If you are a cat lover who feeds cats outdoors, you must be wondering how to keep birds away from cat food. Even if you like wild birds sharing food with your kitty, you are putting your cat at risk of bacteria like Salmonella and other parasites that birds carry.
If you wonder why your cat eats a lot of food outdoors, it is time to check if birds or other animals eat your cat’s food.
From 100 hours of research, my team and I have put together 10 ways of keeping birds away from outdoor cat food.
10 Ways How to Keep Birds Away From Cat Food
Out of these 12 ways, the first few ways depending on our location and activity of cat food while the rest of the ways are based on using external items or equipment to keep birds away. Continue reading.
Feeding your cat indoors
One of the simplest and most effective ways to keep birds away from cat food is to feed your kitty indoors. Though most cats prefer eating outdoors, proper training can change their preference from outdoors to indoors. If not inside the home, try feeding your cat in the garage with the door closed to an optimum level.
Feed according to a schedule
Maintaining a fixed schedule every day to feed your cat is another option. Since cats trained on a fixed schedule are aware of the time when food would be available, they will eat as soon as the food is placed before them. Once they have eaten, it can be removed and it will provide less chance for birds to steal their food.
Remove cat food bowl post feeding
Leftovers post-feeding a cat will attract birds waiting on perches of a tree to grab some of the cat food. The best way to avoid this situation is to provide a certain time for cats to feed on their food and then remove the bowl from the place. Also, shifting bowls to different places will delay birds from locating the cat food.
Stay and supervise
If you can spend time with your cat while they feed, this will effectively prevent food snatching by birds. This method is however possible only if you are available with free time. Fret not. You can follow other methods if this doesn’t work out.
Placing cat bowl away from perches
If there are perches directly above or close to the cat food bowl, it gives a lot of chance for birds to wait and pick food. So, avoid this chance for birds by placing them far away from perches.
Enclosed cat feeding station
There are a lot of commercial enclosed cat feeding stations available online. These stations have an entrance that allows cat but birds find it difficult to enter and take cat food placed inside. You can build your cat feeding station as well and just follow this link: https://www.alleycat.org/resources/build-a-feral-cat-feeding-station/
Bird Repellent Spray
To prevent birds from hanging around your patio and other external structures, use this bird-repellent spray on furniture, railings, perches, and other landing surfaces that a bird can find comfortable to land on. Bird repellent spray is a good technique that works very well!
Shiny objects/ tapes/ papers
Birds dislike shiny or glittering objects and you can use it to your advantage to keep them away. Take shiny tapes, and glittering papers and stick them near the cat food bowl and also stick it in such a way that a part of it keeps moving in the wind.
If your cat food bowl is placed on an aluminum foil surface, its glittering nature has a tendency to disorient birds and it is an effective deterrent.
If you can arrange a scarecrow or a fake owl or hawk near the cat food bowl and have some technique to keep it moving once in a while, birds won’t visit your area.
Try playing predatory sounds such as hawk noises and that will scare birds away. If your cat isn’t repelled by ultrasonic sound, play them near the cat food bowl and birds don’t near them.
Using a dog as a guard
If you have a dog, you can train them to keep birds away. There are chances for dogs to harm birds. Try avoiding such situations and train dogs just to scare the birds away.
Why are birds attracted to cat food?
There are multiple reasons such as smell, taste, and easy availability which make cat food very attractive to birds. Sometimes, it is noticed that birds stop eating their natural food and shift to cat food if it is made available.
If birds share cat food with cats, is it harmful to cats and birds?
Birds in the wild are carriers of various bacteria and parasites and this is very risky to a cat’s health. Also, these parasites might spread from cats to kids and adults at home. So, it is harmful to cats.
Cats are known to hunt small birds and so it is not safe for birds either if they come near to cat and try sharing cat food.
In summary, we have seen that birds are carriers of bacteria and parasites and hence it is necessary to keep birds away from cat food. Simple techniques such as feeding indoors, maintaining a schedule, and removing cat bowl and leftovers on time can help you to keep birds away. Also, there are other techniques such as using shiny objects, scarecrows, enclosed feeding station and predator sounds for the same purpose. I encourage you to try them out and see what best works for you!