Birds for Cats? How to Set Up a Bird Feeder for Indoor Cats

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Want a super-simple form of entertainment for cats? Set up a bird feeder outside your window! I recently did this and have already seen some great benefits.

cat watching bird feeder

My foster cat Peyton excitedly watches two bluejays at my bird feeder.

Why set up entertainment for cats?

Offering your cat a way to stay active and entertained during the day decreases the likelihood that he or she will develop behavioral problems. In addition, you may notice your cats:

  • Become less needy
  • Be more active during the day — and less at night!
  • Get along better with other pets in the house

 How to set up a bird feeder for your indoor cats

  1. Find a window at least 10 feet above the ground. You want to set up your bird feeder high enough to stop feral cats and/or squirrels from being able to reach it. If birds don’t think it’s safe, they’ll come less often.
  2. Select a feeder type for the birds you want to attract. Different birds eat different types of food and from different types of feeders. Do some research to find out whether the birds you’d like to attract eats from platform or perch feeders and what kind of food they eat. (I wanted to attract cardinals and bluejays, so I set up a wide, flat feeder — called a platform bird feeder — and fill it with suet bird food.)
  3. Cardinal with bird feeder

    Thinkstock

    Make sure to secure your window and window screens. Before you set up your feeder, make sure the window and window screens in that area are secure. Even if your window screens appear to be solid, it’s a good idea to let your household know not to open this window anymore. This will make absolutely sure your cat is safe and can’t fall out. If you have large, glass windows without screens, make sure to put some kind of indicator or reflector on the outside of the glass so birds won’t become confused and fly into the glass.

  4. Set up easy-viewing for your cats. Create a comfortable place where your cats can watch the feeder. You can do this by adding a window ledge pillow, a cat tree with perch or a shelf with a pillow. Just place your cat’s perch at least 5-6′ from the feeder itself, otherwise it’s unlikely birds will visit your feeder. (Watch the video below to see the perch I set up for my cat Kura.)

Once you’ve finished the above, start adding food to the feeder and wait. It may take a few weeks, but eventually birds will start regularly visiting the feeder and your cats will be happier than ever!

Don’t believe me? Check out what my cat Kura and foster cat Peyton think of my new feeder:

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