What about Feral Cats?
Occasionally, we hear from people or from non-profit 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, scientifically validated 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. Is our pet product also a solution for the problem of feral cats harming birds? From all we know, to date, unfortunately the answer is "no".
Here is short summary of the issues.
Problems for Use of Birdsbesafe® Collar Covers on Feral Cats
- Handling a feral cat for putting on and adjusting collar is difficult. Just being able to hold the cat still, safely, while gently adding a collar is difficult and takes both expertise and time.
- Cat collar fit must be adjusted or reviewed from time to time (such as, every few days) to make sure a cat collar is not tightening or loosening appreciably.
- 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, but could be impossible with feral cats.
- If the product comes off in the outdoors, it will need replacement.
- 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.
- The product is NOT designed to be used on a non-pet cat. 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.
However, 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, that type of cat often hunts birds a lot. Birdsbesafe® collar covers are ideal for such an owned cat, and have always worked well for them! It may even help them break their hunting habits, when their efforts are not "rewarded" with prey captures. That's the good news!