Cats and Birds

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by ML, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. ML

    ML Guest

    Manster happens to be picking up his baby bird today at the exotic pet store. Before husband lost his job we purchased this baby cockatiel that couldn't come home yet because it was too young and still getting special care and handling. So his new baby bird (a boy he named Tweety) will arrive today to brighten up our home.

    I'm also thinking we will go to the shelter soon and get a new cat. Are there any suggestions in terms of breed we should look for that is perhaps less likely to want to hunt our tweety? Any other tips for a peaceful cohabitation between them?


  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Not sure there is any such thing as a cat with-o hunting instinct.
    Make sure you get a young kitten and when you introduce them, you keep your grip on both. If the kitty puts out a paw, tap her paw and say, "No!" just like a dog. Maybe feed them in front of one another, so they can see that the other is not a threat.
    It's a lot of work!!!
    Put a bell on the cat's collar. It will ring to alert you and the bird to last min leaps. Bells save birds' lives.
    Other than that, if you don't want to train the cat, just keep the bird very, very well locked up. Use twist-ties on the door so the bird can't get out. (Speaking from experience here. Birds of any kind love to slide open the doors.)
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hmm...thats tough. Cats want to hunt birds. I have never been able to stop it. How bout getting a Mr Doggy. You can get a small mixed breed that isnt a bird dog so it wont hunt birds.
  4. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    My birds would take down my cats in a heart beat and they outweigh them by MANY pounds. They're adult cats and fear the birds greatly.

    Terry gave you some great advice.
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Not only do cats want to hunt birds, birds have no instinct that cats are hunters.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Abbers birds kick butt.......I had a female rat that went after our cat when she was a kitten for being too mean with her little rat sister. It was hysterical.

    Whatever kind of animal you adopt I'm glad it's a shelter cat. You're saving a life - I think THAT is the important lesson for Manster, since he seemed to have such a difficult problem with Mr. Kittens death. Maybe that would be a good thing for him to understand. Also - just throwing it out for consideration because the older guys get adopted last - YOU KNOW what you are getting personality wise with an older cat. You can sit and see which one comes up to you, which one is loving, attentive, which one listens, is curious, will be cuddly - or not. And a lot of times they really appreciate a 2nd chance and show it. With a kitten you never know.

    Just puttin' a plug in for the older crowd. Not that there's anything wrong with a kitten.
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I guess I'd vote for an older, lazy, long-time house cat. Preferably a fat one that's spent his life in front of a well-stocked food dish. One that would have no interest in pursing the bird for food OR entertainment.

    Either that or wait til the bird outweighs a kitten and bring home a kitten and let the bird establish dominance...even tho the cat will eventually have the upper hand, if the bird stands its ground when its a kitten, likely the cat will learn to avoid it before the cat's big enough to hurt it.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm told that rag doll cats don't hunt. Maybe because they're too big and placid (like Garfield) to go to the effort?

    Enjoy your baby cockatiel. They can be noisy. Sometimes our budgies get noisy, but they are nothing compared to a cockatiel.

    You can teach a cockatiel to not only say words, but to understand them and even use them to ask for things (such as millet sprays). An Aussie TV vet, Dr Harry, did a segment on the show where he demonstrated how to teach a cockatiel to say "millet" when it wants some.

    Our budgies have the free fly of the house, but go back to the cage and are shut in at night. We have to be very careful about open doors and windows, making sure all are screened and we don't have doors to the outside open with budgie access. We had our male budgie get out about a year ago when easy child 2/difficult child 2 arrived to do some wedding planning. The door was open for a little bit too long and Buddy flew out. Almost immediately a Butcher Bird was on his tail. We think the only reason Buddy didn't get taken immediately, was he showed no fear of the Butcher Bird. They don't LOOK like predators at first glance. Also, we'd been in the habit of putting a vase of native flowers on Buddy's play gym, and as we picked those flowers form our garden, Buddy flew to those and began to nibble. So difficult child 3 was able to go to his bird (who had been trained to step up) and get him back. It was a near thing - if he hadn't been so tame, plus hadn't been such a cheeky bird with confidence, we probably would have lost him. he wouldn't have survived more than an hour or so. That Butcher Bird was moving in for the kill.

    Where budgies live in Australia, we don't have Butcher Birds. We do have wild Cockatiels in this part of Australia but I haven't seen any for years. I think we have too many Butcher Birds.

    Abbey's birds are big enough to scare a cat. We have wild Rainbow Lorikeets here, they can also deal with a cat even though they would be smaller than Abbey's. But our Lorikeets are the soccer hooligans of the parrot world, they will beat up on a Cockatoo... I've seen it. They probably keep the Cockatiels away too.

  9. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    My daughter had a cat and a cockatiel together in the same small apartment for years, with the bird out whenever she was home, and they did fine together, but I wouldn't recommend it. She got her cat as a tiny kitten and he was kind of a lazy sort (still is!) and he had never been outside, never had a chance to learn to hunt or chase a bird. He was more curious about the cockatiel than anything. The birds' wings were clipped so he was always on the floor or perched on the furniture. One time when the cat tried to sniff the bird, the bird latched on to the cats' nostril, clamped down hard with his beak, and refused to let go! He was just swinging back and forth, suspended from the cats' nose! After that, the cat was scared to death of him and left him strictly alone!

