Keeping Cats and Pet Birds Together

black cat sitting on top of parakeet cage

Since cats are natural predators of birds, many people are surprised to learn that I own both cats and also pet birds. I own society finches and these birds don't need out-of-cage time like some birds do. This makes it much easier to keep them in the same household with cats.

Because I don't fully trust the cats with the birds even in the cage, I keep my birds in a separate room with the door shut so the cats can't go in there unless I am there to supervise. Cats can harm pet birds even through the cage.

When I go into the birds' room several times a day I do allow the cats in there for a "birdie viewing."

At first, the cats were somewhat hard to control even when I was in there. They'd try batting at the cage where the birds were, but now that we've had the birds for several years I guess they are old news. Sometimes my cats don't even bother going in to see the birds even when they can.

However, I'm sure that if I were to get a different bird species the cats would have renewed interest in them. For example, if I were to get a parakeet or a parrot things would be a whole lot different.

Because parrots and parakeets need out of cage time, keeping them with cats would be more difficult.

Parrots in particular need human interaction and so you can't just shut them behind closed doors in a cage separate from your cats.

If you have LOTS of time then you could keep a parrot in a separate room or area of the house away from your cats, but you'll have to make sure that you set aside at least a few hours per day to let your bird out of it's cage and to socialize with it.

If your cat is very docile and you are very careful, you might be able to supervise your cat while your bird was out of its cage. It might help if you provide your cat with a variety of toys and other items such as you'd find at Swell Pets to keep it occupied while your bird is out. But remember, cats are very quick and even if you were to try to supervise them accidents between cats and birds do happen.

My advice is this: if you already own cats then don't get a parrot or other pet bird that needs out of cage time. If you have cats the best birds to get are small birds, such as finches that are happy living in a cage and that don't want or need human social interaction. This way you can keep your birds separate from your cats and you don't have to worry about a birdie disaster happening.