Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about Birdsbesafe collar cover use. For customer service information, go to the Customer Service page here.
Why do Birdsbesafe® Cat Collar Covers protect so many birds from cats?
Birdsbesafe collar covers' bright colors simply, but effectively, give most songbirds enough time to notice the cat and fly away. Songbirds have unique eye anatomy that makes bright colors appear extra-bright, even in low light such as at dawn. Birds may see the cat wearing Birdsbesafe's colors from a distance, and gain enough time to fly to safety.
Do I need to buy a cat collar in order to use the Birdsbesafe cat collar cover?
Yes, you will need to have and use a breakaway cat collar to fasten the tube-shaped Birdsbesafe collar cover onto your cat. Breakaway buckles release under pressure, for your cat's safety. Both the Birdsbesafe unit and collar will release at the same time and fall off the cat. Choose any collar brand you like best or buy our complete package which includes a collar.
You may need to try a brand or two in order to find which buckle or collar brand works best for your kitty. Ask your favorite pet store clerk for their recommendations or see online collar reviews.
Breakaway Cat Collars Only, Please!
The Birdsbesafe fabric tube about 20" long and 2" across (if laid flat). You insert a breakaway cat collar inside of it and then buckle both parts onto the cat, leaving room for it to fit comfortably.
Both parts release and fall off when snagged or under pressure. Use only with a breakaway cat collar cover to maintain this level of safety. We sell several well-designed cat collars that pair well with our product.
How to Open Your Breakaway Cat Collar
To release (or open) a breakaway cat collar buckle, grasp the collar on either side of the buckle, about one inch away, holding the webbing. Sharply pull on the collar with forces going in opposite directions to open. That is, your right hand would pull in the opposite direction of your left hand.
Then, with the cat collar open, slide one end of it into the Birdsbesafe® collar cover, while holding the other end of the cat collar. It helps to hold the Birdsbesafe® cover vertically, and begin by dropping one buckle end of the collar down into it, and scrunching the collar cover upwards, until you have both ends of the buckle exposed. See this short video on how to attach the BirdsBeSafe collar to your breakaway cat collar.
How effective are Birdsbesafe covers?
There have been several scientific studies (done independently of BirdsBeSafe) that have proven the BirdsBeSafe collar effectiveness in reducing bird predation. In 2015, a United States-based scientific study showed that BirdsBeSafe cat collar covers reduce the number of birds caught by 87% annually. This level of effectiveness means that almost all, but not quite all, birds will be protected from your cat's hunting. See comments, below.
Conditions for Success
There are three components for success:
- The Birdsbesafe cover must be visible to the bird. (If the cat hides in vegetation, that cat might not be easily seen, even with a Birdsbesafe cover.)
- The bird species must see bright colors especially well, as songbirds do.
- The bird must have time to fly away to safety and be able to fly away.
Note: Fledglings just out of the nest may, for instance, not be able to fly away from any predator. For a few days when they are learning to fly, fledglings spend more than the usual amount of time on the ground. During times of the year when you notice fledglings in your yard, please contain your cat indoors.
Which Birds Will Be Protected Best?
Songbirds, also called Passiformes, are an "order" of birds. (Passiformes is Latin for "perching birds.") Songbirds include many common backyard birds in North America, such as chickadees, robins, finches, and warblers.
Songbirds' vision has been studied and these species have a fourth cone for color vision, as well as extra rods that help the birds perceive bright colors extremely well--even in low light conditions like at dawn.
Birds that are not songbirds, such as ducks, hawks, gulls, owls, woodpeckers, grouse, pigeons and doves do not, as far as we know, have this fourth cone type nor do they see bright colors with the same acuity. So non-songbirds do not seem to be protected when cats wear Birdsbesafe collar covers. Of course, many of these non-songbirds are not common prey of cats!
Hummingbirds: The patterns and colors that we choose seem to be nearly problem-free for hummingbirds.
What about hummingbirds?
The patterns and colors of our products seem to be nearly problem-free for hummingbirds. Hummingbirds can see bright colors well and use special color vision to find flowers and other food sources. The birds will see Birdsbesafe® fabric's bright colors, but then also see the shape of the cat's head and body at the same time. The cat is a predator, and it will usually be avoided if noticed.
Bird-feeders: Special Concerns
If you have a bird-feeding station and birds feed on the ground, these birds may be extra-vulnerable—especially if there are shrubs or other vegetation to conceal the presence of a hunting cat. Try to keep areas around bird-feeders clear for about 10' around.
Our Fabric Choices: Exclusive Research
We have years of customer feedback about how well Birdsbesafe covers work for cats across North America and beyond, and we have developed exclusive guidelines for fabric patterns and colors. Our knowledge base is unique, for its depth. It's crucial to how well the product works.
