How To Keep Cat Away From Bird Feeder

Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Susan Levitt

Are you tired of your cat constantly stalking and terrorizing the birds at your feeder? As a pet behavior specialist, I understand that this can be frustrating for both bird lovers and cat owners. However, with some simple solutions and understanding of feline behavior, it is possible to keep your feathered friends safe while still allowing your cat to enjoy their outdoor environment.

Firstly, it’s important to acknowledge that cats are natural hunters and may view small animals like birds as prey. Therefore, keeping them away from bird feeders requires a combination of training and environmental modifications. One effective strategy is to provide alternative sources of entertainment for your cat such as toys or scratching posts near the area where they tend to hunt. Additionally, placing physical barriers around the feeder or using motion-activated deterrents can also discourage unwanted feline behavior. By implementing these tactics and being consistent in training efforts, it is possible to create a peaceful coexistence between your furry friend and our winged neighbors.

Understanding Feline Behavior

As a pet care and behavior specialist, I understand the importance of reducing aggression in cats. One common issue for cat owners is their feline’s tendency to hunt birds. This can be concerning for those who enjoy watching birds at their feeders or have bird pets themselves. However, there are steps you can take to promote positive behavior in your cat.

Firstly, it’s important to understand why cats feel compelled to hunt birds. It’s not just about getting food; hunting is an instinctual behavior that stems from their ancestors’ days as wild predators. Knowing this helps us better address our furry friends’ needs by providing them with alternative outlets for their natural instincts.

One way to reduce aggressive behavior towards birds is by providing your cat with more opportunities for playtime and exercise. Interactive toys like feather wands and laser pointers are great options that simulate the thrill of hunting without causing harm. Additionally, investing in a scratching post or climbing tree can provide cats with an outlet for territorial marking and energy release.

Another strategy is to limit your cat’s access to areas where birds frequent, such as windowsills and outdoor spaces near feeders. You could also try using deterrents around birdfeeders, like motion-activated sprinklers or noise-making devices, which will startle any curious kitties away from potential prey.

By understanding feline behavior and promoting positive alternatives, we can help keep our cats happy and healthy while respecting the wildlife around us. Providing alternative entertainment for your cat is an essential step towards achieving this goal. In the next section, let’s explore some methods to keep your kitty occupied while discouraging bird hunting behaviors further.

Providing Alternative Entertainment For Your Cat

Now that we have a better understanding of feline behavior, let’s explore ways to provide alternative entertainment for your furry friend. It is important to redirect your cat’s attention away from the bird feeder and towards other activities. One way to do this is by creating DIY toys using household items such as paper bags or cardboard boxes. These can be filled with treats or small toys for your cat to discover.

Interactive games are another great option for keeping your cat entertained. Consider investing in puzzle feeders or hiding treats around the house for them to find. This not only stimulates their natural hunting instincts but also provides mental stimulation which can help prevent destructive behaviors.

It is crucial to note that cats require both physical and mental stimulation on a daily basis. Interactive playtime with you or other pets in the household can go a long way in satisfying these needs. Use interactive wand toys or laser pointers to engage your cat in active play sessions.

Remember, providing alternative entertainment options may take some trial and error before finding what works best for your individual pet. However, it is worth exploring different methods to keep them happy and healthy while avoiding unwanted behavior near the bird feeder.

To further discourage your cat from approaching the bird feeder, consider placing physical barriers around it. This could include mesh netting or wire cages placed over the feeder itself, or planting certain types of vegetation around it that deter cats from entering the area. By combining this step with providing alternative forms of entertainment for your cat, you will create an environment that keeps both birds and cats safe and satisfied.

Placing Physical Barriers Around The Feeder

Placing Physical Barriers Around the Feeder:

Physical barriers are a great way to keep your cat away from your bird feeder. By placing physical barriers around the feeder, you can prevent cats from accessing it without causing any harm to them. Netting options are an effective barrier for keeping cats and other animals at bay. You can also use cages or screens that cover the entire feeding area.

Squirrels are notorious for raiding bird feeders, so it’s essential to select durable materials that will withstand their attempts to chew through them. Metal mesh is one option as it’s tough enough to resist squirrels’ teeth while still allowing birds access to the food inside. If you opt for netting, be sure that it’s made of heavy-duty material that won’t tear easily.

Bear in mind that when using physical barriers, they must be placed high enough off the ground so that even if a cat jumps up on something nearby, they cannot get over or under the barrier. Additionally, make sure there is no easy way for cats to climb onto anything near the feeder and jump straight into it.

