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Clearance for cats during the breeding season: How to protect young birds


Free-range cats are a threat to young birds during the breeding season - but should you keep them indoors for the entire period? In most cases, this is not a cat-friendly solution. Nevertheless, as a cat owner, you can do a lot to minimize the risk to baby birds. With a few precautions, you can protect young birds from cats as much as possible - Shutterstock / Sari ONeal

Cats with free access have an impact on bird life, especially in the breeding season. But what can you actually do to minimize the risk for blackbirds, tits, pigeons and the like?

What does bird clearance mean during the breeding season?

In the main breeding season between April and June, cat owners have a special responsibility if they let out their velvet paw. For young birds, the freedom of your animal is associated with enormous stress.

For example, birds can only get to the nest via detours, may not be looking for food everywhere, and only feed their young when there is no cat present. The offspring of birds can therefore only be cared for suboptimally in the presence of a free-range bird.

But that's not all: Cats also have a hunting instinct. They often live out their play instinct when they are released at the expense of the birds. They hunt the animals by climbing trees and plundering nests.

So if you want to protect young birds from your free-range cat, you can, for example, ensure that your pets don't stray too far - it is important to have them neutered. A neutered cat usually stays closer to the house and the circle of bird breeding grounds in their area becomes more manageable.

Protect breeding birds in the garden: you can still do that

Locking up your free-range cat at home during the breeding season is not an optimal solution for your animal. Most freedom-loving velvet paws quickly become restless and can react aggressively.

A good alternative, however, would be to restrict the cat's clearance during the breeding season, for example, by putting it on a leash and walking it.

If you even have your own garden, you can make it bird-safe and give your cat free access there. How? Do birds breed in one of the trees in your garden? Then you can wrap the trunk with a smooth cuff that makes it impossible for the cat to climb up.

Hedges and bushes, in which birds breed, are also quickly made bird-safe: the so-called piss-off plant, for example, exudes a fragrance that cats do not like - this is due to the essential oils that it secretes. Place this plant near the hedge, which is populated by birds during the breeding season. By the way, coffee grounds have the same effect, which you can distribute in a bed, for example.

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What to watch out for during the breeding season

If your cat has limited access, you should leave them indoors in the morning if possible. At that time, the young birds often had flight lessons and would be a feast for the talented hunters.

But you should also be particularly careful during the day. If you hear scolding birds in the garden, a cat may be endangering its brood - rustle food to distract and attract your pet, and bring it into the house for a while.

Cats and breeding season: hunting games and food make birds uninteresting

An exhausted and full cat usually has little desire to enjoy bird hunting outdoors. So play as much as possible with your velvet paw during the breeding season and make sure that it can live out its hunting instinct during exciting games in the house.

Of course, you should also feed your cat well, so that the appetite for birds from the garden does not arise. Also consider this when you go on vacation and entrust neighbors or friends with this task.