Category Archives: Cat Control


Readers have been busy getting in touch lately – and I’m glad they have.  Here is a brilliant idea from a reader of Bird Table News.  It’s something all bird lovers can get involved with.

Cats certainly do kill a lot of birds.

His suggestion is  in reply to previous comments on the horror of cats killing birds


This is the suggestion:

Perhaps a change in ….
THE WANDERING CAT act..which is decades out of date.  This would then make owners of cats be responsible for their pets activities..

The RSPB should have promoted this move long ago???

Further thoughts on cat control ,   –  would be to contact your local authority requesting a change on cats free wandering status,because of its adverse impact on the natural environment.  This is now an out dated law for cats which was implemented decades ago when common bird numbers were in abundance .

As of now common birds are in dangerous decline.


Thanks for getting in touch.

The Wandering Cats Act and change of status on cats free wandering status.  Two suggestions that we could all look into with the knowledge it would certainly help our garden birds.

I will write more on this.



This has beensent in:


Hi Trish Ive sent a readers entry for Bird Table news. Song and Garden Bird survival…

A real dilemma and threat for our precious wild, garden and erbon birds.

Between April and August every year during bird nesting season, thousands of baby and fledgling birds ,are slaughtered needlessly by pet cats…

Instinctively pet cats hunt and decimate nest sights, not for food but purely out of primeval play… How about giving these birds genuine protection ?

If a conservation act was to be implemented to remove the threat from pet cats , say …May to August .This would give these birds,the opportunity to nest and reproduce more safely.

This would mean some kind of forced temporary encarsoration. By the owner of the cat or registered cat pound. This would dramatically help and protect birds , in their struggle…


I do agree with this idea.  I believe that in Australia cats are not allowed out.

What do you think?


I had a plea for help from a bird lover who could not stop a cat killing her garden birds


This is the reply from a cat owner  with two suggestions which may help –




As a cat owner and bird lover I can see both sides of this issue.


Unlike dogs owners, cat owners cannot be held responsible for their pets actions.  (WHAT THIS MEANS IS THAT LEGALLY CAT OWNERS CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR  CATS ACTIONS, UNLIKE DOG OWNERS WHO CAN).


Some cats hunt some don’t. Even female cats spray to mark what they consider to be their territory. There would be little that the owners could do to stop their cat hunting birds.


I won’t put collars on my cats as I have come across cats injured by accidents caused by collars when I worked for a vet. It sounds as though you need a solution that will work all the time – not just when you can keep an eye on things.

I am not sure how big your garden is but you could prevent the cat from getting to an area set aside for bird feeding by erecting a flexible fence that they cannot climb around this area. Have a look at I am not sure how expensive it would be but it looks almost invisible and the cats can’t climb in.


A fruit cage without the roof netting on would work as well. We have just put a fruit cage up on our allotment. We got it from William James – very reasonable price and not very visually intrusive. Hope this is useful. If you are good at DIY you could make your own.


The two ideas are   – a flexible fence round the bird feeding area


William James – fruit cage with out the roof netting


Thank you for sending this information.


Thanks very much for your help.  The two ideas will hopefully help the person who has had such a desperate time with a cat savaging birds  in the garden.   Also it could help other people in the future


Hi Trish, With regard to the question of cat owners being responsible for their pets actions, I’m sorry, I probably didn’t word it very well. I meant that legally cat owners cannot be held responsible for their cats’ actions, unlike dog owners who can. I live in the country and 2 of our previous cats were much loved by our local farmer because they killed rats on the farm which saved him from having to use poison. They have their moments 🙂


Here is a heartfelt plea for advice from a reader  –  Can we help her?

hi there, i came across your website 2 months ago and i like it. I have read several articles you posted on your website including many of the ones about cats killing garden birds.

I was particularly interested in the one about the stray cat you had which sadly killed those two robins. I would like to share with you a frustrating and never ending problem in the hope that you might have some ideas on what i could do. I have been having ongoing problems with a cat for years, it is just the one cat which is a killing machine,always on the lookout to stalk and hunt wildlife. All it does is stalk wildlife. Ive never seen a cat as bad as this one.