Incorporating physical barriers around your bird feeder may take some effort and time but could prove very helpful in deterring unwanted guests such as cats and squirrels. In our next section about motion-activated deterrents, we’ll explore another solution you might find useful in safeguarding your feathered friends against curious felines and pesky rodents alike.

Using Motion-Activated Deterrents

Now that you have physical barriers to keep cats away from your bird feeder, let’s talk about another effective method: motion-activated deterrents. These are devices that detect movement and emit sounds or sprays of water to scare off intruders.

DIY deterrents can be made using simple materials such as empty cans filled with pebbles or a wind chime near the feeder. The noise will startle the cat and discourage it from coming back. However, these may not work for all cats and could potentially bother nearby neighbors.

For more advanced options, professional products like ultrasonic sound emitters or automatic sprinklers can also be installed around the area. These gadgets have sensors that detect any movements in their range and activate accordingly. They are designed to be harmless to animals but enough to deter them from returning.

Remember that no single method is foolproof when it comes to keeping cats away from your bird feeder. Consistency in training efforts is key, regardless of what method you choose. By combining different strategies and being persistent in enforcing boundaries, you’ll eventually train your pets (and those in the neighborhood) to stay away from tempting areas like bird feeders.

Consistency In Training Efforts

Training a cat to stay away from a bird feeder requires consistency and patience. It is important to start the training process early on, before the cat becomes too fixated on the idea of catching birds. One effective way to train a cat is through positive reinforcement. This involves using training rewards such as treats or toys whenever the cat stays away from the bird feeder.

Punishment options should be avoided when it comes to training cats. Punishing a cat for unwanted behavior can actually make them more anxious and stressed, which may lead to further behavioral problems. Instead, focus on rewarding good behavior consistently over time.

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To help reinforce good behavior, consider creating a routine around feeding times and keeping the bird feeder out of reach during those times. Additionally, providing plenty of playtime and exercise for your cat will decrease their desire to hunt birds.

Incorporating these methods into your everyday routine will take time and effort but staying consistent with training efforts will provide long-term benefits that keep both your pets happy and healthy.

Transition: Now that you have established some basic guidelines for training your feline friend, choosing the right location for the bird feeder is another crucial step in helping protect wildlife while keeping your pet safe at home.

Choosing The Right Location For The Feeder

When it comes to choosing the right location for a bird feeder, placement, visibility, and height are all key factors. Placing the feeder in an open, visible area can help deter cats, as they are less likely to approach if they can be seen. Height is also important; the higher up the feeder, the more difficult it is for cats to access it. Where possible, try to position the feeder at least 5 feet off the ground. Finally, remember to keep the area around the feeder free of tall grass and bushes, as cats may use these for cover.


Are you tired of watching your cat stalk birds at the feeder? It can be frustrating and even heartbreaking to witness. As a pet care and behavior specialist, I understand the importance of keeping our pets happy while also ensuring the safety of other animals. One way to do this is by choosing the right location for the feeder.

Visual cues are an effective way to deter cats from approaching bird feeders. Placing the feeder in an open area where there are no hiding spots for cats will make them feel exposed and vulnerable. Additionally, hanging shiny objects or wind chimes near the feeding station can create visual distractions that will discourage cats from getting too close. Elevated platforms are another option as they make it difficult for cats to climb up and access the food.

Natural deterrents can also help keep cats away from bird feeders. Planting thorny bushes like rosemary or holly around the base of trees can prevent cats from climbing up and reaching the feeder. Another strategy is using decoys such as fake owls or snakes placed near the feeder. These natural predators will intimidate cats and convince them to stay away.

Ultimately, finding the perfect placement for a bird feeder requires some trial and error. Experiment with different locations until you find one that works best for your situation. Remember, it’s important to prioritize both your cat’s happiness and the safety of wildlife in your yard.

By following these tips on placement including visual cues, elevated platforms, natural deterrents, and decoys; you’ll have a better chance of deterring your cat from preying on birds at your birdfeeder without causing any harm to either animal species!


Now that we’ve discussed some strategies for deterring cats from accessing bird feeders, let’s talk about the importance of visibility in choosing the right location. Cats are natural predators and are adept at using camouflage to hide themselves as they stalk their prey. As such, it’s crucial to position your feeder in a way that maximizes visibility.

One technique for increasing visibility is to place the feeder near a window or other vantage point where you can easily monitor activity. This will allow you to keep an eye on your cat and intervene if necessary. Additionally, avoid placing feeders near dense vegetation or other hiding spots where cats could lurk undetected.

