Whoever invented the phrase “fighting like cats and dogs” obviously never tried living in a house with cats and birds.These two creatures seem destined to have it out for one another. There was an entire cartoon based upon their rivalry. However, with a little hard work, you can get these guys to live together quite harmoniously.
Why can’t they just get along?It’s important to remember that cats are carnivorous hunters. It’s in their nature to seek out smaller prey and, unfortunately, devour them if possible. Birds are particularly alluring to cats due to their bright colors and quick movements during flight. If you’ve ever tried dangling something bright and mobile in front of your cat you know how quickly they get excited. Birds are the perfect prey because they pose a challenge, and cats have a hard time resisting a little bit of fun before a meal.
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. If you’re introducing one of them into the home as an adult, you’ll still want to stage a meet and greet early on. Sheltering a bird from a cat in separate rooms only serves to make them more enticing prey for the cat. Rather, you want to treat the bird’s existence and normal and acceptable in the areas your cat views as its territory. Start slow of course, and don’t leave them alone in a room together. You’ll want to have the bird caged at a distance to start. If both animals seem calm you can try moving them closer together. If at any point the bird seems stressed, that’s a sign that you should take a break. Eventually, you’ll be able to have them right next to each other. Never allow your cat to pounce on the cage or attempt to swat the bird. Instead, stop it with a firm “No.” After a few sessions, if you feel comfortable that your cat won’t treat the bird like prey, you can try having them interact outside of the cage. Hold the bird or let it rest on your shoulder, and be prepared to act quickly if the cat is about the pounce.