What To Do If Your Cat Catches And Eats A Bird

As a cat owner, you may have had the unfortunate experience of your feline friend catching a bird and eating it. Coming across the grisly aftermath can be upsetting. Here’s a quick answer: If your cat catches and eats a bird, the main steps are examining your cat for any injuries, checking for any remains of the bird stuck in your cat’s mouth or throat, and calling your vet for advice if your cat seems unwell. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over what to look out for if your cat eats a bird and how to keep both your cat and local bird populations safe.

We’ll cover what to do immediately if you discover your cat ate a bird, how to check for any stuck remains or injuries, signs of illness to watch for afterwards, steps to protect birds in your yard, and how to stop your hunter cat from stalking birds.

With the right precautions, you can minimize the risks to your cat and help preserve the birds in your area.

Immediate Actions if Your Cat Eats a Bird

Discovering that your cat has caught and eaten a bird can be concerning. While it is natural for cats to exhibit hunting behavior, it is important to take immediate action to ensure the safety and well-being of your feline friend. Here are some steps you can take:

Check Your Cat for Any Injuries

First and foremost, carefully examine your cat for any injuries that may have occurred during the encounter with the bird. Look for signs of scratches, bites, or bleeding. If you notice any wounds, it is essential to clean them with an antiseptic solution and consult your veterinarian for further guidance.

Inspect Your Cat’s Mouth and Throat

It is crucial to check your cat’s mouth and throat for any remaining parts of the bird. Cats have a tendency to swallow their prey whole or in large chunks, which can potentially lead to choking hazards or blockages.

Gently open your cat’s mouth and inspect for any feathers, bones, or other foreign objects. If you find anything stuck, do not attempt to remove it yourself as it may cause harm. Instead, seek immediate veterinary assistance.

Look for Remaining Parts of the Bird

After ensuring your cat’s safety, it is important to locate and remove any remaining parts of the bird. This is necessary to prevent your cat from ingesting any potentially harmful substances, such as bones or toxins.

Check the surrounding area where your cat caught the bird and dispose of any remnants properly. Additionally, consider taking measures to prevent future hunting incidents, such as keeping your cat indoors or using deterrents.

Call Your Vet With Any Concerns

If you have any concerns about your cat’s health or behavior after consuming a bird, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian. They will be able to provide professional advice and guidance based on your specific situation.

Remember, your vet is the best resource when it comes to ensuring the well-being of your beloved pet.

Signs of Illness to Watch For

While it is natural for cats to catch and eat birds, it is important to monitor their health afterwards. Here are some signs of illness to watch for:

Loss of Appetite or Energy

If your cat suddenly loses interest in food or seems lethargic after catching and eating a bird, it could be a sign of illness. Loss of appetite and energy can indicate digestive issues or infections. It’s important to monitor your cat closely and consult a veterinarian if these symptoms persist.


Vomiting is a common reaction when cats consume something unusual, such as a bird. However, if your cat continues to vomit repeatedly or if the vomit contains blood, it could be a sign of a more serious issue. Keep an eye on your cat’s behavior and contact your veterinarian if the vomiting persists.

Gagging or Difficulty Swallowing

If your cat is experiencing difficulty swallowing or seems to be gagging after consuming a bird, it could indicate an obstruction in their throat or digestive tract. This can be a serious condition that requires immediate veterinary attention.

Look for any signs of distress and seek professional help as soon as possible.

Diarrhea or Constipation

Changes in your cat’s bowel movements after consuming a bird can be a cause for concern. Diarrhea or constipation may indicate an underlying issue with their digestive system or an infection. Monitor their litter box habits and consult your veterinarian if you notice any abnormal changes.

Weakness or Uncoordination

If your cat appears weak, uncoordinated, or is having trouble walking after eating a bird, it could be a sign of poisoning or an infection. These symptoms should not be taken lightly, as they could indicate a serious health problem.

Contact your veterinarian immediately for guidance on the next steps.

Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your cat’s health. If you notice any of these signs of illness after your cat has caught and eaten a bird, don’t hesitate to reach out to a veterinary professional for advice and assistance.

Protecting Birds in Your Yard

If you are a cat owner and love having birds in your yard, it can be quite distressing to see your feline friend catch and eat a bird. Not only is it harmful to the bird population, but it can also be dangerous for your cat as birds can carry diseases and parasites.

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to protect birds in your yard and ensure the safety of both your cat and the local avian community.