Another consideration when it comes to visibility is ensuring that birds have clear lines of sight around the feeding area. If there are obstacles blocking their view, they may be less likely to approach the feeder. To combat this issue, try positioning the feeder on an elevated platform or hanging it from a tree branch with no obstructions below.

Finally, consider incorporating visual cues into your placement strategy. Brightly colored feeders or accessories like flags can help make the feeding station more visible and attractive to birds while also making it easier for you to spot any lurking cats.

By taking steps to increase visibility through strategic positioning techniques and added visual cues, you’ll create a safer environment for both birds and your furry friend!


Now that we’ve discussed the importance of visibility in choosing the right location for your bird feeder, let’s talk about another crucial factor: height. The placement and elevation of your feeder can have a significant impact on its safety and effectiveness.

One strategy for deterring cats is to position your feeder out of their reach. Elevated platforms or hanging feeders from vertical structures like poles or tree branches can help accomplish this while also providing birds with a clear line of sight around the feeding area. However, it’s important to ensure that these elevated positions are still easily accessible for regular cleaning and maintenance.

Another consideration when it comes to height is the type of feeder you choose. Some models offer adjustable perches or trays, which allow you to customize the height based on the size and species of birds you’re hoping to attract. This can be particularly useful if there are specific types of birds you want to see more frequently in your yard.

Additionally, keep in mind any potential hazards associated with an elevated feeder. If it’s placed too high off the ground, birds may be at risk of injury if they fall or fly into nearby windows. To mitigate this risk, make sure the surrounding area is free from obstacles or other dangerous elements.

By carefully considering both visibility and height when selecting a location for your bird feeder, you’ll create an environment that’s safe and appealing for both feathered visitors and curious felines alike!

Selecting The Right Type Of Feeder

Now that you’ve chosen the right location for your bird feeder, it’s time to consider the type of feeder you want. But before we dive into that, let’s address a common concern: how to keep cats away from the feeder.

Feeder placement is key when it comes to deterring feline visitors. Cats are natural climbers and jumpers, so be sure to place your feeder at least 6 feet off the ground and away from any ledges or branches they could use as a launchpad. You may also want to install some sort of barrier around the base of the pole or tree where you’re hanging the feeder, like chicken wire or mesh netting.

Another option is to invest in a cat deterrent device specifically designed for bird feeders. These can range from motion-activated sprays to ultrasonic repellers that emit high-pitched noises only audible to cats. With consistent use, these devices can effectively train even stubborn kitties to stay away from your feathered friends’ feeding station.

When selecting the right type of feeder, consider not only what will attract your desired bird species but also what features might make it less accessible (and therefore less appealing) to curious cats. For example, tube feeders with small perches may deter larger birds like pigeons while making it harder for cats to balance on them. Squirrel-proof feeders with weight-sensitive mechanisms can also prevent unwanted visitors of all kinds.

Feeder Type Pros Cons
Platform Feeders Attract a wide variety of bird species; easy access for ground-feeding birds Can be messy and difficult to clean
Hopper Feeders Hold more seed than other types; often have squirrel guards built in May clog up if not properly maintained; need more frequent refilling
Tube Feeders Good for smaller bird species; limit spillage and waste Require more upkeep to prevent mold and bacteria growth
Suet Feeders Attract woodpeckers, nuthatches, and other insect-eating birds; high in energy content Can melt or spoil in hot weather; may attract unwanted scavengers like raccoons
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By carefully considering your feeder placement and type, you can create a safe environment for birds while also minimizing the risk of any cat-bird altercations. Remember to monitor your feeder regularly for signs of damage or wear and tear that could compromise its safety features. In the next section, we’ll explore some tips for maintaining both your feeder and the surrounding area to ensure a healthy habitat for all wildlife.

Maintaining A Safe Environment For Birds And Cats Alike

Creating a safe environment for both birds and cats can be challenging, but it is possible. One way to start is by incorporating bird-friendly landscaping into your yard. This includes planting native plants that provide food and shelter for birds, as well as adding birdhouses or nest boxes. By creating an inviting habitat for birds, they are more likely to stay in the area instead of venturing closer to your cat’s hunting grounds.

Another important step is to cat-proof outdoor spaces. This means ensuring that your cat cannot access areas where birds may frequent, such as near bird feeders or birdbaths. Some ways to accomplish this include installing a fence around these areas or using netting to cover them. Additionally, you can create designated play areas for your cat away from these high-risk zones.

