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birds for the cat, need advice

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posted on May, 15 2011 @ 04:37 AM
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It's the time of year that young birds start leaving their nests.

Since yesterday I've found several young birds on the ground in my garden, I think they are young sparrows. They can't seem to fly yet and are just jumping around under the bushes. I can hear lots of them in the trees around the house but so far haven't been able to spot the nests they come out of.

The problem are my 3 cats who just loves to play with them, two of the cats just play around, but my youngest will kill them if she gets the chance. I rescued one from her fangs yesterday and one more this morning, they weren't really injured but just scared.

Now I know this is 'nature' and the cat's 'instinct' to kill and bring them home... but I can't help but feeling so sorry for the little birds and will do everything I can to keep them safe untill they can fly. I've been keeping my cats indoor since yesterday.

I've read that when the birds jump out of the nest before they can fly (which will happen to the majority of them), they will cry for their mother and she will feed them on the ground. So how long will it take before the birdies fly off by themselves?
And what can I do to help them? Should I interfear and put them somewhere safe? Or leave them and hope they'll make it?

I know some people will laugh with this, and say "it's just a bird", but I can't help myself. I love ALL animals and if I can help one and give it a chance to survive I will try and do so.
So it's time for me to learn about this since this problem will return around this time every year.

I've been thinking that maybe by next year we can build closed bird cages or something... a place where they can grow up and the cats can't get to them. But then again, they'll need heat when they are very young and apropriate feeding.... and I'm just not educated enoungh about birds to pull this off. I'm not even sure if the birds I have right now are sparrows, I think they are looking at pictures of them online.

any help here is appreciated because, I love my cats very much, but with every death bird I find my heart just breaks




posted on May, 15 2011 @ 04:42 AM
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The other option is too build a cat run like many places in australia have too, cats arnt allowed out at night.
you could use this during the time the birds are out..
www.catsofaustralia.com...



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 04:49 AM
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reply to post by GypsK
 


I think the most realistic thing is to keep your cats indoors until they are gone. It really shouldn't be very long.



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 04:55 AM
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reply to post by sprocket2cog
 


That's a very nice catrun!

I'm not sure if my cats would be able to get used to an outdoor "cage" (especially my 13 year old who practically lives outside)... they are so used of having their freedom outside, but I'll think about that option though.



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 04:57 AM
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reply to post by Schkeptick
 


yup I'm doing that right now with lack of a better option. They are scratching the doors and kittydoor and whining to get outside.
Hope the birds fly off very soon.

Someone knows how long exactly this will be?



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 05:01 AM
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You put collars on them with a bell attached - that way the birds have a chance before the cat gets to them.

It is said that they bring birds, mice etc home as a present for you - but that is rubbish.

When my cat did it - I took advise from a friend and gave my cats more food - apparently if you up the food - your cat will be more content. It worked for Sootie

Hope this helps.



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 06:09 AM
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reply to post by Seekeye2
 


They have little bells, but they soon learned to sneak without the bell making noise, they where only good for a week or so, lol... and now mostly they will have lost the bell or the entire collar within days

They also have permanent access to their food and are even a bit overfed according to the ad. Only one of the cats will eat the prey, the other two just hunt them for the sport of it.
edit on 15/5/2011 by GypsK because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 08:12 AM
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reply to post by Seekeye2
 


My three cats are kept indoors, are well fed and they
would love to catch a bird.I can just see it in their faces.
Their tails twitch and bang against the windows,their eyes
are fixed on those birds.It is their nature and instinct.



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 09:29 AM
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reply to post by GypsK
 


Generally the fledgelings ,which have grown their full set of flight feathers ,usually master flight within 7 days,the problem is,that fledgelings that do not quite have all their flight feathers tend to fall from their nests and what I I do with these birds ,where it is impossible to place them back in the nest,is to call the local wildlife rescue organisation who either come and collect them or give good advice on how to keep them safe(can differ from species to species)
I have the same problem with my cats,but tough as it is on the baby birds,I couldn't keep them cooped up indoors,they don't understand and they are only acting on instinct,besides,they deem you to be priviliged to be presented with their latest catch!



