Dear Healthy Home Habitats,
I love my affectionate cat and I like to feed wild birds in the backyard too. But for the third time this week I’ve come home to beautiful, little feathers strewn throughout the house 🙁 I know I should keep Clara the Cat inside but she uses the very necessary doggie door for our elderly Heinz-57 pooch. I feel like I’ve created a tragic, kitty smorgasbord. What do I do?
Signed, Anguished Animal Lover
Dear Animal Lover,
House cats are indeed soft, snuggly AND crazy efficient, often secret predators. They belong inside our homes. “In the United States alone, outdoor cats kill approximately 2.4 billion birds every year. Although this number may seem unbelievable, it represents the combined impact of tens of millions of outdoor cats. Each outdoor cat plays a part.”
I too have struggled with adopted, adult cats that are already acclimated to being outdoor animals. Unfortunately I have had just as many “trophy presents” (aka bird heads -I guess the only un-yummy part) laid on my pillow by my cats wearing a bell or a sparkly collar.
Luckily recent research and creative entrepreneurs have created two easy and effective tools that reduce cats’ deadly-efficient recreational activity. Number one, a “CatBib”. You heard me right. “A recent independent University Research Study scientifically proved the CatBib(s) work to stop 81% of cats from catching birds!” It’s made of thin neoprene, backed on both sides with nylon which hangs off of their collar. “It works by gently interfering with the precise timing, and coordination a cat needs for successful bird catching… It defeats the cat’s stealth and cunning at exactly the moment it’s needed.” A friend recently witnessed a bird boldly fly within swatting distance of my gray cat. She exclaimed “Oh my gosh, it works! Simon reached for the bird and the CatBib blocked his action!” Truth be told, I had not had such an opportunity.
The second easy and effective option only for less active cats is a “Birdsbesafe” collar cover. “It is a tube of bright colored fabric. You fasten it to your cat’s neck with a breakaway cat collar.” It works because “Songbirds see bright colors especially well due to their special eye anatomy…a fourth cone for perceiving bright colors and extra rods to see the same colors well in low light.”
Both options allow the cat to still catch bugs and mice. Both options allow the cats to groom and feed easily. My cats wear theirs 24-7. I wash them periodically and I am happy to say that as long as they have them on, I am free from dead bird deliveries.
Thanks for writing, Healthy Home Habitats
What challenge do you have at home trying to live more ecologically balanced? Have you discovered another solution? Send your question or comment by Messenger to @HealthyHomeHabitats or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymity is respected.
Michele Chalice, BA Landscape Architecture, MS Resource Management & Administration, is an Environmental Landscape Designer, Public Speaker, Home Resource Reduction Expert and Conservationist who believes in the as yet, untapped power of the American Consumer to shift and reduce our nation’s environmental impacts. She is the owner of Keene-based, Healthy Home Habitats specializing in creative, residential, exterior and interior daily actions that can collectively help to heal our world from home. She offers public presentations online and in-person at: https://app.squarespacescheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=24187147&appointmentType=31431904 🙂
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