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Cats are the biggest killer of British birds

March 5, 2019

We’re all aware that pet cats kill our much loved garden birds. We read many customer comments about how upsetting it is to find that neighbouring cats are killing birds visiting their garden. Cats are highly skilled predators and outdoor cats living near or adjacent to natural areas are likely to prey on many of our local wildlife. Reports show that cats kill an extraordinarily high number of birds in British gardens every year and often present such animals as trophies to their owners.

Cats have a great motivation to hunt, despite being well-fed, they are often driven by instinct to prey on wild birds, small mammals and reptiles if the moment arises. Many unsuspecting birds that benefit from our gardens; to feed or to take shelter are usually at risk of becoming prey. Reports sadly show that birds who frequently fall victim to cats are house sparrows, blue tits, blackbirds and starlings.

Cats behaviour varies widely from being frequent hunters to killing nothing at all. Urban cats tends to catch a higher proportion of wild birds compared to rural cats which prey upon small rodents like mice, voles and shrews.

The majority of birds are caught around dawn and dusk, during the breeding season and mid-winter. Cats tend to catch more birds than small mammals. The reason for this is birds are mainly hunted during the day, so you are more likely to see it, with mice and voles being caught generally at night.

            

However, there are a few steps you can take to reduce local birds falling prey to cats.

Install a Catwatch Ultrasonic Cat Deterrent recommended by the RSPB. This deterrent uses ultrasonic bursts (which are inaudible to us) to repel cats WITHOUT harming them. The CATWatch Cat Repeller is made in the UK and comes with a 2 year warranty. The CATWatch will repel cats up to 12m away and will protect a total area of 125 sqms (twice the area of other makes). CATWatch is simple and easy to install anywhere in the garden as it comes complete with spike. It can be either mains (adaptor included) or battery powered.

Fit a bell on your cat’s collar to alarm wild birds and small mammals.

Keep your cat indoors at vulnerable times for about an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset. This is especially crucial during the breeding season where birds are tired from building nests, searching for food to feed their offspring and during cold weather when birds are in need of high energy foods.

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