Its owners are not responsible and their garden is tiny, i dont even think it is neutered as i have seen it spraying, and it isnt collared either. and it is always coming over to my g arden and other neighbours. It is a stressfull problem as it is just this one cat and despite chasing it out of the garden for years it still comes back. It has treat my garden like its personal little hunting ground for years but i only just got into wildlife 2 years ago so it has been hanging around in my garden for years previously.

Last spring it ambushed pigeons which were eating the fallen seed from a feeder. Hiding in shrubs and charging out to get unassuming birds. It also ambushed other birds i believe, likely ground feeding ones. I got so fed up last year that i took down the feeder for some days, and it affected the birds, they wondered where their feeder had gone to, i was so fed up and sad for the birds i think i cried.

I ended up putting the feeder back up but had to put it really close to the house. I like to treat wildlife equally and i dont hold the view like many others do that certain birds are vermin. I like the pigeons too but they are always the most vulnerable, aswell as the blackbirds and others. This cat is a nightmare and will always hang around when i am not around. I discovered it hanging around right by my back door last week, stalking birds which feed from the feeder. I could not believe it. When i opened my window it ran off. As i assumed it would stay away. It usually sits in a spot at the bottom of the garden where it can see all the feeders, and it uses this as its stalking path. I have approached the owners in the past and they were very ignorant, they didnt want to know and i had been polite to them. They were actually abusive when i finally went round to confront them in person. I had sent a polite letters before which they ignored. That was when their cats were defecating on my front lawn and it was causing a health hazard. Now i rarely get any cat feces on my front lawn, but the problem with the one cat remains.

Their other cats are not a problem, they do spray their urine which smells awful in milder weather, but its the killing of wildlife that holds my concern. Its only this one cat, and if i chase it out of my garden it will move on to the next, which is what happened last week, i observed it chasing birds and stalking the neighbours table. I feel really frustrated with the problem us compassionate people face. Its a really sad situation over here where we live as those who dont own cats have no rights, and even the RSPB and other places pander to cat lovers.

I had thought of buying deterrents but i cant use a sonic deterrent because it affects other animals, smaller animals. and the water sprayer is very expensive and im worried this cat is too sly and clever. Though it has got very good reviews Do you have any advice or suggestions? Im so frustrated , because this cat will be hanging around early morning at 4am onwards as we all know that spring is prime hunting season for cats. And i have been lucky to get more ground feeding birds lately, more than ever, such as dunnocks, blackbirds and even a song thrush! All of which are so vulnerable. I have been thinking hard about what i can do to protect them, and i plan to plant prickly shrubs, but i feel sad that i have to go to all this because of one cat. I fear that whatever i do it will find a way around it. Its a nightmare, id actually happily have the other cat in my garden instead,as that one isnt much interested in wildlife please reply,thanks


Could you put barbed wire on the boundary fence.  I know someone who did that and it stopped the cat and saved the birds.

In Australia cats are not allowed out.  Wish it was the same here.  Cats get fed at home, which means they are always strong and healthy so find it easy to catch birds.  Our garden birds have to search for food and never have a safe environment to go to.  It is so one sided in the cats favour.  I feel for you.

Does anyone else have any ideas?


Cats do kill birds.  That is a fact

I know someone who is having a problem with cats.

She says cats regularly leave their excrement on her lawn and flower beds.  They use her shrubbery to ambush and kill birds and small mammals.  They destroy plants with their urine and leave their infested paw prints on her garden furniture.  But the worst thing is the killing of garden birds – needless killing.

She says she did not invite these animals into her garden.  She has used powder, gel and spray but non of the cat repellants work. 

She does not understand how anyone can love a pet yet let it roam outdoors and forget about it.  She says millions of cat owners let their cats roam and if the cat owners were more responsible then perhaps the newly fledged birds would survive.

She believe that cats do not have an automatic right to roam and they do not need to.  She wishes cat owners realised that and took  more responsibility by keeping their cats inside more or enclosed in their own garden.  

