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Q: How do people feel in regards to Feral cats and song birds?

November 2, 2008 | By naneki26 k. | 9 answers | Expired: 2165 days ago

naneki26 k.

I am part of a feral cat rescue group and I feed birds front yard and back. I love both sets of critters. My 2 indoor/outdoor cats hunt gophers,but rarely do i see them bothering the bird. They were mulitiple bells and if I see one contemplateing birds, they wear the bib for a day or so. I pretty convinced that TNR does reduce the numbers of feral cats thus helping the birds. I saw a video that Ranked humans #1 to the songbird problem, then came squirrels and other predatory birds as foes as well. What do you think?

Readers' Answers (9)
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Kelly
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Nov 15, 2008

I do TNR & feed birds too. My experience is similar to some of the others who have answered. For the most part, I don't see my TNRs during daylight hours because they stay hidden. On the rare occasions a couple might feel comfortable to come out to catch some rays or chase bugs, there's always plenty of food & they seem to leave the birds alone.

I agree that our bird population has bigger concerns than feral cats. On many occasions I have seen predatory birds destroy nests & attack other birds. My parents have a neighbor who put out bird feed so he can shoot birds with his BB gun (of course, he'll also shoot cats if given the chance). We had lots of birds die here a couple of years ago because of disease helped to spread through unclean feeders & baths. I really think cats are the least of their problems & are just used as a convenient excuse by those who want to get rid of feral cats.

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Lorisidae
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Nov 05, 2008

I would absolutely say that humans are the number one problem. Cats are simply another predator within the environment. What is the difference between cats and wild predators? Perhaps only that one is usually domesticated, or that the results of its kill are more visible than that of, say, a hawk.

Cats and every other predator that ever lived prey upon the sick, the weak, and the slow. Humans, on the other hand, turn vast corridors of territory into forbidding cityscapes, obstructing flyways, polluting food sources, etc.

What predators take away, regenerates. If too many birds are eaten, predators will starve to death or leave the area. Once the predator population has been reduced, the birds are free to multiply. Humans are not bound by any such cycle; the changes we make are mostly to the environment itself.

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sharon d.
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Nov 03, 2008

I too fed feral cats and the birds etc. What I found though,was that once I began feeding my ferals on a regular basis,the Song Birds were not quite such an interest to them anymore.
When I fed the birds,I did change a few things.I rearranged a few feeders so that the birds were able to see at all times,and I no longer fed birds on the patio,because that became a Cat area.
It's amazing but those cats were happy with the food,and some little toys that I placed outside for them.They were just happy to be there.During those times,although you may have occasionally saw a cat stalk a bird(normal behavior,in any cat) I never had any deaths.
You can find a happy medium,sometimes it just takes reworking a plan.

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EddieWayne
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Nov 02, 2008

My experience is that most ferals come out to feed at night (cover of darkness). So not too much of a threat for birds on a feeder then.

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Kathleen H.
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Nov 02, 2008

It is rare that I see a cat actually get a bird so I don't think they are the problem. A truely hungry cat may climb a tree to get a nest but otherwise I think the birds are pretty safe.

Of course, the birds bomb-dive the dog so I think the 'harassement' goes both ways.

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Sally B.
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Nov 02, 2008

I don't think that the cats are the problem. It is pretty hard for them to catch a bird and it is natural. I think urban sprawl and toxins in the environment are more the problem.

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Percysmom
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Nov 02, 2008

I think it's wonderful that people care for feral cats. If we were able to control the world, though, I'm sure most of us would aggree that it would be better if there were no feral cats. Every cat deserves a warm loving home and should not tossed out to reproduce and be forced to fend for themselves. That's why I agree that TNR is the best program out there. It's important that we care for feral cats as best we can so that they have some quality of life. At least with TNR though, their population will be on the decline until it's no longer necessary. Unfortunately irresponsible owners, make this job very difficult. I too feed the birds in my yard and occasionally I do see a cat staking out the bird feeder. I just walk outside to say hello and blow his cover. You can't get mad at the cat for doing what they do although, I'm sure the cat is mad a me for putting a glitch in his plans :>)

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Jan H.
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Nov 02, 2008

I support feral cat rescue groups and TNR. I also like birds and have feeders in my yard. I don’t think feral cats are the biggest threat to song birds. I’ve seen hawks go after the small birds at the feeders. I don’t like to see any animal get killed, but it is part of nature. What video ranked squirrels as second? That’s surprising to me.

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Michele Z.
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Nov 02, 2008

Although I think feral cats may occasionally get birds, the "victims" are usually sick and/or injured--and probably wouldn't have survived long since other predators would have picked them off if the cats hadn't. Both the feral cats and the birds are "wild" and I think nature should be allowed to take its course. I'd rather not see a cat--or any other predator--kill a wild bird, but that really isn't something for me to decide.

If you feed the birds and know feral cats are around, it is probably best to only use feeders (preferably with seed guards/trays) in trees --avoid placing food on the ground.

Feeding the cats may actually INcrease their likelihood of catching a bird--cats are more patient and take less risks when they are not hungry. At the same time, the birds have surely noticed that the cats are around, and they need to watch themselves.

Overall, I guess I'm "okay" with feral cats and wild birds!

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