Putting birdhouses in your yard might be a lot of fun for you. Those who enjoy watching birds will love having birds nest on their properties.
You can watch the birds from afar and see them thrive. It’s something that a lot of people are into.
It’s important to protect your birdhouses from predators, though. There are many predators that you need to be concerned about such as snakes.
However, many people fail to consider the threat that stray cats pose to birdhouses. Cats are true hunters that will love trying to make a meal out of baby birds.
Is there a good way to keep cats from preying upon the birds in your birdhouse? Keep reading to learn about your options.
Note that these methods can also work well to keep cats away from feeders. You’ll benefit from taking these steps to protect the birds in your birdhouses.
1 – Place the Birdhouse Carefully
Placing the birdhouse carefully is an important part of the process. You want to put the birdhouse away from trees.
If the birdhouse is too close to trees, it’ll be easier for the cat to jump on the birdhouse. Thus, it’s wise to install the birdhouse on a pole in the middle of the yard.
Buy a birdhouse pole that is at least five or six feet off of the ground. Ensure that the pole is secure and it should do a good job of preventing cats from reaching it.
Cats are good climbers, but many types of poles will be rather difficult for the cats to climb. Just taking this step might be enough to keep your birds relatively safe from stray cats.
2 – Try Spraying Citrus
Spraying citrus is a good way to deter cats from going near birdhouses. Cats loathe the smell of citrus and won’t want to get close to areas where the citrus spray has been unleashed.
This smell isn’t going to bother the birds in any way. Birds don’t possess the same powerful sense of smell that cats do.
There are a few ways you can go about doing this. You can buy some type of commercial citrus spray or you can make your own using citrus oil.
Otherwise, it’s possible to deter cats by laying citrus peels on the ground near the birdhouse. Orange peels and other such peels will do a great job of keeping cats at bay.
3 – Utilize Spiky Plants
Spiky plants can make it tough for cats to get close to the birdhouses. You could plant cacti or rose bushes near the birdhouses to deter cats from getting to the birds.
Cats won’t like getting poked by spiky plants. It won’t bother the birds because they can fly and don’t need to touch the plants.
Another option is to buy metal spikes and put them on the ground. This will likely make cats stay away, but it can be troublesome in some other ways.
You don’t want to have to pick up metal spikes every single time before you mow the lawn. It likely isn’t practical enough to use metal spikes, but spiky plants could help you out for sure.
4 – Motion-Sensitive Sprinklers
Motion-sensitive sprinklers are great for scaring animals away. You can point the sprinklers toward the ground underneath the birdhouse.
When cats or other animals cross the threshold, they’ll cause the sprinklers to go off. The animals will be sprayed with water, and they’ll run for the hills.
Cats generally dislike water and won’t want to get sprayed. It’ll make them think twice about going near the birdhouse.
Plus, the shock of getting sprayed suddenly will be enough to scare most animals. This is a good way to protect your birdhouses.
5 – Pepper Also Works
Pepper is something that can work if you don’t have citrus. Cats are very sensitive to pepper and will want to stay away from it.
Many people choose to make a spray that contains pepper to keep stray cats from messing with birdhouses. This spray can also be used to protect plants from cats.
Mix cayenne pepper and water together to create a simple but potent spray. Spray this mixture near the birdhouse, and cats should stay far away from the area.
This is an inexpensive and practical way to protect the birdhouse. You’ll have to apply the spray semi-regularly since it will wash away when it rains.
6 – Put a Cage Around the Birdhouse
If your birdhouse is attached to your home, it’ll be easier for cats to get to it. Cats can climb up the house and reach the birdhouse with relative ease.
Protecting a birdhouse that’s attached to the house will be tougher, but it’s not impossible. One good idea involves putting a cage around the birdhouse.
The cage can surround the birdhouse and prevent the cat from being able to reach it properly. Birds will still be able to easily get in and out because they can fit through the cage bars.
Just be sure to mount the cage properly if you decide to go this route. Keep in mind that it’s better to install the birdhouse in a safe spot where cats won’t be able to reach it.
7 – Avoid Letting Your Cat Outdoors
You should avoid letting your cat outdoors if at all possible. Keep in mind that cats are not natural to the local environment.
Cats are an invasive species that throws off the balance in local ecosystems. They’re predators that prey upon many different small animals and birds.
This takes potential meals away from wild predators and it unnecessarily endangers many animals. You can’t stop stray cats from existing, but you can keep your pet cats indoors.
Your cat will be much safer indoors anyway. It could get hurt by other animals outside.
Also, cats that go outdoors could be exposed to fleas, various diseases, and other problems. Do your best to keep your cat inside so you don’t make things worse for local birds.
You know a lot more about protecting birdhouses from cats now. Cats can be a real problem when you’re trying to safely keep birds in your yard.
Stray cats might be prevalent in your area. If there are lots of stray cats, you’ll need to utilize the advice above to protect the birdhouses.
Thankfully, a lot of the advice is easy to use. Simple methods such as spraying citrus or pepper spray near the birdhouse will work out nicely.
Even just placing citrus peels on the ground can keep cats from getting too close. Of course, you need to position the birdhouse safely so the cats won’t have easy access to it.
Putting the birdhouse in the middle of the yard on a pole is likely a good idea. You want the pole to be high enough that birds will find it suitable.
Motion-sensitive sprinklers are a good investment. You can use them to protect the birdhouse and they’re also great for scaring off burglars.
If you simply must have a birdhouse that’s attached to your home, it might be beneficial to put a cage around it. This can prevent stray cats from getting to the birdhouse.
Remember not to let your own pet cats outside. Do your best to avoid contributing to the problem of cats wreaking havoc on local environments.
Do your best to use the ideas above to your advantage. Protect the birdhouses, and you should be able to enjoy them for a long time to come.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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