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 Encouraging a cat to think the birds are boring

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ScooterNScotty
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 56
Location : Southern California
My Birds : Scooter
* "Normal" male Green-cheeked Conure
* (hatched 3/2010)

Scotty
*male Cape Parrot
*(HD unk ~2008)

Blanco (Caballo Blanco)
*Whitefaced male cockatiel
*(HD unk, found 4/2012)
Posts : 2248

PostSubject: Encouraging a cat to think the birds are boring   Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:28 pm

OK, so the feline formerly known as "Fred" is now known as Mattie and she's pretty fully settled in. She's named after the girl in True Grit and she turns out to be a pretty independent and confident cat. She's also the one we've had that I feel is most likely to pounce on one of the birds... she is quite fascinated and we had one incident where she startled Scotty who flew (badly) across the room and she was in the process of chasing him when I scooped him up. So now I'm often closing the door to the room when the birds are out, which is unfortunately working against getting them out and about more. I think now that she's integrated into the household I may put a bell on her, so I'll know when she's coming and won't have to be quite that careful. I'm also hoping this is a temporary situation. At one point Nikki was also pretty fascinated, but she's also less confident and would run away if confronted so it wasn't as much of a worry. Mattie would more likely stand her ground.

Have you done anything active to try to demonstrate to a new feline household member that the birds are part of the family and not toys or dinner? I've handled them with her watching, and I've discouraged her from getting too close, but beyond that, anything you've found particularly effective?
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henpecked
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-18
Age : 61
Location : NC/Fla
My Birds : Jake hen YN (his)
Stacy hen YN (hers)
Kia male Panama
Kong hen Panama
Nitro male YN
Micky male Red Lored
Binkie hen YN
Many other Amazons
Posts : 1372

PostSubject: Re: Encouraging a cat to think the birds are boring   Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:38 pm

One word....shock collar...OK two words.
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ScooterNScotty
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 56
Location : Southern California
My Birds : Scooter
* "Normal" male Green-cheeked Conure
* (hatched 3/2010)

Scotty
*male Cape Parrot
*(HD unk ~2008)

Blanco (Caballo Blanco)
*Whitefaced male cockatiel
*(HD unk, found 4/2012)
Posts : 2248

PostSubject: Re: Encouraging a cat to think the birds are boring   Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:40 pm

henpecked wrote:
One word....shock collar...OK two words.

Tad drastic, that... she's not actively hunting at this point, just fascinated.
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henpecked
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-18
Age : 61
Location : NC/Fla
My Birds : Jake hen YN (his)
Stacy hen YN (hers)
Kia male Panama
Kong hen Panama
Nitro male YN
Micky male Red Lored
Binkie hen YN
Many other Amazons
Posts : 1372

PostSubject: Re: Encouraging a cat to think the birds are boring   Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:52 pm

Yeah she's not activly hunting put when a bird gives off those helpless signals ,instinct might take over,like when the bird flutters on the ground and is not in it's usual place.
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patdbunny
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-18
Age : 46
Location : San Diego County, California
Posts : 2083

PostSubject: Re: Encouraging a cat to think the birds are boring   Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:42 pm

How old is she guestimated to be? I've not had much success w/ mature cats in the past that were known killers. Ones that weren't determined killers I've had success w/ letting them watch the birds all they want but no stalking, pawing, etc. I hiss and stomp my foot when they exhibit "too much interest" and chase them away. That's worked for my cats.

When a bird flutters off a playpen my cats turn tail and run. I think they have it in their head that I'll think it's their fault and chase them. I guess I've conditioned my cats to run, when in doubt about a bird. In general they're not afraid of me though.

Also with the "larger" parrots, the birds would reach through the bars and bite cats that got too close so the cats learned to stay a safe distance away. Letting the cats watch the birds as much as they want, the cats eventually lose interest. This is for cats that aren't determined for chicken dinner.


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Roz China http://staringatbirdsandgoats.blogspot.com/
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, the U.S. Department of Justice.
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ScooterNScotty
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 56
Location : Southern California
My Birds : Scooter
* "Normal" male Green-cheeked Conure
* (hatched 3/2010)

Scotty
*male Cape Parrot
*(HD unk ~2008)

Blanco (Caballo Blanco)
*Whitefaced male cockatiel
*(HD unk, found 4/2012)
Posts : 2248

PostSubject: Re: Encouraging a cat to think the birds are boring   Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:31 pm

patdbunny wrote:
How old is she guestimated to be? [...]Letting the cats watch the birds as much as they want, the cats eventually lose interest. This is for cats that aren't determined for chicken dinner.

