How to keep my budgie safe from a newly introduced cat?
Maybe this would be a thread better suited to a cat-based forum. Sorry if a topic like this is in the wrong forum. My girlfriend and I recently got a cat, named Max, from the local animal shelter. Max is well-behaved for the most part. Unfortunately, he spends a lot of time fascinated with my budgie, named Skittles. For the first few days, Max would just stare up at the cage with bloodlust in his eyes. I decided, as a precaution, to transfer Skittles' cage from the table it was on to a hanging wall hook that could support the weight of the cage. At first, I thought the cage was suspended high enough to where Max wouldn't be able to reach. I was wrong.
Max started jumping up and clinging to Skittles' cage (thankfully the hook supported the extra weight), which frightens my poor budgie. I tried reinforcing the situation with some makeshift materials. It's pretty cheap, to be honest. Now the cage is off the wall hook and back on the table with a sturdy ribbon tying the bottom of it to the table. I have zip ties connecting the top of the cage to the hook for extra security.
I know this won't stop Max from hopping up and clinging to the cage to try and hurt/kill/eat Skittles. We've tried behavior correction spray on the cat, to no avail. We don't want to move Skittles out of the living room, and we want Max to still have access to the living room while we're gone. I was wondering if anybody had advice on how to proceed from here.
Here's a picture of how I have the cage set up (again I know it's super crude).
Sorry if this sounds harsh but you have a disaster waiting to happen. Cats are predators and birds are prey animals and no matter how sweet and tame the cat is it is only natural for them to go after small quick moving objects, in this case the bird which may end in disaster for the bird. Not only that but the presence of the cat will make your bird nervous and fearful and that is not fair to the bird. I suggest you move the bird into a room where the cat is not allowed. I also have cats and birds and the cats are never allowed into the part of the house where the birds are kept.
I agree with Cody. It should have never gotten to the point there Max was allowed to access the budgie cage at all, even if this was a situation where he didn't seem interested in him.
Max is a predator and it's natural for him to want to eat/hunt/hurt Skittles, so it's not a behavioural problem. It's not fair to him to have to try and correct a behaviour that is as ingrained in him as flying is for birds.
The best option is to have a "bird room" where the cat is never allowed in and the door can be closed throughout the entire day. It should be a room where you still frequent, to ensure Skittles doesn't get lonely, but be sure to make certain that every member of the household knows that Max is never to be allowed in, and always make sure to close the door.
Even if Max doesn't ever jump on Skittles' cage again, just the mere sight of him will freak Skittles out, given what has already happened. That's why it is important, for Skittles' sanity, that he never sees the cat, either.
Hope this works out
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
The purpose of Talk Budgies is to promote Best Practices for the health and well-being of budgies.
You joined the forum in July of 2017, so I'm quite surprised to hear you didn't read the stickies and Budgie articles as you were advised to in the Welcome Private Message, Welcome Visitor Message as well as in my post on your initial introductory thread.
We address the issue of Cats and Dogs in the same household in this link:
It is not at all fair to Skittles to have to be terrorized by your cat.
Having the bird in the same room as the cat is enough to emotionally traumatize Skittles and the poor bird has already been put through extreme terror.
The cat should never be allowed in the same room as your budgie. Continuing to allow the cat and budgie to be in the same room is very unfair to Skittles.
Please make the necessary arrangements to ensure Skittles is safe and protected both physically and emotionally.
I have two dogs and they are never allowed in the rooms where I keep my birds.
Let us know how you choose to resolve the situation. Best wishes!
Thanks for the replies, everyone. Skittles has been moved to our bedroom and Max is closed off from the room until further notice. He simply kept jumping/climbing up on the cage despite our attempted safeguards. Per a suggestion by the cat's vet, we placed tinfoil yesterday around the cage and on the floor by her cage but it didn't really do anything. And it also made for an unseemly and probably stress-inducing environment for Skittles. My heart drops a bit at the thought of Max clawing at the cage while Skittles is too close to the cage bars. I was hoping there was a solution that wouldn't involve separating the two animals/banning Max from the bedroom, so I appreciate everyone's resolute posts in helping me understand.
My girlfriend and I have a one-floor, one-bedroom apartment where the living room, hallway, dining area, and kitchen are connected. The only doors are to the bedroom and bathroom. It can be argued it's not an adequate environment for having both a bird and a cat, and maybe a slap on the wrist is warranted. My girlfriend has made her desire for a cat known long before we moved in together. She's been having anxiety about this situation as well; she doesn't want to be indirectly orchestrating Skittles' demise. We didn't do enough research into this natural predator-prey issue prior to getting Max. Skittles was mine to begin with, so I take full responsibility.
I'll not hesitate to admit I'm not a great budgie owner, and in general I'm still a novice pet owner. I've made mistakes caring for Skittles before, and I'll probably continue to make mistakes. I also tried downplaying this situation despite the stress it was causing me. Yes, I didn't read the Sticky thread. I don't peruse this forum enough, I ignored the Welcome Message, and I wasn't thorough enough in looking for a thread about this issue before posting (typing "cat" in the search wasn't enough, apparently). All I can do at this point is thank you all (I've never seen a more vigilant and helpful team of mods/admins) for your quick replies and experience, and continue to improve as a budgie/pet owner despite my blunders. Cody, StarlingWings, FaeryBee, you have my gratitude.
Thank you for your message. I'm glad you have found a workable solution to your problem.
Please be sure you spend time in the bedroom with Skittles and interact with him on a regular and consistent basis each and every day.
Set aside an hour just as "Skittles" time and even if you just read to him, sing to him or talk to him during that time, it will help him to feel as if he is still an important member of your family.
Play music or the TV for him when you aren't in the room with him so he doesn't feel so alone.
We'd love to have you more active on the forums, time permitting.