The RSPB have released a checklist of top tips of how to stop your loving moggy slaughtering the local birdlife ( 27 million birds are killed every year by the 7.2 million cats the British keep as pets). Amusingly entitled “Sylvester and Tweetie Pie can live together” it recommends:
- Put a bell on the cat’s collar – an RSPB study shows that this can reduce predation of birds by 41%. The collar should have a quick release buckle and fitted properly
- Make sure cats are well fed and cared for. This may encourage them to stay close to home and be less likely to wander
- Keep your cats indoors around sunset and sunrise and after bad weather – birds are most vulnerable at these times as its when they are most likely to come out to feed.
- Take your cat indoors if a fledgling is in the garden, until its parents lead it away
- Avoid putting food on the ground for a few weeks where cats are known to catch birds. Use a bird table or higher ground where cats cannot reach it
- Place spiny plants such as holly or an uncomfortable surface around the base of the feeding station to prevent cats sitting underneath it
- Position nest boxes where cats cannot reach them or sit close to them (preventing the parents birds from getting to the box.
The photo is from the Guardian who note on this story “our feline companions are supplementing the £829m we spend on cat food every year with their own avian breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here