I am lucky at the moment as we do not have a cat problem here.  But I do know the carnage a cat can cause.  If I am driving on an evening and I see cats sneaking into hedgerows I just say a prayer for the birds inside the hedge.

Amazing way of stopping cats killing birds

I would never have thought of this.  John has contacted me with this surprising way to stop cats killing birds –

We have three cats, and have found a paradoxical way of stopping them from catching birds..

We have about a dozen bird feeders with different foods in. As a result we have a huge population of birds, particularly house sparrows.

At the first sighting of a cat the alarm goes up and every species is alerted. More food is more pairs of eyes to watch out for danger.

The moggies have next to no chance. They still bring home the occasional bird, but it used to be several a week rather than a handful over the whole summer


I thought I was bad enough with my variety of feeders, but I don’t think I have twelve!

John, you must keep the feeders close together do you, that will be why you have a large group of birds in one place.

I spread my feeders around the garden. Some are hanging from branches, some are bird tables, some are ground feeders, but they are not all together in the same place.

Thanks for getting in touch and it is an amazing thing to hear about.  They say there is safety in numbers don’t they and what you have told us proves that is the case.


Keep cats indoors?

Cats seem to be loved or hated in equal measure.

But there is no getting round the fact that cats are carnivourous mammals who have a bloodlust.

Should cats be kept inside entirely or in contained cat runs to stop them cutting a swathe through our bird life (as well as other wildlife)?

In Australia some areas already have  legislation in place to keep cats indoors. Could this happen in Britain?

Worldwide cats may have been involved in the extinction of more bird species than any other cause except habitit loss and are contributing to the danger of other small mammals possibly becoming extinct.

In Britain alone domestic cats now number 8 million and are said to kill millions of birds annually.

A cat’s motivation to hunt is separate from its desire to satisfy hunger so it will hunt at any time. Their taste for blood is never ending.

Most of the creatures they kill are tortured to death. So you could call cats murderers who torment their victims.

Cats are well fed and do not have to forage for food as their owners feed them well. This means they are well fed and alert for each killing spree.

Somewhere safe and secure to sleep is of paramount importance to man and animal alike. Cat owners ensure their cat has a comfortable, safe and secure bed.
The bird population does not have the luxury of a safe haven where they can renew their strength. They have to be on the look out for predators 24/7. They also have to forage every day for food to survive.

I want to enjoy the wildlife in and around my garden. I do not want to see them being killed by cats.

What do you think?

A stray cat that killed birds

About 3 years ago we had a thin, bedraggled, stray cat wandered into our lives.

It came from nowhere and started to come to the house. It would sit on the window ledge outside our living room window and tap on the window with its paw.

We told it it did not live here and shooed it away. But every time we opened the front door it ran inside and sat on the living room chair. We threw it out. It came back. We listened to the cat tapping and the rain tapping on the window at the same time. The cat won the battle and joined the household. We have never found out where it came from. We called it Tabby. Then the trouble started.

It killed and ate birds. Lots of them. Killing birds seemed to be its one aim in life. I would watch it as it climbed inside a high hedge, crept along a branch and tried to kill an unsuspecting bird. It was a born hunter. I did try to stop it. I put two bells on its neck. I tried to keep it inside all the time, but it found open windows and also sneaked outside whenever anyone opened a door. I put up with a lot. I tried to make excuses for this cat.

Then one day I found two sets of soft, red, fragile robin feathers close together. So light and innocent. These soft feathers gently started to flutter in the breeze. This was solid proof that two robins had been killed by this cat. This was two lives too many. If the robins died, should the cat die? My patience turned to anger.

I realised that cats will always kill birds. This was just a food factory for this cat. I did not kill it. I rang the RSPCA. I left it at a collection point to be picked up by the RSPCA and have not seen it since. It was the only decision I could make. We have been free of cats since then and it has been lovely.
It is because of this experience I know that cats do a lot of harm to bird life. Too much harm.
 I found out the other week that we have a feral cat round about.  Hope it’s not killing a lot of birds.