Cat-proofing a home? Would a nest box lead to breeding?
I have two budgies, one is a male almost a year old, and the other is a female, 3 years old. They are a bonded pair, but I've never bred them.
While I adore my budgies, I do miss having something to cuddle with as the female, Royale, is only partially trained and still quite flighty. [the male can only eat out of my hand] My friend needs to rehome her cat, a white female with two different colored eyes and I have to say it was love at first sight. She's a lap cat and really sweet, so I'm hoping she's not going to be too aggressive toward the budgies. I'm planning to take the cat in June, once the school year is over, but before then, I want to cat proof my home.
I've read that putting a nest box in the cage may help to let them feel safe, but my concern is that they will take that as a sign to breed. I also want to get them a heavier cage, etc. Does anyone have any tips to cat proof a home? I don't want my budgies to feel stressed because of the new family member.
Also, I would be putting the cage in my guest bedroom, closing the door every time the cat is out unsupervised. I do fear that one day I'll forget. Is there a way to get the cat to realize they're friends not food?
Picture of the cat below [right now her name is Beet, but I want to change it], I need to figure out how to access phone pictures of my budgies on the computer, however.
I'm so glad you're asking before making a decision! I can tell you really do want the best for your little ones.
To answer your question, although you love the cat, it would be best for you to consider the safety of your budgies first and foremost. With a cat in the house, everything changes. They can no longer be allowed out unless the door to their room is locked (from the inside, even, in case others are in the house who may accidentally let the cat in), and the cat really should never be around their cage at all unsupervised. Cats are predators, and always will be, no matter how sweet or good-natured they are.
There is no way to make the cat realise they aren't food, it is in a cat's natural instincts to hunt precisely that manner of prey and it really isn't their fault, it's what they do. If you ever were to forget the bedroom door, a tragedy could potentially happen. It has happened multiple times to several members of the forums with both cats and dogs.
She really is a beautiful cat. I love cats, they're my favourite animal (next to birds, of course ) but I wouldn't ever endanger my birds by having one in the house. It's just a liability that no matter how many reminders or signs around the house there are, accidents do happen, and even though it may not be your fault, at the very least they are preventable by not choosing to adopt at that time.
However, many members do have cats, and they have gone to great lengths to ensure that the birds are always completely safe. In some cases, the birds have their own "bird room" where they live, with a locked door so people don't accidentally walk in with the cat. Other times, several locks are installed on the doors so when the birds are out, there's no way anyone can leave or enter without the birds safely back in their cage.
I don't think it's impossible to live with cats but it will take a lot of vigilance to ensure no accidents occur.
As for the nestbox, it will stimulate the female's desire to breed and won't make them feel safe in any way Providing hiding places for budgies is not recommended as it makes them broody and hormonal, especially the hens, and can lead to unwanted mating or egg laying. During times of stress, you can cover their cage on a three sides and play background music to help them feel safer. As long as the cat isn't in the room unsupervised (which she shouldn't be) then they shouldn't be very stressed. The stress occurs when the cats roam freely around, threatening and stressing out the birds, especially when they can easily knock down a cage or jump on top and take a swipe at the inhabitants. Just a slight cut or drop of saliva from a dog or cat carries a lot of toxic bacteria that budgies cannot handle. Even if they are injured and the injury is non-fatal, if their blood comes into contact with these bacteria they very well could be seriously ill or even killed.
The kitty is absolutely stunning and I can see why you're in love with her!
I commend you for keeping the best interests of your budgies at heart, that's a great thing to do
Ultimately it's up to you, but remember that your little ones depend on you for their safety and well being. Whether or not you decide to take the cat in, I hope with all the facts you can make a decision that will work for everyone
I hope this helps!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
Greetings.starling has given you the best and most helpful advice here and I totally agree with her on this.a beautiful day photo there.having the room locked and free from the cat helps to insure the budgies safety .I wish you well and many happy years with your budgie(s).blessings and take care.we're here if you need us.
princess Gracie Barber welcomes you all and blessings
While re-homing a cat is a great thing in different circumstances, you made a commitment to the budgies and if this cat is bought into your home, chances are very high that your cat will consider the birds prey and try and get them.
If you have made a commitment to getting the cat or still want to go ahead, then planing the arrival of the cat is essential.
I would keep the budgies in the guest room and don't ever let your cat into this room. Don't take it in there, or let it in supervised. Keep it a cat free zone at all times.
When you are going to tend to the birds and spend time with them, ensure that the cat is shut in a different room and isn't just waiting outside the door. If a freak incident happened and one of the birds escaped the cage, there's only one door between the bird and the cat.
I think if I were in your situation, I would fit the guest bedroom with a self closing hinge.
This way, the door will automatically close if you were in a rush one day.
I'd give the door a lock that locks upon being closed so that the door is securely shut and locked even if you don't physically shut it yourself. It's unlikely, but some cats do learn how to jump up and open a regular door handle which is why I'd suggest the self locking variety.
I don't have birds and cats together so I can't offer any more tried and tested tips.
And no nest box. If you give them the guest room and take the steps needed to secure the room, your birds should feel safe enough.
