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Old 01-18-2018, 03:45 PM
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Exclamation African Grey + Cat? Doable?

Hi.

I really would love to purchase an African Grey Parrot. My friends mom is looking to rehome hers and I have been interested in birds for years.

The only problem is that I have a 7 year old domestic black cat that is semi-aggresive and I don't know if i can have a bird with him around. He often brings home small mice, chipmunks, and sometimes moles. He has gotten in fights with a few other animals and lost, coming home with bite and scratch marks. We aren't sure who he got in a fight with but it was most likely another cat down the street.

We also have a small dog (papillon) that is very jumpy and gets in the cats face all the time. The cat seems to run away from the dog mostly and is annoyed by his licking but never swats or tries to harm the dog. They sleep in the same bed at night and get along very sweetly when the dog isn't barking her head of at the poor cat. He's a very sweet cat to humans and loves attention and being petted (I know about how jealous birds get, but i don't think it will be a problem).

Is there any hope for acquainting this cat with the parrot?

Last edited by Pudding; 01-18-2018 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 01-18-2018, 04:42 PM
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Re: African Grey + Cat? Doable?

We have one African grey, a pit bull, a chihuahua, 2 ferrets, and a house cat. The Grey terrifies everyone else cat included. They are not allowed to be near each other without supervision. The cat has as much hunting instinct as a hair brush and is an indoor cat.

Sounds like your cat may be a different story as they are a proven hunter. You are the one to make the determination as you know the cat.

On a side note, African Greys take a LOT of work and can give really nasty bites. My Grey takes a minimum of four hours of direct interaction every day. If they don't get that kind of attention there are a host of problem behaviors they are notorious for developing. Plucking, self mutilation, aggression, neurotic behavior to name a few. Most do not recommend them as your first bird. If you really feel that you can give a good loving home to a parrot that needs this level of commitment do your research, find a good avian vet, throw away your teflon cookware and non stick appliances, throw away all your candles air fresheners and perfumes, and start putting away some money for the vet bills.

Parrots of any type are not for the feint of heart and African Greys or any larger parrot are harder than most. There are lots of helpful folks here so if you have any questions please ask. And if you do decide you are ready for the Grey post pictures! We love pictures.
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:49 PM
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Re: African Grey + Cat? Doable?

I (unfortunately) have five cats. Of course supervision is the key, and just remember that a cat's instinct will be to swat at a bird-especially in flight. My cats like to sleep on the bird cages if allowed-which is not of course. I say unfortunately because my husband and son are the cat guys : ) We do have four dogs also, one of which is on the top five most dangerous dogs list. The pet that gives me the biggest problem is our house chicken, believe it or not. Finnegan is constantly trying to pick fights with the chicken (my Timneh) and if either of the birds are on the floor she makes a beeline. I don't know what she's trying to do but I don't wait to find out. She doesn't have the bite but she's a lot bigger than the parrots. Anyway, your cat, yes it's doable. I agree with Mooshie, Africans are a lot of work, but if you decide to take one in be prepared for the worst case scenarios (you realize the cat is always stalking the bird so you are forced to keep them in different areas of the house for example).
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:05 PM
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Re: African Grey + Cat? Doable?

Thank you so much for replying! I am actually retired and mostly stay at home all day, so commitment isn't a problem! I've also babysat my close friends African Grey for a couple days while they were away (we had him in our house). My grandchildren ages 16 and 18, all love to visit daily and are extremely excited that im thinking of getting a bird. The 16 year old has a bird of his own (a caique) and the 18 year old is his older sister so they share him. I do understand the risks and everything associated with it and I really do hope I can give it a wonderful home
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:06 PM
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Re: African Grey + Cat? Doable?

wow! that's quite a household! Its awesome to see I might be able to have the bird and the cat. I can't say for certain, but I'm sure after a while the cat would give up trying to eat the bird once he sees he's in our family... and he might even be scared of the bird in the first place. I just really want to make sure I don't put the poor bird in any danger before purchase.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:02 PM
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Re: African Grey + Cat? Doable?

Thank you very much for putting thought into this Pudding. I suggest going and visiting the Grey and see what they are like. Find out what issues they have and what they enjoy. Since this is your friends mother she may even allow a trial run and bring the Grey to your house to see how the Grey and your current pets react to each other. While Caiques and Greys are very different birds have your grand kids go with you. They can help with body language of the parrot and help make sure the Grey is healthy. Find out the age of the Grey. Greys can live 40+ years and you may need to provide a new home for them later in life, perhaps your grand kids if they are willing. I'm 37 and Mushka is only five so there is a very good chance she will outlive me. Peruse the forums here and the rest of the internet about African Greys and parrots in general. In fact the stickys on the amazon forum here have some great info that is directed at amazons but works for all parrots. Honestly just about anything Sailboat writes on these forums is gold as far as useful knowledge.

If you do adopt the Grey you will have a different companion than you have ever had in your life. They are full of surprises with how intelligent they are and what they are capable of. While they are a challenge, if you are up to it the rewards far out way the difficulties. I have had my Mushka less than six months and I couldn't imagine my life without her already. She constantly shocks me with not only her intelligence but also her empathy. You have to earn the love of a Grey but once you have it they really and truly do love you.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:59 AM
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Re: African Grey + Cat? Doable?

I have 2 cockatoos, an amazon, 2 cats, a pit bull and a bird dog. The amazon will sometimes ride on the back of the pit bull under close supervision, of course. The dogs have shown little interest in the birds until lately. The cockatoos feed them so they hang around the base of their stand when I pull it out of their room.

One of the cats is a bonafide hunter. He has brought us birds, rabbits, mice, rats, an opossum, you name it. I hate it, I wish he had never gone outside and learned to kill, but he used the dog door to emancipate himself. We got the Amazon first, he is a mealy amazon and a large one. The cat showed little interest in him, but I didn't believe it for a second. Every time I noticed him staring, I would shoo him off. He seemed to lose interest.

But now that we have the cockatoos, he runs in fear. So does the other cat. They are terrified of the 'toos. The first time the larger of the 'toos came flying out of their room, they fled in a panic. And that makes me happy.

Nevertheless, the birds are never left unattended outside their room, in the case of the 'toos, or outside the Amazon's cage. I work from home, so the birds are out all day. The cats disappear all day and come back when the birds are put to bed.
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Old 01-19-2018, 03:44 PM
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Re: African Grey + Cat? Doable?

I am going to work hard at not sounding hard hearted.

You have an outside /inside cat, which the County Health Department Classifies as 'Ground Zero.' As 'every' germ, bug, tick, in a three mile circle has full access to your home! As a group, they represent health issues for you and everyone else in your home. If your cat is not 'fixed' the likelihood increases geometrically.

For your safety and everyone else, you need to switch to an always outside or always inside cat.

Others have well addressed the issues of Cats and Parrots.
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Last edited by SailBoat; 01-20-2018 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 01-20-2018, 01:50 PM
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Re: African Grey + Cat? Doable?

I do agree with you, Sailboat. When we lived in Florida the cats had access to the screened in pool area. I woke up on my birthday a few years ago with Stella on my head which was unusual but didn't think much of it. I got up and realized why, she had brought me a dead citrus rat for a gift. Luckily she left it on the floor and didn't bring it to bed for me. Access to outdoors was shut from then on.
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