Cats Indoors



Madrone Audubon encourages cat owners to be responsible with their pets. Bells aren’t enough - if you have a house cat, here are some things you can do to help keep wild birds, and your cat, safe:

Keep your cat indoors and encourage others to do the same. Cats can get used to an indoor lifestyle, especially if started when they are young. Cats that are allowed to roam outdoors can encounter any variety of dangers from larger predators, stray cats, animals with illness, or vehicles on a roadway which could strike and seriously injure or kill a pet.

Consider installing a cat enclosure for your cat. This allows your cat to be outside.  At the same time, it keeps them safe from harm and also prevents them from hunting wild birds.  Check this website for many creative cat enclosure ideas, from simple to extravagant “catios”:

Identify your cat. Use a collar and tag or microchip your cat in case it gets lost.

Don’t feed unknown cats without making a commitment to finding them a permanent home. Feeding stray cats will only establish their presence and lead to rapid growth in their numbers, especially if the cats have not been spayed or neutered. Instead, take responsibility to ensure cats in the area where you live are spayed or neutered, and take them to a local animal shelter where they have the chance to be adopted.

Spay or neuter your own cat as early as eight weeks of age. Spayed and neutered pets live healthier, longer lives.

Never abandon cats. This is illegal and cruel behavior. Instead, take the cat to an animal shelter where it has a chance of being adopted.

Support laws that prevent cats from roaming.

If you are unwilling to keep your cat indoors, do not attract birds to your yard by putting out bird feeders, bird houses and bird baths.

Many Audubon chapters across the country are engaged in trying to help find the balance to protect wild birds from predation by domestic and feral cats.  To achieve community awareness, education is essential.  Responsible pet ownership and assessing and responsibly acting on situations such as abandoned or free roaming cats are key factors in trying to achieve a humane balance in communities as well as proactively dedicating ourselves to protecting wild birds from unwanted predation.

For more information, see these brochures and articles on cats and wildlife:

American Bird Conservancy’s cat brochure:

American Bird Conservancy’s cats and wildlife brochure:

Louisiana Ornithological Society newsletter excerpt on cats indoors
Do a Little, Save a Lot - Keep Cats Indoors

PETA’s article on caring for cats:

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