As it happened, George was an outdoor-going cat, in the Vermont woods. His hunting prowess and his lifestyle was already established before Ms. Brennan arrived and joined the household. Being a bird lover, Ms. Brennan hated to see George harm birds and bring them indoors through his cat door. But, as many cat owners know, it can be very difficult to change a cat's habits or corral a cat indoors after it is accustomed to freedom.
Ms. Brennan tried to find another solution. Adding bells to his cat collar had no noticeable effect. One fine spring day, George brought in a Ruffed Grouse that he had caught. This local game bird was as big as a small chicken.
They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Ms. Brennan found inspiration in that moment of seeing George and the grouse. An idea popped into her mind. "Didn't birds see bright colors super well? Bright colors could make him easier to see. Would birds have enough time to fly off?" It was certainly worth a try.
Why bright colors? Ms. Brennan had learned that songbirds have a special ability to see bright colors well. Their eye anatomy was unique, and the birds could see bright colors extremely well in their visual environment.
Ms. Brennan wasted no time and sewed a tube of brightly colored fabric to put around George's cat collar. The hope was that it would make it easier for the birds to see him when he was stalking. Wearing bright colors, George didn't catch any birds for the first day, which turned into a week, which turned into a month, which turned into a summer. He had always brought his prey indoors, so the difference was dramatic and very clear.
There was peace and quiet at home. There was immense relief from guilt. And, impressively, George didn't seem to mind wearing the collar cover and he seemed unperturbed by the change in his hunting prowess. After a year, he even started sleeping in at dawn, instead of hunting.
In the next 18 months, over two summers, George caught maybe 2 or 3 birds. He never brought another one in through his cat door. The trick of using bright colors was an astonishing success! With this innovation, Ms. Brennan had figured out how to help the birds be safe from George.
Birdsbesafe LLC began in 2009 with a two-part mission: Test the product with cats across the U.S. and see if it worked well for other cats, and, then, work towards making it a well-known, widely marketed solution to outdoor cats preying on birds.
Our important work in the first five years included carefully determining the best fabrics (colors and patterns) that are most effective for bird-protection. Our customers and their cats from around the globe provided important feedback, and we developed a strong "formula" for our effective Birdsbesafe® products.
There are about 65 million outdoor-going pet cats in the U.S. alone. Our company goal was to help many of those cats become ineffective bird-hunters.
Birdsbesafe LLC markets our home-grown and carefully designed solution to cats killing birds available to you, in stores, on this website and on Amazon. Our solution is popular in Europe, as well as in the U.S. and Canada.
In Stores. To see a list of stores that sell Birdsbesafe, go to our In Stores page. The Birdsbesafe® solution is well-regarded by conservationists and cat owners, alike. Our backyard innovation has received much publicity, nationally and internationally.
Scientific Validation. In early 2015, a major milestone arrived when an independent scientific study was published confirming that Birdsbesafe cat collars work very effectively to reduce the numbers of birds killed by cats. The St. Lawrence University based study showed about an 87% reduction expected in birds caught when cats where Birdsbesafe® collar covers.
We're in Vermont. Birdsbesafe® LLC is in Duxbury, Vermont.
Ms. Brennan is a a birdwatcher and a life-long environmentalist with a Bachelor's degree in biology from Middlebury College. She earned a master's degree in regional planning (U. Mass. at Amherst) and has worked for regional and national conservation organizations.
Currently, Ms. Brennan oversees Birdsbesafe llc, with international patents and an ever widening market for its innovative product.
Made in the U.S. Our Birdsbesafe® cat collar covers are proudly sewn in the U.S. We have made a commitment to supporting good wages for those who sew our product.
The success of Birdsbesafe® LLC has been built with the help of our customers. We appreciate each and every social media post, word-of-mouth recommendation, and informal plea to your local pet store owner to carry the product. You, the cat-owners and bird-lovers, have helped us take our idea for an innovative product and make it a valuable tool for bird conservation.
Thank you for caring about cats and birds!