Updated at: 10-08-2022 - By: Jane Brody

Not only do typical backyard pests like squirrels and raccoons cause problems with bird feeders, but so can our own pets.

The best way to prevent cats from destroying bird feeders is to place them in inaccessible locations. Whatever it takes, even if it means upgrading from the type of bird feeder you now own. It’s probably best to stop feeding the birds for the time being until the problem with the stray cats has been resolved.

How To Keep Cats Away From Bird Feeders-2

Cats, whether they be your own or a neighbor’s, are unlikely to cause problems with a bird feeder because cats aren’t normally interested in bird food.

Because of this, it’s possible that you’re utilizing food scraps that a cat might find appetizing. If you want to keep cats from eating out of bird feeders for the time being, you’d have to stop using table scraps and start using actual wild bird food instead.

Putting bird feeders in inaccessible locations is the most effective way to deter cats from raiding them.

This approach requires hanging bird feeders because a bird feeder on the ground is accessible to anyone who happens to pass by.

Put bird feeders in a visible area away from your home to discourage cats from using them as a perch. You’ll be able to see the cats and scare them away, and as cats tend to be skittish when they realize they’ve been spotted, this may discourage them from sticking around.

Cats can’t reach bird feeders hung up to six feet above the ground, so try suspending them from a high branch using a long, thin steel wire instead.

Cats may reach feeders in a tree from any angle, but we can prevent them from falling by using wire, which can injure them.

Hang in clearing so cats are seen

Since there isn’t much in a bird feeder that a cat would actually want to eat, it’s common to see cats ignoring them in favor of more interesting activities.

That means you should place your bird feeders in an open area where you can easily observe any feline visitors, whether they are your own or from the neighborhood.

The first step in protecting your bird feeder from cats is to ensure that it can be hung. If the feeder is high enough off the ground, you will have more time to scare away the animals before they can get to the food.

A bird feeder pole is typically installed in a clearing, which can be any large, open area of grass on your property.

Your goal should be to make cats aware of your presence. If you leave the door open, your cat won’t stay near the bird feeders for very long.

Make noise to attract the attention of the cats and make sure they know you can see them at the bird feeders in the clearing.

Feeders must hang 6ft. up

How To Keep Cats Away From Bird Feeders-3

In order to protect your cat from destroying your bird feeders, you should hang them from a pole or bracket that is at least 6 feet off the ground.

You’ve definitely seen cats jump up your fence, so you would think a bird feeder would be easily accessed by them. Cats can jump up to 5 feet right off the ground, and they can quickly scale a vertical wall to give leverage for them to climb higher.

To solve this problem, hang the feeder as high as 6 feet off the ground.

You can’t keep the bird feeders hung any lower than this or else the birds will continue to be at risk from the cats.

Use a Shepherd’s hook pole or bird feeder instead of a standard pole because cats can’t use their claws to climb it.

Cats are notoriously bad at reaching high places, so if you see one trying to go to a hanging bird feeder, chances are it will immediately plummet down to earth.

Bird feeders should be hung from the ceiling so that cats can’t easily reach them, and also because cats may have trouble maintaining their balance on a hanging bird feeder.

Out of reach of cats

The goal, if you use bird feeders other than those hung from a bird feeder pole, is to keep them out of reach of cats. A bird feeder pole can be erected anywhere from 1 to 6 feet off the ground.

This means that using an open-topped bird feeder will not solve a cat problem.

Cats may occasionally be able to cling to a hanging bird feeder, such as a tube or wire bird feeder, but their efforts are futile. Cats can use any open dish containing bird food as a perch.

For the time being, a wire dish attached to the bird feeder pole is your only other option besides the portable, ground-level platform feeders.

Return to using poles to suspend feeders from, with the added flexibility of placing some feeders in trees.

It is common for cats to spend time in trees, either to rest or to hunt for wildlife. Since cats typically utilize a nearby branch to get bird feeders, you’ll need to make sure that any feeders you hang from the tree are still safely out of their reach.

If you’re worried about cats jumping down to your bird feeders, hang them from a length of thin stainless steel wire, about a foot or so high. A cat’s claws won’t be able to get around such a thin wire, and it will be uncomfortable for the cat to try.

To summarize

How To Keep Cats Away From Bird Feeders

It’s really bad a cat has been bothering your bird feeder; in our experience, felines typically avoid these kind of locations.

As a result, if you feed wild birds and a cat shows interest, you may want to try feeding something else.

If you want to protect your bird feeders from cats, you should hang them up high, out of the cats’ jumping range.

In the interim, you should put up a bird feeder in an open area where you can observe the cat’s comings and goings. To ensure the safety of the cats in the area, you should also make some noise to alert them to your presence.

Just as a cat is less likely to defecate while its owner is there, it is also less likely to mess with with the bird feeder when its owner is watching.

You can hang bird feeders up to six feet from the ground, but you should remove those that are perched lower than three feet off the ground, such as those on the ground or on a pole.

Cats may be enticed by wild bird food, but they may also be drawn to a food supply that makes use of table trash. If you want to keep cats away from your bird feeders, it’s imperative that you deprive them of human food while the birds subsist solely on seeds.

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