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 09:54 AM
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Originally posted by Seekeye2
You put collars on them with a bell attached - that way the birds have a chance before the cat gets to them.

It is said that they bring birds, mice etc home as a present for you - but that is rubbish.

When my cat did it - I took advise from a friend and gave my cats more food - apparently if you up the food - your cat will be more content. It worked for Sootie


Maybe it depends on the cat. I have a 19 year old cat that still hunts everyday, and she brings stuff to the door and leaves it there, if the door's open, she'll bring the mice directly to me or the dogs. When I got my shepherd years ago, she brought the dog birds, little snakes....

She also hunts more when she's well fed - she always has food - both outside and inside. She has more energy to hunt right after a meal. I used to have another cat that didn't bring them to me, but used to only catch mice, and he would pile them up, because he wasn't hungry, he just wanted to kill the mice.

Cats are natural hunters, it's what's fun for them.

I also tried bells before, it just made the cats more efficient killers



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 10:36 AM
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I have the exact same problem, only it's not my cat, it's my dog(s). I've tried several things over the years. Once I hung an upside down umbrella under the nest so if ( and when) the birds fell from the nest. they would be caught by the umbrella, and not my dog. I'd go out and check on them every hour or so. My dogs do not stay outside all day, so when I let them out, I go out with them. Another time, I put an oval bucket under neath the nest. Once I put netting under the nest. Another time, the nest fell apart, ( which is why the babies kept falling ) I put the nest in a wire cage in the tree.

Some times these things work, but sometimes they don't, but I do my best to help them out and keep my dog(s) from getting them.

Also, if you touch the birds at all, ( to put them back in the nest, etc) please take a close look and make sure the bird
isn't covered in mites. Once when I picked up a baby bird, it was covered in mites. Those mites can get on you and
really make your life hell. Make sure to wash your hands, or wear gloves if you can.

I'm pretty sure that sparrows are considered pests and it seems you can't get any help for those birds.

Good luck to you and the birds.


edit on 15-5-2011 by virraszto because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 02:55 PM
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reply to post by nake13
 


The sparrow she caught yesterday, I placed it in the empty chicken run. It's high enough and the cats can't get in there. The bird wasn't injured for as far as i could see...
This morning it was gone so I guess it flew out.
All those birds are about the same size so let's hope they are all like the first one and develop flying skills very soon.
Untill then I'm keeping the cats inside.



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 02:59 PM
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reply to post by virraszto
 


lol, I can just imagine my garden with umrella's in the trees!

did that work btw? did the birdies land in there?

I think by next year we'll have a large outdoors cage for the ones that fall out of the nest, maybe one with open top (high enough so the cats won't get in) so the parents can get in to feed.
a bit like my chicken run but equiped and suitable for birds.
I'm gonna contact a bird care center and ask them for advice on this.

and while at it I might as well make rabbit cages... squirl cages... littel mouse cages.....
ooooh hubby gonna love this idea!!



posted on May, 16 2011 @ 04:11 PM
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reply to post by virraszto
 


That sounds like a good idea for catching fledgelings,thanks for that.

Also,here(UK) sparrow numbers have declined drastically over the past few years,so there are a lot of organisations willing to help them out.



posted on May, 16 2011 @ 04:22 PM
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reply to post by GypsK
 


I do the same thing with my cats actually... I can't even count how many birds i've saved from the cats honestly.

They're Carnivores though, as you said its in their nature to kill little critters and you can't stop whats in a cat's nature.

Just do your best to keep them away from birds. You can't save them all, and if your cats are outdoor kitties its kinda unfair to not let them outside.

GL




posted on May, 17 2011 @ 01:01 AM
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After I posted this thread I kept the cats inside and went on a good inspection in the garden. The nest was located in a tree on the side of the house and several more young birds where juming around in my plant perks, the parents did still feed them I think or at least they came to the ground very often.

By yesterday evening all birds where off the ground so I think they finally flew off. Today I'm going to do a last inspection under all the bushes to make sure they really are all gone and then the kitties can go back outside.
They will catch more critters, but at least this entire nest now has a good chance on survival.



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