SAFE for me to get a cat (kitten) if I own cockatiels?

Tropical Nature

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I have 2 cockatiels (they are fully flighted as I don't believe in wing clipping). They are NEVER in a cage unless it's at night (sleep time). I would really LOVE to cat one day. I'd get it as a kitten to ensure there is LESS risk to my birds (or at least I hope that's the case).... but I am very worried wether it is SAFE for to me ever own a cat since I have birds... even if I get the cat as a kitten?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

chris-md

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Yes, it is safe, so long as you take all proper precautions. Cats are predators, and birds are their prey.

You cannot let the cat into the same room as any bird, period, cage or no cage. They must be kept separate at all times. A cat will reach into a cage without hesitation.

that is the only way this can work. It requires Unending diligence on your part to keep the birds safe.
 

GaleriaGila

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Oh, oh, ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...
I love animals... just about all. Having a housefull of diverse critters --- what a dream, buttt...

Flighted 'tiels, kitty cats...

One little slip in vigilance, and...

I hope you don't go there. Please don't. Thanks for asking.
 

Laurasea

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I do not think it is safe. Cockatiel size is prey size to a cat . A cats prey instincts can be triggered at anytime in their life. Cats are bird killers by nature.

99% of cats carry Pasteurella bacteria. Birds can be killed in hours from this bacteria even from a lick , they don't have to be bitten. Even a paw smack as cats lick feet , so the bacteria is on their feet. Even in humans a cat bite can land you in the hospital with septicemia.
Cats kill 4 billion birds a year. Its a terrible tragedy for cat owners to let their cats roam. When a cat catches a bird its nearly 100% that the bird will die , even from one single scratch or tooth . Its the bacteria thst kills them.

So you don't think I am making that up, here is just one article

I took an escaped budgie taken out of a cats mouth, it only had one puncture. I treated it on the spot. My veterinarian got antibiotics into him in under a half hour from contact with cat. I worked hard to save him. Because its nearly unheard of to save them my vet wrote a case report , and presented it a conference.

This is just some info on tge bacteria, sbd you can see nearly 100% fatal

That's my very honest opinion as you asked for. Others will provide theirs.
 
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chris-md

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My friends, I need to try to say this, and I want to be respectful of others opinions, but need to get a point across. This isn’t about proving my first post right, just rather pointing out a serious consistency issue.

MANY responsible people - both on and off this forum - quite safely safely managed mixed predator/prey households (cats and birds, or dogs and birds.)

it’s quite hypocritical of US as a forum to keep these animals ourselves, and then turn around and tell people “no, it’s a bad idea and shouldn’t be done”.

As you tell others not to do it, I hope you do so fully cognizant that it is against the backdrop that many of us actually do so perfectly safely. Risk aversion is one thing, but to not put forward and advise that the same results can’t be accomplished other ways means you only give half the picture, make assumptions about a posters capabilities, and do so without giving them an option to think for themselves about what they can and can’t do.

risk aversion vs risk management, my friends.

[/soapbox]

You know I love you all💙
 

Laurasea

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That's why I added the line with my opinion and others will have different opinions.

When asked for I supply.

Many people are unaware, they have never heard of Pasteurella.

Many are also unaware of the uncomfortable truth of the staggering death toll cats take on wildlife.

I like cats, I had cats for decades before parrots.

The information is provided. But not judgment. They can decide risk / reward.

I have to make those choices myself , and some of my risks are not what others would find acceptable for them and theirs. I'm not living in a perfect risk free world at all .
 

chris-md

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And I respect that.

Even after I hit submit o struggled to actually find my larger point, as my post still reads a little like verbal vomit.

I think my point is this: there is a fine distinction between

“it’s not safe, shouldn’t be done” - an opinion that disregards facts on the ground,

and

“CAN it be done safely? Sure. Should you? That’s up to you. Theres risk involved, enough to make me personally say I would never do it. You have to decide for yourself if it’s a risk your willing to take”.

Given the hypocrisy of the first statement and how it takes power away from the poster, I’ll admit to real frustration when I see such all-encompassing statements.

With that, I’ll leave it there. This is a situation where I don’t want to argue too much and belabor it, as I don’t want seem to invalidate others opinions on such an issue of safety, since both scenarios end the same way, with a safe environment for the bird - I’ve made my point, others can have their personal way with it.