    I think their situation worked because her cat didn't have any hunting instinct, had always been strictly an indoor cat. Not to discourage you from getting a shelter cat, but if you do, you may not know it's background, may not know if it was ever outside and learned to hunt. I would be very, very careful if you try it ... better I think to keep the bird in the cage, or maybe put the cat in a carrier if you let the bird out. Getting a small kitten may work out better than getting a grown cat.
  10. candiecotton

    candiecotton Guest

    id love to get a cockatiel . we have a budgie SR ( we had one die this weekend) & shes VERY vocal i guess shes lonley , Mango the 5 yr old cat doesnt bother hes like the alpha male in the house ( our dog is smaller than he is ) & dollface she will get on her hind legs & try to look in the cadge shes only gotten the birds once .
    but enjoy the bird
  11. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Cockatiels can be very loud. Nesting age is an issue, but they're very lovely until they want to spawn some eggs. Now you have a mean bird. I had two years ago and if I even turned my face from them...SCREAMING. Fortunately a friend of mine turned me on to the Humane Society for birds and they went to breeder birds. Hard to give them up, but probably better in the end.

  12. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    The animal shelter in the city where I work sponsors a pet parade a few times a year and there is always a boy with a cockatiel perched on his shoulder walking around for the pet parade. I love watching them.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    We had had freckles for many years by the time we got the cockatiel. At first they were not fond of each other, but with-in 6 months they were sleeping together. The bird would get right up against the cage wire on the inside and the cat would snuggle up against the outside right against her. It was really cute.

    Gracie was NOT as fond of the bird, but she was mostly afraid of it. We did leave the bird's feathers long most of the time so if she got out and was around the cats she could get away. She usually would go chase the cats though.

    I hope the bird and cat get along well.
  14. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen


    My first bird was a lorikeet. It was 'supposed' to be a baby. way. That thing would tear my hands up. I think it could have taken down a cow. After 6 months of bloodied hands and rocket poo everywhere, I took it back to the store. Did some research and found a breeder of African Greys. I watched that little egg the whole time and she's still here 16 years later. She thinks I'm mom. She loves other animals, but they are scared to death of her. My neighbor has a 120lb. dog that tromps up my deck every now and then, but when he sees Abbey...he runs with his tail being his legs. Pretty funny to watch. She just wants to play.

  15. ML

    ML Guest

    Thank you for the great stories! You've all given me great stuff to think about.

    Star, I'm trying to convince manster he doesn't need a kitten baby, that they only stay that way for a few short weeks but he's stubborn.

  16. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Maybe if you go to the shelter, you can bring bird and put any prospective cats in the room with birdie, to see how they react. I don't know. I know our shelter allows you to do "meet and greets" with other cats and dogs in your home before you take home a new house-mate.
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911

    ML -

    I think the URGE to 'replace' missing 'things' is just that - it's not a NEED it's a want. At this point he's old enough to understand the responsibility and care of a pet....and the expense. It would also be an excellent project to sit down with him and have him map out just how much it would cost for the care, feeding, and time it would take for a kitten to be healthy and well adjusted.

    Summer is coming - there are going to be a lot of things he's going to want to do. Is he going to :

    Make sure he does enough chores satisfactorily to -
    Pay for the shots
    Pay for the worming
    Pay for the flea control
    Pay for the license and rabies
    Pay for the food
    Pay for the toys
    Pay for the litter
    Pay for the bedding

    How about teaching him where to potty
    Investing in play time
    Making sure he has clean food and water every day

    Or is he just missing Mr. Kitten sleeping with him and that companionship?

    I think I would see how the bird upkeep goes and not say much about the kitten for a while. If he does a good job without any prodding about the bird? Then maybe he is ready to take on another pet. Some kids are. My first inclination is to say something is just missing in his world and he is trying to fill the void. The bird should occupy his time and if not? Then perhaps the bird is a poor choice of pet and needs to be returned before it's too old for someone else to adopt it, and then go get him a cat.

    Some people aren't bird people. I adored my reptiles would still have them but DF is convinced that iguanas are the devil and snakes? Yeah - not happening. I on the other hand love them. I got a motorized,walking, rubber iguana at a thrift store this weekend and put fresh batteries in it and put it out in the yard called DF out and said "COME AND LOOK - QUICK." he did and just the look on his face was enough to tell me even with a rubber iguana he's not kidding about no-go in our home." Poor thing - once the Bulldog got it - (well now it's a motorized, limping iguana with a bad floppy leg that just spins around....and around...and around....). :alien:

    I'd really give the cat some time. Tell him Mr. Kitty will let his heart know when it's time to fill your home with another furball.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh funny about the battery operated iguana! I would be the same way about snakes but I can live with iguana's. Just ask Corporal Iggy nodding at me from across the Im not overly fond of them but they arent awful. Iggy is about 4 foot long now.
  19. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Ragdoll cats have all the natural instincts of other kinds of cat. Outdoors, they, like Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest cats, tend to be rodent and rabbit hunters.

    They can kill birds, but their sheer weight can make climbing difficult for them
  20. ML

    ML Guest

    I'm completely fine about getting another cat. I miss having a kitty furball too! We already had a plan for keeping the cat and bird separate. I'm just trying to convince him he doesn't need a baby and to be open to a full grown cat, that's all. I appreciate you, Star! Hugs, ML