Put Collars or Bells on Your Cats

Putting collars or bells on your cats can be an effective way to reduce their hunting success. The noise created by bells can alert birds to the presence of a cat, giving them a chance to escape. It is important to choose a collar that is safe and comfortable for your cat to wear.

Additionally, regularly check the collar to ensure it is still securely in place.

Install Bird Feeders Above Cat Height

Installing bird feeders at a height that is out of reach for your cat can help deter them from hunting birds. Placing feeders on tall poles or in trees can make it more difficult for cats to access them. This way, birds can enjoy their meals without fear of being hunted.

Remember to regularly clean the feeders to prevent the spread of diseases among birds.

Provide Escape Routes With Trees and Fences

Creating an environment that allows birds to escape from potential predators is crucial. Planting trees and installing fences can provide birds with safe places to perch and hide. This gives them a better chance of avoiding cats that may be lurking in the area.

Be sure to choose bird-friendly plants and avoid using harmful chemicals in your yard that could harm both birds and cats.

Use Deterrents Like Water Sprays

Using deterrents like water sprays can help discourage cats from approaching birds. Cats generally dislike getting wet, so a quick spray of water can be an effective way to deter them from hunting. However, it is important to use this method sparingly and only when your cat is in the act of hunting.

Consistently spraying your cat with water can cause stress and harm their relationship with you.

Keep Cats Indoors at Peak Bird Times

One of the most effective ways to protect birds in your yard is to keep your cat indoors during peak bird activity times. Dawn and dusk are when birds are most active, making them vulnerable to hunting.

By keeping your cat indoors during these times, you can greatly reduce the chances of them catching and eating birds. Additionally, keeping your cat indoors also helps protect them from potential dangers such as traffic accidents or encounters with other animals.

By implementing these measures, you can create a safe and bird-friendly environment in your yard. Remember, it is important to be patient and consistent in training your cat to reduce their hunting instincts.

With time and effort, you can ensure the well-being of both your cat and the beautiful birds that visit your yard.

Stopping Your Cat from Hunting Birds

Distract With Interactive Toys

One way to prevent your cat from hunting birds is to provide them with plenty of interactive toys. These toys can help keep your cat mentally stimulated and provide an outlet for their natural hunting instincts.

Look for toys that simulate prey, such as feather wands or interactive puzzle toys that dispense treats. By giving your cat an alternative hunting experience, you can redirect their attention away from birds.

Provide Plenty of Indoor Entertainment

Cats that are bored or lack stimulation are more likely to go after birds. Ensure your feline friend has access to plenty of toys, scratching posts, and climbing structures. Consider setting up a bird-watching station near a window, where your cat can enjoy the sights and sounds of birds without being able to catch them.

Creating a stimulating indoor environment can help satisfy your cat’s hunting instincts and reduce their desire to hunt birds.

Keep Cats Indoors or Supervise Time Outside

One of the most effective ways to prevent your cat from hunting birds is to keep them indoors. Indoor cats live longer and have a reduced risk of injuries or diseases. If you do allow your cat outside, it’s important to supervise their time outdoors.

Keep a close eye on them and intervene if they start stalking or chasing birds. By monitoring their behavior, you can discourage hunting and redirect their attention to other activities.

Discourage Stalking and Chasing

If your cat has a habit of hunting birds, it’s important to discourage this behavior. When you see your cat stalking or chasing birds, make a loud noise or clap your hands to startle them. You can also try using a squirt bottle filled with water to discourage hunting behavior.

Over time, your cat will associate these negative experiences with bird hunting and be less likely to engage in the behavior.

Consider Leash Walks for Outdoor Time

If you want to give your cat some outdoor time but are concerned about their hunting instincts, consider taking them for leash walks. This allows your cat to explore the outdoors while keeping them under control.

Use a harness specifically designed for cats and gradually introduce them to the concept of walking on a leash. This way, you can enjoy outdoor time together while minimizing the risk to birds and other wildlife.

Remember, it’s important to be patient and consistent when trying to prevent your cat from hunting birds. With the right approach and plenty of alternatives to keep them entertained, you can help redirect their natural instincts and create a safer environment for both your cat and the birds in your area.


Having your cat catch and eat a bird can be shocking and concerning. Take sensible steps like inspecting your cat for any injuries or stuck remains. Monitor for any signs of illness afterwards. You can also take measures to protect local birds by deterring hunting behavior and keeping your cat entertained indoors.

While the hunting instinct is strong in cats, you can take precautions to keep both your cat and nearby bird populations safe. With some effort, your cat can enjoy a happy life amusing itself indoors and birds can thrive in your yard.

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