However, if your cat becomes a bird stalker, and is seen trying to get into the room with the birds, you will have to take steps to rehome it.
As everyone has said, the only real purpose of a nest box is for breeding, no need to get one . The cat is beautiful. You obviously must keep her away from the budgies at all times though, best to keep the door to their room shut to keep the cat out. You can't make a cat and bird be friends! Make sure that your house is clear of any poisonous plants or strings that kitty might eat, keep the doors to washing machines/dryers shut so she doesn't get trapped inside, no small spaces where she will hide or get stuck .
I can share how it is to have cats and a bird living in one house. The only difference is that cats were first and then we got Kiwi. I have to say it's not easy at all but I love them all so we're doing all to keep Kiwi safe. One of cats is our lazy Piko and he's living only downstairs, it's very very rare when he decides to run up to the first floor and he still doesn't know there's a bird living and we won't introduce them. The other cat Stella is a real hunter and her territory is first floor where also is my bedroom/Kiwi's room. She has run in the room when my daughter walks in because she has heard the Kiwi and now that's her aim to get in there. She's even sitting at the door and licking her lips
So what do I do to keep the situation in control- the door is closed all the time and there's a lock so when I leave the room, I lock the door. Cats are very smart and my girl knows how to open the door if it's not locked. When I leave the house, I double check the door is locked. I have mini locks that are used for travel cases on the cage doors so if the accident happens with the door to the room, then she's not able to open the cage. I also have a roomy cage so Kiwi can fly from one side to the other in case the cat would chase him from outside.
But it's not easy, it's more stress in daily life and I have to be cautious all the time cause even if I walk out the room and lock the door, I have to make sure everyone else in family does the same.
If I'll have to do it all over I would probably do the same as I love my cats and I love Kiwi, well maybe I won't get 2 cats but stay with the lazy one as there's no real problem with him and is easy to keep him away. But if the cat turns out to be a real predator as our Stella, then you have to be up for the challenge. I didn't know how crazy about hunting she is until Kiwi was bought home, only then I got to know that side of her personality
Good luck with what ever decision you make but don't forget ALL your pets are your responsibility
I have seen people on the form saying that it is fine having a cat with birds and that they are so careful to but something always happens and we know it is an accident but cats are so quick they can dash past you in a half of a second then it is to late with bird gone by the cat. Someone left the door open a tiny bit when they got a visor and then its to late the cat pushed the door open and got there bird. This happened to a member on this form. Birds are cats prey. It is a cats nature to hunt birds even house trained cats it is built into the genes of the cat...Please think very carefully with regarding the cat...
Last edited by LynandIndigo; 04-23-2016 at 08:24 PM.
Reason: Fixed word
Ideally cats/dogs shouldn't be kept in the same household as small birds. Very often it ends in tragedy, no matter what precautions are taken... it only takes one mistake or moment of inattention.
If you do decide to get the cat, understand it makes everything about having a budgie much more work... where you can put the cage, where the budgie can fly, when the bird can come out, what doors you can ever leave open, etc. You can never stop being vigilant about the cat. You can never, ever get complacent and trust them together. The anxiety this can create can interfere with your enjoyment of having pets.
You have to ask yourself if you could handle the guilt and grief if you got this cat and it ended up killing your budgie, because no matter how careful you are, this is a very real possibility.
That said, I have a cat. Lots of budgie owners do, and sometimes all parties survive the experience. You have to do everything possible to reduce risk.
Part of the decision depends on the cat, and you're in the dark here, because no matter how sweet of a lap cat she is, this tells you nothing about how she will react to a bird in the house. Some cats will make it their life's mission to kill your bird... they will bide their time for as long as it takes for you to make a mistake.
Captive budgies often have no fear of cats and are curious about them, which is very dangerous. Seeing a cat, some will fly right to it. If the cat can reach the cage, the budgie might hop over to have a look and get snagged through the bars. It's a big responsibility to try to keep a budgie safe in a house with a cat.
I would never have gotten a budgie with any of my previous cats, or a cat I didn't know well. I've lived with my kitty for 16 years; she has coexisted with mice, hamsters, rats, lizards, a dwarf rabbit, even some finches I was petsitting... she has always been extremely obsequious and eager to please, and if I yell "NO!" she practically pees her pants. Harry usually only comes out when she's asleep in another room (which is almost 24/7 these days) but if she's awake and he flies anywhere near her, she will turn and walk away, for which she gets lots of praise and attention. She knows she's not even allowed to stare at him. Despite this I would never ever turn my back on the cat and the bird.
I think a zero-tolerance policy is mandatory from day one. The cat needs to learn: you come near the cage, you approach the bird, you even look at the bird, you'll get a squirt of water in the face. I think the alternate plan of trying to teach a cat to be 'friends' with a bird is extremely dangerous, and that it's better to teach the cat the bird is completely off-limits, not a playmate, and do your best to keep them from coming in contact at all.
I think squirting the cat in the face with water when it gets near the cage is counter productive. In my opinion, the cat never sees the cage.
The cat is away in a different room when birds are being tended too. Cat and bird seeing one another doesn't happen. Not easy as saying it, but I think it's going to be the only way to ensure the safety of the birds.