Marge Says, "Protect Your Birds!"
I am sorry to report that my cat Marge has discovered the joys of bird hunting. She is particularly interested in the new baby birds that are just emerging from their nests. In an effort to get her to reform her ways I’ve asked her to make a list of tips for protecting our feathered friends from predators. After much yowling she came up with some pretty good advice.
I thought you might be interested in her tips as well. Just in case you have a “wild beast” lurking in your garden, too.
I can’t understand if Allen encourages my mouse hunting, why birds should be different? To help me mend my ways Allen has instructed me to make a list of ways to protect these feathered animals. I’m certain he plans to use these tips against me! So it is with great reluctance that I write this column. To all my feline comrades I apologize, but sometimes you have to appease the one who controls the food bowl.
1. The number one way to protect birds from cats is to keep your cat indoors. In addition to creating a safer environment for the birds, your cat will be healthier and safer, too.
2. Set up feeders in areas where the birds will feel safe. Give the birds an easy escape by placing feeders 5 to 10 feet from a large shrub or tree. Don’t place the feeder too close because these areas also serve as hiding spots for predators.
3. If a neighbor’s cat is the problem, try discussing it with the owner. Nothing upsets Allen more than someone reporting on my bad behavior. It’s the quickest way to get him to take corrective measures.
4. Stray cats can be trapped using humane traps and then taken to a local animal shelter. Just remember that animal shelters are often underfunded and overcrowded so you might be turned away. Consider adopting the cat and moving it indoors. That’s what Allen did for me. Also, making regular donations to the shelter before you need their services is a good idea and always spay or neuter your pets.
5. To keep cats out of certain areas of the garden get a water timer for your sprinkler and set it to go off several times during the day. Cats will avoid wet areas. Set a random schedule so that your little furry friends will not acclimate to the situation. Or you can purchase motion activated sprinkler heads that run on batteries.