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Bird Protection or Cat Humiliation?

You be the judge!

Those free thinking Australians have come up with a device to attach to your cat that reduces their ability to catch and kill wild birds called the Cat Bib.

According to Reuters, “Research has found that of 56 cats examined over a six week period, the cats’ ability to catch animals was markedly reduced with the bibs. The bibs prevented 81 percent of the cats from catching birds, 45 percent from capturing mammals and 33 percent from taking amphibians and reptiles. Some 89 percent of cats in the study became quickly accustomed to the bib.” You can read more research here.

I’m not sure how easy it will be to get cats to wear this–I mean, how many of us have had to put the lamp shade on our pets after a visit to the vet? That generally goes over like a fart in church with cats. Personally, I think the birds are still at risk for being so overcome with laughter when seeing a cat with a bib that the local Cooper’s hawk will swoop in for the kill.

7 comments to Bird Protection or Cat Humiliation?

  • Joyce

    Actually I think the cats look rather spiffy. Such bright color in the bibs. Have you seen the automatic cat door that was created using a cat’s image so that the cat can only get in if he doesn’t carry anything with him. (Preventing him from bringing birds home. Not to mention the intrusion of raccoons into the house.)
    Joyce

  • Phelony Jones

    That’s a mean looking kitty. I’d not trust him around my fine feathered friends. And neighbors.

    Just hope that pet owners don’t “forget” to remove them so their pets can eat (pet food, of course!)

  • DK & The Fluffies

    I DISAPPROVE!

  • Dea

    I’m glad this was posted as this is something I puzzle over.

    As a birder with a cat companion, I’m of two minds on this. I love my feline friend and think that she should have (controlled) freedom to prowl about outside. That’s what cats do. But I also want my feathered friends to forage and fly without fear. Fortunately, my kitty kat is scared of going outside, so my dilemma is solved for me.

    My concern with this product is that it may make it difficult for the cat to escape from or fight back against ITS natural predators – coyotes, raccoons, dogs, etc. Kinda like putting a bird feeder on the ground right beside the cat door.

    My thoughts: let your cat outside in a controlled manner – on a leash, tether, or for brief periods – all supervised by yourself. Protects the birds from the cat, and the cat from predators and cars.

    I’m told birders HATE cats and are suspicious of cat owners. Is that truly the case? Am I a potential outcast here for my furry association?

  • birdchick

    Not all birders hate cats–I know quite a few who live with them. If I weren’t allergic, we’d have cats.

    I agree that cats are contributing to the decline of birds, but I don’t like making them the scapegoat–MANY things are contributing to the decline of birds: loss of migratory habitat, cell phone towers, windows, pesticides, urban sprawl, etc.

    I don’t want the blog to become a forum for arguing about cats and so I don’t put every article cats and birds up, but I do like to put up interesting things just to make people aware–I’ll give information and then you can choose what to do with it.

    A lot of my non birding friends have cats, quite a few of them let them run wild outdoors. Do I like it? No. Am I going to end a great friendship over it? Absolutely not. Most of my non birding friends just aren’t aware of all the types of birds out there and maybe over time as they know me they learn a little and either slow down on letting their cat outdoors or when they get a new cat, make it in an indoor cat.

    If life has taught me anything so far, it’s that being fundamental or militant about an issue is good way to keep people from listening to the message.

    The cat issue is not going to be solved overnight.

  • Pete Bogs

    some cats won’t even take a collar, so I’d be interested to see one that just went about its business with this thing on… but I do think the bib is a good idea… someone needs to rein in the homicical habits of these creatures, if their owners are going to let them loose…

  • Dea

    Hi Sharon,

    Thanks for responding to my query. I agree with the not making cats scapegoats thing. And I’m glad this isn’t a forum for militant cats vs. cats debates! I rather like all the main content you put up, bees included! I won’t ask about this again.

    Dea
    Birder-whose-cat-stays-inside