Do cats eat birds?

Some cat owners are perplexed at the pet’s unaccountable inclination to climb trees. Cats are really agile animals. These furry friends are known to have the ability of jumping from high places and landing on their feet. It must be understood that cats are predators and one of the prey of these animals are birds. Cats would climb trees to rob the nest of nestlings. Cats love birds…if you happen to see bird feathers on the ground after the cat is seen up high on the tree it is highly possible that the pet had one or two birds for its dinner. Yes, cats love to eat birds.

Cats are natural predators. Before domestication, cats have survived by hunting and eating rodents and other small animals. These capable predators hunt birds as well…in fact about 20 to 30% of cats’ prey are birds. Before cats became pampered indoor pets, these animals were originally kept by people in barns and in grain warehouses to keep these places rat-free. Farmers have solved vermin concerns by keeping cats. Cats proliferated. In recent times, the situation was reversed. The cats that have become so valuable to farmers and game keepers are now considered as vermin. The large numbers of cats on the loose have dissipated ground bird population. Cats are highly adaptable when it comes to their prey. These animals would hunt any small animals and birds have become a favorite prey. Cats hunt (and eat) not only small birds but big birds as well. Cats eat crows, magpies and other bird species the size of cockatoos.

Once caught, the cat would have a feathered dinner. Small bird will be eaten whole. Cats would lightly pluck the feathers of bigger birds before devouring the meat. The head will be eaten first and then the rest of the bird will be consumed. Scientists and cat owners that observed a cat that is eating a bird have noticed the frequent head shaking of the cat. Apparently, the movement is done to remove the feathers that got stuck inside the mouth. After eating the bird, the cat would lick its fur. Cats are fastidious groomers. The cat would lick the fur to remove traces of the bird’s blood. Another reason is to remove the small feathers stuck on the tongue.

Feral cats and stray cats hunt birds to survive. What of domestic cats? These pets are provided with enough food. Domestic cats don’t need to hunt birds to eat. However, domestic cats still have the tendency to climb trees to stalk birds. It must be understood that hunting is a natural instinct of cats. A cat would hunt not because it is hungry or because it wants to eat the prey. Cats would stalk birds for the sake of hunting. Not all cats would eat the birds they have hunted. It is not surprising for a cat to bring home a dead bird and lay the hunted prey on its owner’s feet. In this situation, the cat hunts to offer the prey to its owner as a gift.

The cats’ natural urge to hunt birds have distressed people concerned about the preservation of wildlife. The cat owner may be a person that enjoys hearing the chirping of the birds in the garden. A bird lover would even put up bird feeders to entice the birds to come to the garden The pet cat’s propensity to stalk, kill and eat birds would certainly be very distressing. Stray cats as well as pet cats that are allowed to roam freely can have a significant impact on bird population. Definitely something must be done to save Tweety Bird from the sharp claws of Felix, the cat!

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