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Elaine Margarett
06-20-2010, 01:07 AM
Does it work? I have an eight mo. kitten who's getting ready to move up from stalking and killing bugs to birds. I want to thwart her from the beginning so she doesn't get the reward of catching one. Maybe she'll go back to bugs.

I'm reluctant to put a collar on her for fear of her getting hung up. But I love my birds and feed them daily. We've lost a few over the years from our other cats but they were all either lazy or inept so it wasn't much of a problem. This one is different. She's gonna be a land shark.

Smish
06-20-2010, 01:16 AM
I'm not sure what you mean by 'belling'. I definitely wouldn't put a collar on her. That can be very dangerous.

Shakesbear
06-20-2010, 01:17 AM
Bells alert birds but if she is being chased by a dog or other predator it also alerts them to her where abouts. I am a cat and bird lover. I never put bells on my cats.

veinglory
06-20-2010, 01:23 AM
A break away or elastic collar is pretty save. And IMHO if there are animals out there that might kill the cat, it has bigger worries than wearing a bell.

But research shows that cats learn to stalk without activating the bell, so with most cats it has very limited effect.

Elaine Margarett
06-20-2010, 01:26 AM
Bells alert birds but if she is being chased by a dog or other predator it also alerts them to her where abouts. I am a cat and bird lover. I never put bells on my cats.

Yes, I feel the same. It's just that she's so intent! I always tell myself that I keep lots of birds alive thru the winter so if we lose a few...<shrug> But I hate finding their little birdie bodies.

Elaine Margarett
06-20-2010, 01:31 AM
A break away or elastic collar is pretty save. And IMHO if there are animals out there that might kill the cat, it has bigger worries than wearing a bell.

But research shows that cats learn to stalk without activating the bell, so with most cats it has very limited effect.

I've heard that too. When I've used a break away collar in the past it seemed it was gone in a matter of days. Not sure if that means they are too easily lost or if the cats get into trouble with them right away. After losing two collars I didn't use them again.

Poor little birdie bodies...

Shakesbear
06-20-2010, 03:20 AM
Yes, I feel the same. It's just that she's so intent! I always tell myself that I keep lots of birds alive thru the winter so if we lose a few...<shrug> But I hate finding their little birdie bodies.


I do understand. My last cat, Spotty, was a great hunter and gave me lots of 'presents'. I did not give him a collar mainly because his predecessor had been savaged by a large fox or dog. He was wearing a collar with a bell when he went out. I had to cut it off his lacerated and bloodied neck. He needed quite a few visits to the vet. I hated seeing him listless and jumpy. It took him an age to get the courage to go outside again. I also hated finding birdy bodies - but I hated what had happened to a much loved cat even more.

benbradley
06-20-2010, 03:46 AM
What kind of birds? We have dogs but (of course, with THESE dogs!) no cats, but we have a hummingbird feeder. If a cat can catch a hummingbird, more power to it!

No doubt I'll now hear stories about cats catching hummingbirds

Stlight
06-20-2010, 04:29 AM
What is safest for the birds and your cats is to make your cats indoor cats. So they have the terrible karma of living safely inside for their entire lives. There are worse things for a cat - foxes, raccoons, snakes, cars, bad people, hawks.

Average age of outdoor cat - 4 years

Average age of indoor cat - 14 years. Most of mine made it to 17 years.

regdog
06-20-2010, 02:43 PM
What is safest for the birds and your cats is to make your cats indoor cats. So they have the terrible karma of living safely inside for their entire lives. There are worse things for a cat - foxes, raccoons, snakes, cars, bad people, hawks.

Average age of outdoor cat - 4 years

Average age of indoor cat - 14 years. Most of mine made it to 17 years.

Seconding this

Elaine Margarett
06-20-2010, 03:18 PM
What is safest for the birds and your cats is to make your cats indoor cats. So they have the terrible karma of living safely inside for their entire lives. There are worse things for a cat - foxes, raccoons, snakes, cars, bad people, hawks.

Average age of outdoor cat - 4 years

Average age of indoor cat - 14 years. Most of mine made it to 17 years.

I understand. But there is also quality of life to consider as well.

In my situation we are thousands of feet off a small, seldom used country road. We have two German shepherds who are contained on our property with E-collars and an underground fence. Believe me, no foreign animals come on our property except birds and rabbits. The deer have figured out the dogs limitations and stand a few feet over the line, teasing them, I swear. I do have to keep a close eye on their collars, tho. They can tell when the collars aren't charged and will sneak off. Smart dogs.

Our birds are Cardinals, Indigo buntings, sparrows, wrens, woodpeckers, doves, finches, titmice, bluejays, hawks, etc.

We used to have a Mockingbird who would perch outside the door waiting to attack our Siamese. He was terrified of it. lol

Shakesbear
06-20-2010, 04:02 PM
There are some cats that do not and cannot adjust to being indoor cats. My last little guy was an example of that - he wanted to get out of the house when he was about four months old. I managed to keep him indoors until he was nine months old and had all the jabs and inoculations he needed. Sadly he died when he was fifteen months old. One of his predecessors who was very much an out door cat lived until he was seventeen years and fifty one days old. He became an indoor cat just before his last birthday when old age and rheumatism got to him. It really is, in some ways, up to the cat if s/he wants to be indoors or not. The big bonus of having outdoor cats in no scratch tray to clean!