Cats Grooming and Eating While Wearing a Birdsbesafe Cover
Cats can eat, drink, and sleep comfortably while wearing Birdsbesafe cat collar covers. Because of how it flares out away from the cat's neck, it's not bulky or heavy or in the cat's way. Your cat can wear it all the time (many do!) or only when the cat goes outdoors.
How comfortable is it? We know it's hard to believe that fussy cats will wear this neckwear, but the fabric collar cover pads the buckle hardware very nicely. Cats that previously rejected wearing a cat collar often easily adjust to wearing a Birdsbesafe cover. We provide tips on getting your cat comfortable wearing it, when you order.
My Cat's Collar Cover Is Wet. Now, what?
Rainy days can lead to a wet collar cover for kitty. Please remove a wet Birdsbesafe collar cover from your cat as soon as you see it.
One strategy for this issue would be to own 2 Birdsbesafe units. Remove one when the cat is indoors, hang to dry or dry it in the dryer. Meanwhile, you could have a second (dry) one at the ready for the next time the cat goes outdoors.
Why not use waterproof fabrics? Most are irritating to the cat's fur just by their nature. We have not found this to be a viable alternative fabric.
Collar Cover: Laundry Care
The Birdsbesafe cat collar cover is cotton, exclusive of trim, and is washable, either by hand or machine. Wash as you would wash cotton garments.
Can My Cat Lose the Birdsbesafe Cover Outdoors?
It's possible that a Birdsbesafe cover will get lost because the breakaway buckle might release in outdoor activity. The good news is your cat will be safe!
Tips for Fitting Onto the Cat
The best fit is a fairly snug, yet comfortable fit, leaving a fingertip's width, but not enough for the cat to pry the collar off with a paw. More tips are included on product packaging, including how to make the best start to get your cat used to the collar cover.
General Observations on Cat Hunting Behavior
Cats behave normally with respect to hunting behaviors, when wearing the Birdsbesafe cat collar cover—especially at first. Expect your cat's hunting instincts to still be working. But when the cat can not catch birds as successfully as before, some cats will relax and spend less time hunting on birds.
Our own cat, George, started to stay indoors, after a year or so, and neglected his dawn hunting hours. His new routine was to sleep in! Other cat owners have reported the same change over time. Cats generally do not like to waste energy and so they may decide that their hunting activity is not worth the energy.
One study, in Australia, showed that cats did not roam farther when wearing it. Some cats did spend shorter amounts of time away from home, perhaps returning home earlier because of being hungry.
Additionally, it is logical that local birds in your yard or vicinity may become very adept at spotting Birdsbesafe-wearing cats. The birds may raise alarm calls that warn other birds. We often hear about cats that have been unsuccessful in hunting birds for years and years, consistently.
What about my cat hunting mice?
Cats wearing Birdsbesafe collar covers can hunt mammals "normally." Rodents don't have the same eye features that the songbirds do. Expect the usual number of mice and other mammals to be caught.
This expectation is backed up by customer experience and the two science studies.
What about predation on lizards?
A scientific study in Australia showed some protection for lizards when cats wore Birdsbesafe cat collar covers. You can see more information here. It is postulated that the lizards have color vision abilities that draw their attention to the cat's Birdsbesafe collar cover.
Are bees and wasps attracted to Birdsbesafe covers?
No, there has never been a mention of concern regarding bees being attracted to Birdsbesafe covers. The fabrics used in Birdsbesafe covers have intentionally avoided any floral patterns and designs that resemble flowers in terms of color and shape. This precaution was taken to ensure that the fabric does not attract hummingbirds that are naturally drawn to flowers and nectar.
Is there any extra danger to my outdoor cat when it wears bright colors?
We are not aware of any potential predators of cats that would be attracted by the bright colors of our products. Scientists note the specific eye anatomy for enhanced color vision is present only in songbirds, lizards, and possibly some deep ocean creatures.
Dogs are commonly called "colorblind", which is not strictly true, but we are conscientious in our choice of colors so that canines, wild and domestic, do not see our product's colors or patterns well. Dogs also do not see with great clarity from a distance. They rely more on their remarkable sense of smell and excellent hearing.
Owls hunt by sound and motion detection, and do not see bright colors well. Similarly, eagles, hawks, and other birds of prey are adept at detecting motion from a distance, rather than spotting colors.
As always, your outdoor-going cat may be at risk of predation by wild animals in your area regardless of wearing bright colors. If you have concern about your pet's safety outdoors, you may want to discuss local wildlife risks with your veterinarian, wildlife specialists, or neighbors. Predation risk from coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, fishers, or other animals may be present in your region. In some regions, keeping your cat indoors is the only safe option.
Amazon and Us
We are the only seller of our Trademarked and patented Birdsbesafe® products on Amazon. You may find our products on Amazon in the U.S. and Canada for your convenience.
For any customer service details, look here: Customer Service page.