Cats And Birds

Cats and birds_logo

Cats and birds are both highly valued by humans and both require our protection. The Keep Cats Safe and Save Bird Lives program aims to do just that. The program is led by Nature Canada, and its partners include Nature Alberta, Birds Canada, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, and many other groups concerned about the welfare of both cats and birds.

Keep cats safe.

There are over nine million pet cats in Canada, and almost a third of those spend time outdoors unsupervised. But outdoors can be a very dangerous place! Risks include diseases, car accidents, fights with other cats, predation by coyotes, poisoning, and getting lost. Compared to dogs, relatively few lost cats are returned to their owners and instead end up as strays living on their own.

Save bird lives.

Another reason to keep cats from roaming freely is the risk they present to birds and other wildlife. Many of Canada’s birds are in trouble; some species have declined by over 90%. Habitat destruction is an overriding factor, but millions of birds also die each year from cat predation. 1 Species that nest or feed near the ground — including many species at risk — are most vulnerable. Every effort needs to be made to protect these species.

Healthy alternatives.

Pet cats hunt for stimulation, and there are many ways to meet that need without posing a danger to birds. Safe outdoor options include catios (patios for cats!), cat fencing, cat enclosures, and harness-walking. Learn more on Nature Canada’s Cats and Birds website.


1. Reference: Blancher, P. 2013. Estimated number of birds killed by house cats (Felis catus) in Canada. Avian Conservation and Ecology 8(2): 3.

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