Mr Flibble
06-20-2010, 05:14 PM
My two outdoor cats are both, er, *calculates quickly* 15 and going great guns. They only come indoors when it's snowing or they have a 'present' (although those are usually left, disembowelled, on the doorstep. Rats beware! Also, neighbours should remember to shut their rabbit hutches...)

As for the bells, we put those elasticated collars on with bells after the chicken incident. Two days later one brought in a live magpie so the bells didn't stop anything...and did even less once the hunter of the pair worked out how to take a collar off in less then ten minutes.

Stlight
06-20-2010, 06:19 PM
Underground electronic fences will not keep coyotes or snakes off your property. If the deer can stay out of the German Shepherds’ range so can a coyote. Coyotes love to eat cats. But if the Shepherds are there to protect your cats they should be fine as long as the cats don't go outside your yard.

Are you really far out in the country? If so you might want to check your cats' range for steel jaw traps left by trappers. Trappers go everywhere and they only check their traps every week so they won't get the scent on them. Dogs, cats and sometimes horses get caught in these traps. Sometimes a dog or horse can drag the trap home, though they are usually mounted on logs, a cat, not so much.

Most of my cats were rescues, one had been hit by a car, one shot, another came from a woman who was tired of her cats being run over, but believed it was wrong to keep them inside.

I did have three outdoor cats, my mother insisted cats were supposed to live outside and be free. I was working on making friends with the other one when he was killed. Someone had torn off his cheek and left him afraid of people. They were killed by dog packs in the large city where I lived. Most of the outside cats belonging to my friends were run over, usually by the police, two were killed from getting in the engines of cars.

You could be lucky. My parents’ cat lived to be about 12. He was an outside cat, who ran off all the other cats in the neighborhood and most of the dogs. The same was true of a 18 lb. Siamese in one place we lived, but he killed other cats.

Part of a cat's quality of life is being free to hunt and kill. They are made that way.

Elaine Margarett
06-20-2010, 08:38 PM
Our cats, we've had several over the past 25 years, know they can go off the property (we have 3 acres) but they've always stayed where they know it's safe. No coyotes where I am in Maryland, and even if there were the dogs are a constant deterrant.

We allow the cats to come and go as they please. They like to sleep inside at night and the older cat likes to come in during the day as well. We kept the kitten inside until she was six months old (too small, hawks would eat her) where upon she became determined to get out. I had her spayed before allowing her outside. Other than night, she only comes in to eat. I call her a typical teenager. We are no longer the center of her life and she has much better things to do then hang around with us. lol. In any event the cats are always within calling distance. If they don't come immediately, they'll be at the door within 5 minutes or so.

So it looks like no bell. Just as well. I didn't like the idea of her wearing a collar.

trocadero
06-20-2010, 08:53 PM
In my hometown of Brisbane, Australia, it's against the law to have outdoor cats unless you have an enclosure, because of the damage domestic cats do to native animal and bird populations. That said - we had outdoor cats, but we kept them in at night. I have put bells on cats in the past, with no problems, but we certainly didn't have to deal with coyotes or foxes where we lived. Any chance of containing your little girl at night?

Stlight
06-20-2010, 09:25 PM
Trocadero, coyotes, owls, bob cats and dog packs hunt at night.

Good luck, Elaine M, I do wish your cats well. Just remember hunting is just a part of the cat nature.

Good thing your dogs like their yard. I've seen several of the large breeds, Rotties, standard poodles, and Shepherd leapt through the zap from the electric fence. It all depends on the motivation, I guess. I've seen one sitting outside his electric fence waiting for his folks to come home and let him in. I guess being zapped when you're thinking of being zapped isn't the same as when you're thinking of chasing something.

Elaine Margarett
06-21-2010, 05:10 PM
Trocadero, coyotes, owls, bob cats and dog packs hunt at night.

Good luck, Elaine M, I do wish your cats well. Just remember hunting is just a part of the cat nature.

Good thing your dogs like their yard. I've seen several of the large breeds, Rotties, standard poodles, and Shepherd leapt through the zap from the electric fence. It all depends on the motivation, I guess. I've seen one sitting outside his electric fence waiting for his folks to come home and let him in. I guess being zapped when you're thinking of being zapped isn't the same as when you're thinking of chasing something.

Yes, it helps we have a large area for them. Our female shepherd wears two collars, lol, one is not enough for her. She's tough as nails. The male is a big ol' baby. Something I've seen as typical. If you want an *intimidating looking* watch dog, get a male. If you want a dog who really rules the property that would be a female.

And yes hunting is a part of a cat's nature. Gotta take the good with the bad. Afterall, they're animals living in our world, not the other way around.

ajkjd01
06-23-2010, 12:38 AM
If you have a safe place to allow your cat outside, then there's nothing wrong with that.

"Safe" includes a place for them to be outside that's mostly free from predators and places where they could get seriously hurt without supervision. (i.e., dangerous dropoffs, obvious places where her collar could get caught, heights, etc.)

If it's not safe, she shouldn't be an outside cat. Period. Indoor cats can be just as happy if there isn't a safe place for them to be outside.

And I vote yes to putting a bell on a cat, even indoors. I'll say that I like being able to hear where my fuzzy minion is at in the house so I can tell if she's somewhere she's not allowed to be.

Shadow_Ferret
06-23-2010, 12:43 AM
You mean you let your cat roam around outside where it becomes a nuisance at best and an ecological terrorist at worst?