outdoor cats and bird feeders
As someone who loves both cats and birds and lives in a wooded area, I enjoy having a bird feeder in my yard so I can watch the birds outside. While my cats have always been indoor cats, obviously not everyone keeps their cats inside. This leads to the inevitable problem of cats hunting the birds in my yard.
There is a tremendous lack of education/responsibility on the part of both cat owners and bird feeders when it comes to the number of birds killed by pet cats. Millions of songbirds are killed by pet cats every year, along with feral cats. While the bird people are quick to blame cat owners for letting their cats roam free, people who put bird feeders in their yards are equally to blame for creating such an easy hunting ground for cats.
I was reading another forum where some people were talking about this, and I was very troubled by one person who said they went so far as to capture their neighbor's cats and turn them in to an animal shelter because the cats were hunting in their yard. The owner picked up the cats once and had to pay a fine, but then the person captured the cats a second time and brought them to the shelter again. From what they said, it sounds like the owner hasn't had such an easy time of getting the cats back again. The person who turned them in is hoping someone else will adopt the cats. I find this sickening and think it shows a large amount of selfishness on the part of the bird feeder for essentially stealing the neighbor's cats just so they can watch birds eat in their yard. I don't know if it's a no-kill shelter or not, but I think it's wrong regardless.
How do you feel about this? And for those of you who like to feed the birds and also try to keep cats away from the feeder, what's worked for you?