If you can’t make your mind up between getting a pet cat or a pet bird, who says you have to choose? Although cats and birds aren’t natural friends—in fact, the opposite is true—they can co-exist in families. In some cases, they can even overcome their distrust of each other and form an unlikely bond. If you’re considering bringing a cat and a bird together, it’s a good idea to consult your vet for advice about the transition period and keeping them both safe. This information will also help.
Start the Introduction Slowly
Don’t expect a cat and a bird to warm up to each other quickly. Instead, you will need to slowly let them get to know each other while you supervise closely. Before you begin the introduction, be sure your bird cage is strong and stable, so that your bird can’t escape, and your cat get in. Start by putting the bird cage in a room and letting your cat see it from the other side of the room. Read your animals’ cues. If your bird seems relaxed and your cat doesn’t seem aggressive, you can let the cat get closer to the bird to explore. If they are anxious, end the introduction and try again another time. Repeat this process for about 10 minutes at a time until the animals don’t seem shocked by each other and aren’t acting anxiously or aggressively.
Let Them Share a Space Under Supervision
Once the initial surprise is over for your pets and they’ve gotten used to seeing each other, you can try to let your bird out of the cage while your cat is in the room. Keep a very close eye on the bird—even a gentle swipe of your cat’s claws can give your bird a potentially lethal infection. Never leave them unattended.
Encourage Them to Be Close—But Not Too Close
Some cats and birds like to snuggle together once they get to know each other, but this can be risky. Each carry bacteria that could be dangerous to the other. Generally, it’s better to encourage them to keep their distance from each other, unless your vet tells you it is safe.
Horizon Animal Hospital is here to help all of your pets life their best lives, at every age and stage. To make an appointment at our veterinary hospital in Scottsdale, call (480) 614-9500.