Yes, cats are considered a natural enemy of birds, but with a little careful planning cats and birds living together can work. Check out these precautions to keep the house safe for cats and birds living together:
- Never let the bird out of his cage unless the cat is in a crate or in another room with the door closed. Even though the cat may not have shown interest in harming the bird in the past, if the bird flies right past the cat’s face at some point it’s possible the cat’s mindset could change in an instant.
- Some cats, but not all, can learn to behave well around cats. To keep the bird safe, be sure the birdcage has a secure clasp that can’t be opened by a clever cat. Check to be sure the bars of the birdcage are spaced close enough together to prevent cat paws or claws from getting inside.
- Although we usually think of the cat harming the bird, there are birds such as Amazon Parrots or Macaws that are large enough to do serious harm to a cat. Large parrots are capable of biting off a cat’s paw if the paw gets too close. The best way to prevent an injury like that is to keep bird and cat separated at all times.
- Don’t give your cat toys that have feathers to encourage the thought that birds are playthings.
- If your cat and bird get into a scrape and your bird happens to get a bite or scratch, take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible to prevent infection. Even if the wound seems minor, infection can spread quickly and your bird may be very ill before you realize he’s sick. In this case, better safe than sorry is the best plan.
- Take these precautions if you have a dog as well. A friend of mine tried to adopt a dog recently and was asked if he had other pets. He forgot to mention the two birds he had at home. Upon getting the dog home, he discovered a very strong prey instinct in the dog. The rescue decided to take the dog back, indicating it would be best for the safety of all pets concerned to find the dog a different home.