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Old 04-10-2012, 05:19 PM
2,600 posts, read 537,810 times
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Not that I can do anything about this, but there is a cardinal that has been hanging outside my condo for the past few days. It chirps loudly and incessantly. At first I welcomed it, thinking it was kitty entertainment for Belina. But sometimes she cries as if she is being tormented---as if her heart is breaking because she can't get to the bird!

For a split second, I even wondered whether the cat was teasing her---perching in full view of her....but that's not really possible, is it????

So---is my poor little precious cat being bullied by a beautiful red bird? Is she enjoying this or getting traumatized by it? How do your cats react to birds that are outside?
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:33 PM
Location: Pittsburgh area
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I suppose it's not impossible, but that seems unlikely cardinal behavior, that it would actually know enough to tease and be smug with your cat. It may be able to learn that it has nothing to fear from the cat behind the forcefield, though. Or maybe not, given that they might react to their own reflections, which means maybe they don't really see the cat at all.

One thing about cardinals: right now they can be intensely territorial as we get into mating season here. We watch them fight over this a bit in the back yard. Even a female might chase another female off! One nasty side effect of this though could be that the cardinal is fighting his reflection in your window. That could look a little like tormenting the cat.

Your cat's reaction, well, I think that is going to vary by cat. Amber has reacted to things outside, more likely chipmunks and squirrels that have managed to get up close to our sliding glass door, rather than birds, but she does react to the birds occasionally. But she's not very vocal. Most I've seen her do is start pawing at the glass. Heh. And she crouches like she's stalking and have seen her try to pounce against the glass, kind of (only once or twice).

It's tough to say if you could argue that it's tormenting her, seeing the bird there for hours if it's there that long. I mean, I think when we play with toys we're told to let the cat catch the toy occasionally? The bird she won't ever be able to catch. But I personally wouldn't consider that a big issue off the top of my head unless someone has some evidence otherwise.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:11 PM
Location: Lakewood OH
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Who knows what's in the minds of critters? I once had two cats who loved to jump up on a wide ledge of a seven foot tall fence and walk back and forth on it to tease the high strung Irish Setters that lived in the next yard.

The dogs would go crazy and I swear the cats were laughing their heads off. I doubt if they would have done it if they hadn't found it amusing. The cats knew they were safe because there was a dog run in between the fence and the yard that the dogs could only access if someone open a gate for them. So those cats knew even if they fell onto the dog run, they would be protected from the dogs and had only to just jump up on the top ledge again to escape.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:15 PM
Location: Philaburbia
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I don't think about it at all. The cats are inside, the birds outside. I can't do anything about the birds. It's a non issue.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:30 PM
Location: Near Nashville TN
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Originally Posted by jazzcat22 View Post
So---is my poor little precious cat being bullied by a beautiful red bird? Is she enjoying this or getting traumatized by it? How do your cats react to birds that are outside?
After awhile my cats watched but otherwise seem to have lost interest in birds. Birds outside don't excite them as they did at first.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:02 PM
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I have a cat that I think is afraid of birds. Once she was out in the front yard and a bird was sitting on the corner of the roof making "cawing" noises and our cat seemed to be shuddering in fear.

Another time I called her and she came running across our yard (she rarely runs), being pursued by a flock of birds maybe ten feet off the ground.

For a time we had a bird feeder on the back porch. She used to sit on the chair by the window, looking at the birds feeding. It was like she knew she was supposed to do something, but didn't know what to do. When we go into the (fenced in) backyard, we take her outside, but she wants to go back inside right away, although she likes going out the front door.

At least I don't have to worry about dead birds on my doorstep.
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:54 PM
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My gal does not have a taste for birds... she loves her "red" meat... more than chicken... even in can forms.

The birds don't tempt / tease her... the squirrels here do.
Literally... tormenting her within arms length at the front door but poor kitty could only stare out the "lites" or have her scamper to the sofa to view more of her tormentor.
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:24 PM
Location: Philadelphia
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I would think more that the bird is being territorial, or perhaps even scared of your cat, like what greg42 said. I don't care how much or how loud a bird tweets outside, my cat is not going to get to it.

We have a bird feeder and house thingy in our backyard so it attracts cardinals, some blue jays, and other small birds. My cat doesn't care about them too much, normally he just sits on the back windowsill and watches quietly (he is an indoor-only cat). He did start meowing loud one morning, and then we noticed a big old owl in one of the pine trees in our yard! The owl was perched on a branch and it was very hard to see him.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:06 PM
Location: El Paso, TX
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One of my cats (now he's actually my mom's cat) is fascinated by hummingbirds...he would sit on the dining room table and watch them for hours, every once in awhile he would let out a "mew" or two, like he was trying to communicate with them, which was super cute. Luckily, my mom has a similar set-up, with her hummingbird feeder hung outside the big kitchen window in front of the table, so he gets to enjoy them there now, too.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:43 PM
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The chattering, or other sounds, from kitty, is normal. As others have said, the cardinal is feeling territorial at this time of year. It's quite possible he sees his reflection in the window and is warning that 'strange imposter' away from his territory.

If he is aware of the cat at all, he knows the cat is not a threat.

My opinion is your cat is greatly enjoying the show. I feed the birds on an outside sill directly next to the window, my cats love it. I call it Cat TV.
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