory problems. The grains can also obstruct your bird’s digestive tract. The best way to prevent this is to keep your bird’s area separate from your cat’s supplies.
A strong, heavy cage is essential for a safe and happy bird. A good cage will have locks that cannot be opened by your cat or bird as well as bars that are no more than ½ apart to prevent your kitty from reaching through the bars. Place your cage in a corner, and fill it with plenty of perches and a nesting box. By doing so, you’ll give your bird both a comfortable home and plenty of places to hide if he should feel threatened.
Rather than always keeping your bird and cat apart, it’s a good idea to train them to behave around one another. Life is unpredictable. All it takes is for an unwitting guest to accidentally let out the bird, or let in the cat, and suddenly chaos is unleashed into your home. Try to introduce your cat to your bird in small stages. Discourage your cat from reaching for or licking your bird with a firm, “No.” Cat scratches and saliva are toxic to birds.
Keep in mind, it isn’t only your bird that needs to be protected from your cat! Large and hormonal birds can sometimes be aggressive. It’s always a good idea to supervise all interactions between your pet companions.
Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.