Nowadays, a lot of people across the globe have a hobby of feeding stray cats and birds in their neighborhood. As the food supply in the wild tends to fluctuate now and then, the actions of such Samaritans truly help the animals in hard times. That being said, it's noted on multiple occasions that instead of eating bird specific foods, many birds decide to go after foods for cats. So what makes the bird like cat food so much? Actually, can birds eat cat food without experiencing issues later? Is there any way to get the birds to just stay away from cat food?
So you face plenty of questions but have few answers? If that happens to be the case then you have come to the right place. Take a good look at the following information in order to firmly grasp the issue of birds eating cat food.
Why Birds Like Cat Food
While talking about birds, it's highly like that you would think of insects, seeds, fruits, nectars .. as the primary foods of the feathered creatures. However, it's worth noting that numerous bird species in the outdoor happen to be ferocious carnivores that receive nutrients by eating fleshes of animals.
Incidentally, cats are carnivores as well so it's a breeze for you to deduce how things turn out: Carnivorous birds focus on cat food because of the meat content. Virtually every type of cat food in circulation these kinds of days contains meat like pork, beef and so on. As a result, if you leave food for stray cats out in the open, it's only a matter of time before birds show up. Of course, individual birds often lack the ability to fight against adult feline but the feathered creatures could scare away small kittens without much difficulty.
While certain carnivorous birds stick to specific terrain, others fly from place to place in order to acquire sufficient foods. In urban areas, jay, crows, hawks,... tend to be among the most common flying meat-eaters that may empty a bowl of cat food in a blink of an eye.
Check us out for further detailed cat's health guide!
Can Birds Eat Cat Food
Optimized to satisfy the nutrient requirement of the feline, cat food should be best used for cats but can birds eat cat food in emergencies? Well, if you suddenly find yourself taking care of baby birds, it's fine to feed them cat food but you have to be careful. After all, birds have a different constitution compared to cats so you have to follow a couple of rules here.
First, it's of utmost importance for you sure that the cat food is not dripping with water while feeding. Generally speaking, the excess moisture in wet food is well received by cats but may cause lung infection in birds. Second, refrain from handling the birds using your bare hands as that would send the feathered creatures into a panic. In most of the case, deliver the food to birds with a pair of tweezers. Third, always use fresh cat food as leftovers tend to carry a rather sour scent that turns away the birds.
Once they fully recover, contact a rehabilitation center to get the birds back into the wild as soon as possible. Don't keep the birds around longer than necessary as they could become accustomed to humans which often reduces their chance of survival once released.
How To Stop Birds From Going After Foods For Cats
Overall, it's a bit tricky to prevent birds from focusing on cat food as they have excellent reaches as well as top-notch mobility. In addition, once the birds know the taste of cat food, they shall actively search for it at every opportunity. That being said, by implementing bird repelling measures, you should be able to ensure that the stray cats in the neighborhood have something to eat. Some stubborn birds could still steal several pieces of foods every now and then but the overall loss is minimal.
Hang Around To Keep Watch
Assuming that the cats know you, they would eat like usual even if you are hanging around the feeding bowl. In most of the cases, your presence is more than enough to stop birds from flocking toward seeking cat food. Of course, to get the desired result, you need to have some free times and the cats must trust you.
Set Up An Improvised Kennel
Gather some materials in the house then build a kennel with all-around cover except the entrance for the felines. Place the kennel near the hangout spot of stray cats in order to let them get accustomed to it first. After that, proceed to place the feeding bowl inside the kennel from here on out. The kennel shall keep the food out of view of birds while allowing cats to enjoy their meal in peace.
Spray Repellents To Nearby Surfaces
The average birds often like to land on railings, tree branches, overhangs and so on. Use that to your advantage by covering such surfaces in specific repellents to keep birds from approaching the feeding bowl. Of course, don't go overboard here as you need to leave room here and there for birds to rest.
Tape Strips Of Reflective Papers
Birds usually avoid getting close to areas that have shimmering lights so a few tapes of reflective papers work miracles. In case you don't have reflective papers on hand, a few shiny metallic sheets should do the trick. Most of the time, cover all approaches to the feeding bowl for maximum effect.
Re-Consider The Feeding Time
Being originally nocturnal predators, cats tend to get active after sunset while most birds treat to their nest at nighttime. Because of that, you could minimize the amount of food lost to birds by feeding the strays cats every night. Can birds eat cat food? Sure but aside from a few exceptions, most birds would not venture out looking for cat food in total darkness.