I don't think she's ever been around birds before, not a "known killer". She's about 2-2.5, was picked up at a foreclosed home in Dec 09 and has been in the hands of a rescue ever since (what's with us and hard-luck critters?). Never been outdoors, never kept with birds, good with other cats, dogs and children. I'm pretty much doing what you are suggesting, hopefully it will work. When Scotty flew, she did follow him, but didn't actually touch him and she could have -- I was NOT paying enough attention and didn't realize she was there. I hissed and chased her off, then picked him up. However she is a bit more bold than Nikki, who runs away from Scooter. I'm hoping boredom sets in. She does not seem a bad cat at all, and although she is confident, she does not stand up to Pepe, she's all like, "I'm so submissive please leave me alone and then I'll get back to my agenda, thank you very much!". She's into everything right now, exploring, so hopefully discouraging her will get the message across.
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henpecked
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-18
Age : 61
Location : NC/Fla
My Birds : Jake hen YN (his)
Stacy hen YN (hers)
Kia male Panama
Kong hen Panama
Nitro male YN
Micky male Red Lored
Binkie hen YN
Many other Amazons
Posts : 1372

PostSubject: Re: Encouraging a cat to think the birds are boring   Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:09 pm

ZZZZaaaaaapppppp!!!!
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patdbunny
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PostSubject: Re: Encouraging a cat to think the birds are boring   Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:50 am

There are zappy mats that you could buy and put around the bird cages and then the cat would auto correct when she gets too close.

_________________
Roz China http://staringatbirdsandgoats.blogspot.com/
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, the U.S. Department of Justice.
Do not attempt this at home. I'm a professional.
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RogerP
Scarlet Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-19
Age : 50
Location : Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
My Birds : ~Merlin - Maroon Bellied Conure
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PostSubject: Re: Encouraging a cat to think the birds are boring   Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:04 am

I have found that the same squirt bottle that could be used to mist the birds, when set to stream, provides a very effective deterrent. We also have a fairly new feline addition and the squirt bottle has worked very well. She is still interested, but now shows a healthy respect for distance. It also helps if the cat is not really sure where the "blast" came from!
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ScooterNScotty
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 56
Location : Southern California
My Birds : Scooter
* "Normal" male Green-cheeked Conure
* (hatched 3/2010)

Scotty
*male Cape Parrot
*(HD unk ~2008)

Blanco (Caballo Blanco)
*Whitefaced male cockatiel
*(HD unk, found 4/2012)
Posts : 2248

PostSubject: Re: Encouraging a cat to think the birds are boring   Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:37 pm

RogerP wrote:
... It also helps if the cat is not really sure where the "blast" came from!

That's an idea! A friend of mine used to refer to that as the "hand of God". Neither bird is much into misting, but I can lay hands on a squirt gun for reinforcement. I think Mattie is going to be fairly trainable in that respect. I corrected her a couple of times when she wanted to make a sudden move toward the cage, and after that I caught her sitting on the floor looking up at Scotty and doing that eye blink thing they do when they want to be friends.
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RogerP
Scarlet Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-19
Age : 50
Location : Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
My Birds : ~Merlin - Maroon Bellied Conure
(Hatchdate May 15, 2010)

~Arthur - Red Bellied Parrot
(Hatchdate January 7, 2009, rescued October 7, 2011)

Posts : 813

PostSubject: Re: Encouraging a cat to think the birds are boring   Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:46 pm

It been downright funny in our house! Skyler slowly works her way towards Merlin, then gets a blast from "nowhere" and she does an instant 180 degrees and sprints away from whatever it was that shot her. I don't want to sound cruel or insensitive, but it was the funniest thing ever! I haven't had to do it for months now, as Skyler has learned that she can approach the bird, but cannot get too close.
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ScooterNScotty
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 56
Location : Southern California
My Birds : Scooter
* "Normal" male Green-cheeked Conure
* (hatched 3/2010)

Scotty
*male Cape Parrot
*(HD unk ~2008)

Blanco (Caballo Blanco)
*Whitefaced male cockatiel
*(HD unk, found 4/2012)
Posts : 2248

PostSubject: Re: Encouraging a cat to think the birds are boring   Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:01 pm

Well I think Mattie is definitely here to stay, so I hope she gets bored with the birdies soon.

Cute story: last night I was woken up by my husband in the throes of an apparently terrible nightmare. I was just about to wake him up when SuperCat came to the rescue! She heard him yelling, jumped up on the bed mewing with concern and rubbed against his face until he woke up. It was VERY cute.
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RogerP
Scarlet Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-19
Age : 50
Location : Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
My Birds : ~Merlin - Maroon Bellied Conure
(Hatchdate May 15, 2010)

~Arthur - Red Bellied Parrot
(Hatchdate January 7, 2009, rescued October 7, 2011)

Posts : 813

PostSubject: Re: Encouraging a cat to think the birds are boring   Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:26 am

Awwwww....too cute!
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MandaDPanda
Indian Ringneck
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Join date : 2011-05-18
Age : 33
Location : Fresno
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PostSubject: Re: Encouraging a cat to think the birds are boring   Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:12 pm

I was just about to post, spray bottle. When she looks interested or just looks, spritz her. She'll get to know the sound of the bottle before it fires and will correct. And yes, I second not letting her know where she was squirted from. lol

It is also the easiest way to herd cats...btw. People laugh, it works.
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