can birds and cats live together

46% of UK households own a pet, with a total pet population of 58 million, including 7 million cats and 0.5 million indoor birds. Many pet owners provide a home for more than one type of pet, with cats sometimes sharing a home with a budgie, parakeet or other bird, but what happens when you have a cat and a small pet?

Cats have an innate hunting instinct, and that includes cats that have always lived with humans and have never had to hunt for themselves. In their natural state, cats would prey on small rodents like mice as well as small birds. Domestic birds like budgerigars, parakeets and canaries match your cat’s prey profile perfectly, but it is still possible to keep them in the same household, as long as you take certain safety measures.

A quick look on any video sharing site will turn up any number of amusing clips of parrots and cats being the best of friends, which could lead you to hope that your budgie and the cat could be friends. However the first thing to remember if you want your cat and your bird to live in harmony is that you need to be realistic. There may be cases where cats accept a pet bird as just another member of the family, but these are rare. The most likely scenario is that your bird and your cat will learn to accept each other, assuming that the cat’s hunting instinct does not take over.

It is a fact that animals are driven by instinct, and this is particularly true for cats. Even though they have been domesticated for thousands of years, they are still hunters on the inside. Small, fluttering birds are an ideal snack. Even the calmest of cats still have the instinct to hunt. Your pets‘ safety is always of the greatest importance. Even a single swipe of a paw can be fatal to a budgie or a canary, so you should never allow your cat to have direct access to a pet bird. Even if the bird is in a cage, a cat may be able to get its paw through the bars and injure it, or it might be able to knock a smaller cage over.

That being said, it is not impossible to have a cat and a bird in the same house.

How Are Cats Dangerous to Birds?

Although it might seem obvious, cats have the ability to seriously harm or even kill birds with ease. With its razor-sharp claws, it will harm a bird, or the bacteria in its mouth could lead to severe cuts and an infection. Cats can also cause severe mental trauma to a bird that has experienced an attack or threat by removing vital feathers required for flight, balance, and warmth. Cats can even eat small birds.

Natural Instincts of Cats and Birds

In the wild, cats will pursue, stalk, and ambush their prey, which may include fish, birds, reptiles, and small mammals. Cats enjoy jumping and catching objects, whether they are living or not, and birds are no different. Cats do not distinguish between pets and wild birds; they view birds as toys or food.

Most birds, whether they are in the wild or are kept in captivity, will take off at the first sign of danger—whether it be from a noise, a startled look, or even just seeing a cat. The bird might even cry out to warn other birds about the approaching predator. Pet birds are typically too small to harm a cat if they try to defend themselves, but even if a big bird, like a macaw, is approached by a cat, it will instinctively run away from the threat of fighting before it gets into a fight.

An outdoor aviary is the best option for providing species-appropriate housing for your pet birds and ensures that your indoor cat and birds don’t interact too much. An indoor cage that can hold one or more birds is probably the best option if you don’t have a large garden or can’t imagine keeping a flock of birds. Try to ensure that the cat is never in the same room as the birdcage unless it is under supervision in order to keep your birds and cat apart. In order to allow the birds inside to escape from any curious hands that manage to reach inside, cages or aviaries must be securely fastened and sufficiently spacious.

Those who enjoy wildlife frequently have little use for cats that are permitted outside. Even the healthiest cats are unable to resist the allure of tiny wings because they are precisely the kind of prey that cats will naturally seek out and devour. Although adult birds can usually avoid a cat’s claws, sick, elderly, or young birds are more susceptible. Environmentalists contend that domestic cats pose the greatest threat to native bird species, but there is currently scant empirical data to support their claims. If you do, however, have bird feeders or bird tables in your garden, you can aid wild birds even more by making sure they are cat-proof, that is, out of your cat’s reach.

Four-six percent of households in the United Kingdom own a pet, and the total pet population is estimated to be million, consisting of two million cats and two million dogs. 5 million indoor birds. Many pet owners give multiple species of animals a home; cats, for example, occasionally share homes with budgies, parakeets, or other birds. But what happens if you have a cat and a small pet?

Cats that have lived with people their entire lives and have never had to go hunting on their own are naturally inclined to hunt. Cats would typically hunt small rodents like mice and small birds in their natural habitat. Domestic birds that perfectly fit your cat’s prey profile, such as canaries, parakeets, and budgerigars, can still be kept together in the same home as long as certain precautions are taken.

It’s crucial to emphasize mutual acceptance between your various pets. It helps if you set a good example with your own behavior so that your cat won’t see a small pet as prey and so your birds won’t get scared every time the cat comes around. Don’t let your cat treat your birds like toys; instead, treat them with dignity and respect at all times. You should never, ever tease your cat with tiny birds. To prevent your cat from becoming envious of your other pets, give it plenty of attention as well.


Should I get a cat if I have a bird?

It will hurt a bird with its sharp claws or can cause serious wounds and an infection from the bacteria in its mouth. Cats can also pull out important feathers needed for flight, balance, and warmth and cause serious mental trauma to a bird that has endured an attack or threat. Cats can even eat small birds.

Can you introduce a bird to a cat?

Introduce them early. The key to forming a bond between your cat and bird is to introduce them as early as possible. Adopting them both while young can go a long way towards creating a friendship, rather than mortal enemies in your home.

Do cats get on with birds?

It is possible to love cats and birds but your cat will never appreciate them in the same way you do. In the eyes of the cat its instincts take over, birds are prey and the cat will try to get them at some point no matter how much fuss is made of it or how well fed it is.

Can a pigeon live with a cat?

To know a pigeon is to love a pigeon, even for dogs. Wherever your birds are housed, their enclosure needs to protect them from the animals that have access to it. If you have cats, an indoor bird’s cage needs to have narrow bar-spacing to keep paws out. Even a small nick by a cat claw can result in death to a bird.