It is also essential to monitor your cat’s behavior when outside. Keep a close eye on their movements and intervene if necessary, redirecting their attention away from any potential prey. Providing toys and interactive playtime can help satisfy their natural hunting instincts while keeping birds out of harm’s way.

Overall, maintaining a safe environment requires a combination of proactive measures and attentive monitoring. By implementing bird-friendly landscaping practices and taking steps to cat-proof outdoor spaces, you can ensure that both species coexist peacefully in your yard without endangering one another. With careful consideration and planning, you can enjoy the beauty of nature while keeping all creatures safe and protected without harming either party involved.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Train My Cat To Stay Away From The Bird Feeder Without Using Physical Barriers Or Deterrents?

As a pet care and behavior specialist, I often get asked about training techniques for cats. Behavioral modification is an effective way to teach your feline friend the dos and don’ts of living with humans. However, when it comes to keeping them away from bird feeders, physical barriers or deterrents may seem like the only option. But there are other ways to train your cat to stay away from the feeder without using any harsh methods. One technique you can use is symbolism – try placing a toy bird near the feeder as a symbol of what not to do. Reinforce positive behaviors such as playing with their own toys instead of bothering birds by giving treats or praise. With patience and consistency, your cat can learn proper behavior around bird feeders without resorting to physical measures.

What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Trying To Keep Cats Away From Bird Feeders?

As a pet care and behavior specialist, I’ve seen many cat owners make common mistakes when trying to keep their feline friends away from bird feeders. One of the biggest errors is relying solely on physical barriers or deterrents. While these methods may work temporarily, they often fail in the long run as cats are intelligent creatures that can easily find ways around them. Instead, there are more effective methods that involve modifying your cat’s behavior through positive reinforcement training. By rewarding good behavior and redirecting negative behaviors towards appropriate activities, you can train your cat to stay away from the bird feeder without resorting to harsh measures.

Is It Safe To Use Motion-Activated Deterrents Around Other Pets Or Wild Animals In The Area?

As a pet care and behavior specialist, I understand the importance of keeping your pets safe while also protecting wildlife. While motion-activated deterrents can be effective in deterring cats from bird feeders, it’s important to consider the safety of other animals in the area. There are animal-friendly alternatives to motion-activated devices such as placing physical barriers around the feeder or using citrus scents as a natural repellent. It’s crucial to always prioritize the well-being of all animals involved and choose methods that don’t harm any creatures in the process.

How Often Should I Move The Bird Feeder To Prevent Cats From Learning Its Location?

As a pet care and behavior specialist, it’s important to understand that cats are intelligent creatures who can quickly learn the location of a bird feeder. To prevent this from happening, I recommend changing the moving frequency of your bird feeder every few days or so. This will keep any pesky felines guessing as to where their next meal may be located. However, if you find yourself unable to move the feeder frequently enough, there are alternative solutions available such as attaching a bell or other noisemaker to the feeder which will scare away any approaching cats. Additionally, placing feeders in higher locations or using specialized cat-proofing devices can also help deter unwanted visitors.

Are There Any Types Of Bird Feeders That Are More Resistant To Cat Attacks Than Others?

As a pet care and behavior specialist, I often receive questions about bird feeders and their susceptibility to cat attacks. While there are no foolproof designs that completely eliminate the chance of a feline invasion, some bird feeder designs can be more resistant than others. For instance, tube-shaped feeders with small openings tend to discourage cats from attempting to access them. Additionally, alternative deterrents such as motion-activated sprinklers or placing the feeder on top of an elevated pole can also help keep cats at bay. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that while it may be difficult to fully prevent cats from accessing your bird feeder, implementing these measures can greatly reduce the likelihood of any unwanted encounters between your feathered friends and furry pets.


As a pet care and behavior specialist, I understand the frustration of trying to keep your cat away from the bird feeder. While physical barriers and deterrents may seem like an easy solution, there are alternative methods that can be just as effective.

One common mistake is not providing enough stimulation or playtime for your cat. By redirecting their energy towards interactive toys or games, they will be less likely to view the bird feeder as a source of entertainment. Remember to also reward good behavior with treats or affection to reinforce positive habits.

When it comes to motion-activated deterrents, always make sure they are safe for all animals in the area before use. It’s important to regularly move the bird feeder location so cats don’t become too familiar with its position. And lastly, consider investing in feeders that are more resistant to cat attacks such as ones with baffles or cages.

In conclusion, keeping your cat away from the bird feeder requires patience and creativity. But by implementing these tips and tricks, you can enjoy watching birds without worrying about your furry friend’s instincts taking over. So let’s work together to create a harmonious environment for both our pets and wildlife alike!

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