What about Feral Cats?

Posted on September 08, 2016 by Nancy Brennan

We hear from people and from groups, wanting to know if we would recommend using the Birdsbesafe® cat collar cover on feral cats. Sorry, no, we don't recommend it at this time. Our pet product is a well-designed, validate solution for protecting birds from pet cats is not really a great match for feral cats.

The goal of protecting birds from feral cats is good goal, obviously, but our intention was to create a product for pet cats. If you have read the research paper about Birdsbesafe® covers, in the Global Ecology and Conservation Journal, yes, our product was discussed as a remedy for feral cats to use, but honestly, we weren't consulted on that topic, and we have to respectfully disagree.

Here is short summary of the issues.

Problems for Use of Birdsbesafe® Collar Covers on Feral Cats

  1. Handling a feral cat for putting on and adjusting collar is difficult.
  2. Cat collar fit must be adjusted or reviewed from time to time (such as, every few days) to make sure it is not tightening or loosening appreciably.
  3. Birdsbesafe® covers should be maintained in dry, clean condition, which may sometimes involve removing them to dry or launder. This is not difficult with a pet.
  4. If the product comes off in the outdoors, it will need replacement.
  5. Continuous wearing outdoors of the product, without monitoring by a pet owner, has not been done to-date, so other problems might occur that are unforeseen.
  6. The Birdsbesafe® cat collar cover is a pet product, and as such, it has not been developed for un-monitored use for the above and other reasons.

But, there is a silver lining. Many of our customers' cats, over the years have been "re-homed" or adopted former stray or feral cats. These cats have developed great hunting skills for survival, and then, when the cat is living with a pet owner, the cat often hunts a lot. Birdsbesafe® collar covers are ideal for such an owned cat, and have always worked well for them!