If you enjoy feeding and watching birds in your garden, but they share the space with cats – you need a cat proof bird feeder to ensure the birds can safely enjoy the food you’re putting out.
I hope it hasn’t happened to you and you’re taking preventative measures rather than reactive. However, if you’ve had feathered casualties in your garden due to cats on the prowl, it’s time to act now.
One of the other huge pros to using a bird feeder that is designed to be cat proof is that other small animals and rodents like squirrels, rats, and mice, etc, can’t steal the food left out for the birds either.
So, if you’re wondering what your options are when it comes to putting out a bird feeder that will keep birds happy, and more importantly safe – here are 4 different styles of feeders that should do the trick.
- 4 Cat Proof Bird Feeders to Keep the Cats out and the Birds Safe
- Why Do Cats Attack Birds?
- What Else Can You Do to Protect Birds from Cats?
4 Cat Proof Bird Feeders to Keep the Cats out and the Birds Safe
Birds-I-View Window Bird Feeder
If you have window space, this is the best possible solution in my opinion. This plastic house-shaped feeder simply sticks onto a window with suction cups and has a pull-out tray so you can keep it topped up with bird feed.
How is it cat proof?
Well, when it’s stuck on a window there is almost no way a cat, or any other animal or rodent for that matter can get into it.
Obviously, you need to make sure there are no ledges nearby cats may think they can reach it from. Because, if they do they are going to rip it off the window and cause all kinds of problems.
It’s not only a nice safe solution. The real selling feature is that you can look directly into the feeder from the other side of the window for an unrestricted close-up of birds eating. Pretty cool!
Go Simply Amazing Window Bird Feeder
This is another window feeder, as it’s always best to have more than one option. This one is longer rather than tall, but it does the same thing as the Birds-I-View model above.
I just watched a couple of videos customers shot of birds using this feeder and I have to say, it’s literally the best way to enjoy bird spotting in your yard.
A couple of notes on the practical points of using a feeder like this;
Position it somewhere you can easily clean up bird poop that will collect underneath it if it’s used a lot;
To attract birds you might need to leave a trail of food from the previous feeding location;
Wet the suction cups a little, or even use a tiny bit of coconut oil for a firmer grip on the window;
Caged Tube Bird Feeder – Audubon Park
If you prefer the feeders that hang in your garden over the ones above that stick onto one of your windows, this model from Audubon Park might be what you’re looking for.
It has a tube of bird feed with points where they can feed on in the center. While being enclosed in a wire cage so they hop in and have protection from cats and other animals harassing them.
How effective this style of feeder is still relies on where you’re placing it. You need to hang it from a tree branch or something similar. In a way that doesn’t allow any ways for crafty cats to get at it.
It will stop a cat pouncing and grabbing a bird. If a cat can stand near it though they are just going to keep putting their paw through the bars and terrorizing the birds.
Droll Yankees Domed Bird Feeder
This is another wire cage that has some good anti-cat properties. The interesting thing about this design is that the domed top on the cage makes it difficult for cats to climb/sit on and makes it even harder for them to reach into the cage underneath.
The cage itself has a feeding tube in the middle. You can pour the bird feed in through the top and seal the lid. Allowing birds to fly in below the domed top and eat from inside the cage.
Again, you need to position this cage carefully so it’s hanging well out of the reach of a cat to ensure birds are going to be safe while using it.
Why Do Cats Attack Birds?
Cats are natural predators, hunting prey is in their blood. Even without the need to hunt for food because they are being well taken care of indoors, most cats can’t resist hunting prey.
There are some differences between the motivation behind males and females too. Male cats tend to hunt more so for the thrill and to assert dominance in their territory. While female cats hunt to provide for their kittens, and will still do so even if they don’t have kittens.
I detailed some of the reasons why cats bring home dead animals in this post if you’re interested.
What Else Can You Do to Protect Birds from Cats?
Having a bird cage designed to keep cats out and give birds some sanctuary while eating is great. However, if you’re still dealing with aggressive cats and terrified birds, try one or more of the following:
Put a collar and bell on your cat – If it’s your cat being the problem you should put a bell on their collar. Bells are one of the oldest and most effective ways to give birds a little warning that a cat is approaching.
Related: Collars don’t have to be boring, check out some of these bling cat collars!
Neuter your cat – Young, unneutered males are the main culprits when it comes to hunting live prey around your home. Neutering domestic cats is recommended for a number of reasons. Calming them down and reducing their blood lust is one such reason.
Make your garden less desirable for cats – If it’s the neighborhood cats coming into your garden that is the problem, you can make your garden a less enjoyable place for them.
Cats hate the smell of lavender, rue, and pennyroyal, so you can plant these to annoy them. Or, if there is one or two locations cats are using to access your garden, you can block those.
It’s one of the harder things to do. Cats are very agile and stubborn animals, if they want to get into your garden there is a good chance they will do so. But it doesn’t do any harm to try and stop them, or at the very least make it less enjoyable.
I’d love to hear any solutions you’ve come up with to help keep the birds safe in your yard while providing them food and somewhere to hang out while sharing the space with cats.
If you’ve used any of the products above, or maybe found a better solution, please leave a comment below to help others with their decision. Thanks.