Study: Colorful Collars Help Birds Avoid Outdoor Cats

Research shows that birds who see the colorful collars have more time to evade cats.

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Discovery News reports that it’s found a way to let birds and cats coexist: the BirdsBeSafe collar.

Murdoch University School of Veterinary and Life Sciences PhD student Catherine Hall led a study to find whether big, bright, colorful collars on cats would scare away wild birds. She and her team picked three collar cover colors ?rainbow, red, yellow ?from Birdsbesafe cat collar cover company. The cat collar designers believe animals who view colors vividly, such as birds and reptiles, will notice the colors right away and have more time to evade capture.

Cat owners participated in the research, by first reporting on the prey their cats favored. Then, the research team studied 114 cats over two years in suburban Australia. According to Discover News: “The scientists looked at all three collar colors and found a 54% overall reduction in the successful capture of prey, with rainbow and red being the most effective warning colors.”

But were the cats bothered by the collars? According to the report, however, “The team found 79% of the cats’ owners reported their pets did not exhibit any problems wearing them, while another 17% said their felines adjusted to the collar within two days.”

With tension between cat advocates and bird fans often high, especially Australia, any humane measure to protect both species is valued. For bird conservationists and cat lovers, this could be a good option for everyone.

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