Many of the bird feeders on the market have all kinds of additions to make them squirrel proof, which is great, but what happens if cats are your bothersome creatures when it comes to feeding your birds, and not the fear of the food being taken such as with squirrels?
Although there are not many feeders on the market labelled “cat proof bird feeders” from experience, I can tell you the best way to avoid the horror and upset of having a cat use your backyard feeder as his or her own buffet dinner table is to make it impossible to get to!
I always thought the backyard feeder should be a peace zone, where there is no attacking or fighting going on, but as birds are a natural prey for cats and even some larger birds such as hawks will try and grab an appetizer, there are a few things you can do to keep your feathered friends as safe as possible while feeding.
Use a hanging feeder if you can. If you have a high enough branch that you could attach a rope and a small round hook or eye, so that you can lower the feeder to your level when you want to fill it up and then hoist it back up higher when you are done, this works best and you can still see the beautiful birds.
Hoist it high enough off the ground that a cat cannot jump to the feeder, keeping in mind that some cats can jump 6 feet straight up depending on their fitness level or age and yet don’t have it too high so that the cat could climb the tree and then snack from a branch above!Credit: amazon
This dome that you see in the picture Aspects 182 Super Dome works perfectly to cat proof bird feeders. It is designed to keep squirrels off, but it does wonders at keeping cats off too, plus it acts as a bit of a shelter for the birds and their food.
You simply add one of these to the top of your hanging feeder. If you don’t have a large tree, you can get stand-alone poles, but you have to make sure to get one tall enough that you can have that feeder at least 6 feet off the ground, especially if cats are your problem critter in your yard, or maybe it is your cat!
If you own the cat, then consider putting a bell on its collar so that birds get that chance to get away.
So, the best way to have cat proof bird feeders, is to have a “hoist” style setup for the feeder and then place one of these domes over the top of the feeder so that animals such as squirrels and cats cannot simply jump on the feeder they will slide off. I have seen one of these in action and it works well.
You can get these dome attachments at most bird supply stores, and some discount stores, but there is a large assortment online at sites such as Amazon and they work well.
So, if you love to feed your backyard birds but are troubled with squirrels and cats and other critters then consider protecting the feeder with a slippery dome and don’t let the feeding station become a buffet!