According to a US Fish and Wildlife Service study, cats are responsible for about 3.7 billion bird deaths annually in the USA. Now, if your furry friend is looking outside a window in a tense position, with the jaw slightly open, and it suddenly starts vibrating, with a wavering cry, it is most probably focusing on a bird that is out in the open. It might seem very amusing for people to watch, but is there something wrong with the cat? Is the cat disturbed, or is it trying to say something to you?
The short answer to it is a no. This behavior is chattering, and it is entirely normal in cats. But, the question still arises. Why do cats chase birds, and what should a cat owner do to stop it? Here is why it happens.
Cats chattering at birds
Chattering is natural in cats. It is a deeply-rooted predatorial instinct in them and other small and big cats. The faster a cat kills its prey, the lesser the chance that the cat will receive an injury during the hunt.
The cat delivers a fatal bite to the neck after it jumps on its prey. It holds it using its claws, then the cat vibrates its jaw and bites the back of the bird's neck. It helps the teeth sever the spinal cord of the prey. All in all, it reduces the prey's struggle.
Do cats chatter because of frustration?
Many people believe that a cat makes such noises because it is not being to able to get to the bird. The sound may be because the cat is irritated. After all, it cannot hunt down its prey.
It is likely that the sounds are because of excitement. Cats might feel a sense of delight and excitement while seeing a bird. Yet, they can't do anything about it, and hence the sounds.
According to an interesting study by scientists, it is possible that cats may be trying to mimic the chirps of a bird. Wild cats mimic the sounds of monkeys in the wild while approaching them. Similarly, if they do it with birds, they will fool them, and birds are less likely to fly away in such cases. It will help the cat get closer and pounce on the prey successfully. Nonetheless, cats look very cute while chirping. However, if you wish for them to stop doing it, here is how to do that.
How to put an end to a cat's chirping and chattering?
Below are some relatively simple steps that you can take to ensure that they don't chatter at birds. These steps are also essential to make sure that your cat doesn't catch and kill garden birds, especially at the places where the food is there for birds.
Put a bell on the cat's collar.
It is one of the best steps to reduce the killing of birds and other small animals by cats. The fit should be comfortable, and the cat should also be able to free itself from it if it snags around its neck. The sound that these bells make will alert the prey of the cat's presence, which will be letting them get away from it quickly. Furthermore, there are many sonic collars that will also alert the prey of the cat's presence.
Take the best care of your cat.
It is your duty to make sure that your cat is well-fed and cared for all the time. It will make the cat stick in and around the house. Now, it won't stop them from chasing and catching birds because it is instinctual. However, it will prevent them from wandering around places where they are not supposed to go.
Keeps your cats in the house at vulnerable hours
The hours before the sunset and the hours after sunrise are pretty vulnerable, especially in winter and summer. It will be best if you kept your cat inside the house during these times to let birds safely come out and eat their food.
You can do things to make sure that your cat focuses on other things, but you cannot erase its predatorial instinct. For those who want to know if they should let their cats out or not, you should. But, they should only be able to go outdoors when it is entirely safe for them. And, also when small animals are least likely to come around.