I just really needed to point out that hypocrisy and get it off my chest. It was really bothering me.
 
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Tropical Nature

Tropical Nature

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Thanks so much for all the replies! It's so confusing when I see so many videos on youtube with people having parrots and cats in the same room but its always seemed like an accident waiting to happen. I always cringe when I see many of them have their bird literally right next to the cat chewing on the cat's whiskers!

Seeing the replies here REALLY makes me no longer comfortable to even think about getting a kitten because I CANNOT imagine having to separate my birds into a separate room from my cat. It seems I must choose birds OR cat, but NOT both and of course ZERO chance I would EVER rehome my birds!! It confused me so much as an experienced avian contact told me it would be OK so long as I get the cat as a kitten and "train" them.

I was hoping to get a Moustache parakeet one day.... not anytime soon... this would be many years from now. What size parrot do you feel is OK to have around a cat? If I had a Macaw or Cockatoo I'd be more fearful of the cat getting injured 😬 I will never have a Macaw or Cockatoo however. So I guess I must choose if I want to have a Moustache parakeet or a cat many years from now. I cannot imagine not having a bird in my life though... hence why I wonder what size/type of parrot would you feel comfortable having a cat in the same house with?
 

LaManuka

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Thanks so much for all the replies! It's so confusing when I see so many videos on youtube with people having parrots and cats in the same room but its always seemed like an accident waiting to happen. I always cringe when I see many of them have their bird literally right next to the cat chewing on the cat's whiskers!

Seeing the replies here REALLY makes me no longer comfortable to even think about getting a kitten because I CANNOT imagine having to separate my birds into a separate room from my cat. It seems I must choose birds OR cat, but NOT both and of course ZERO chance I would EVER rehome my birds!! It confused me so much as an experienced avian contact told me it would be OK so long as I get the cat as a kitten and "train" them.

I was hoping to get a Moustache parakeet one day.... not anytime soon... this would be many years from now. What size parrot do you feel is OK to have around a cat? If I had a Macaw or Cockatoo I'd be more fearful of the cat getting injured 😬 I will never have a Macaw or Cockatoo however. So I guess I must choose if I want to have a Moustache parakeet or a cat many years from now. I cannot imagine not having a bird in my life though... hence why I wonder what size/type of parrot would you feel comfortable having a cat in the same house with?
In the interests of full disclosure, I haven't had a cat in years and personally would not want one around my birds. In terms of what size/type parrot I'd be comfortable having a cat around, the answer to that, and again this is just my personal opinion, would be none. The YouTube videos that you mention are very misleading since they do not show the consequences that can easily arise from a momentary lapse in supervision of cat and bird interactions, irrespective of the size of the bird. They also do not show the effect that a bird chewing on a cat's whiskers or picking at it's claws or teeth may have, since claws and teeth in particular harbour bacteria that is deadly to birds, without the bird even having been scratched or bitten. You won't (I hope!) see that on YouTube, but unfortunately we do see the consequences here, when bereaved parrot owners post about such interactions gone suddenly and horribly wrong.

Many people are able to make cat and bird households work, but I am not one of them. Keeping the two firmly separated just would not work in my home and if an interaction was to prove deadly, that is just not something that I personally would be able to live with.
 

chris-md

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if you have safe practices, any sized bird is fine.

Just never in the same room. Size doesn’t matter, this is not negotiable.

You correctly note regarding those YouTube videos. They are irresponsible accidents waiting to happen, and do nothing but perpetuate horrible myths.
 

Terry57

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if you have safe practices, any sized bird is fine.

Just never in the same room. Size doesn’t matter, this is not negotiable.

You correctly note regarding those YouTube videos. They are irresponsible accidents waiting to happen, and do nothing but perpetuate horrible myths.
Chris, I agree with you. I have had cats as long as I have had birds, and they are always kept separated.
My cats live on a different floor in my house than my birds do. It can be done, but with constant vigilance.
 

Laurasea

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Chis,
There was no hypocrisy.
Tropical Nature, smaller birds are just more likely to trigger a cats predator response. Think of cats watching burds outside, verse watching chickens. Cats are much less likely to attack chickens.
Members here have had or do have a cat and parrots. Its like Chris said, its what risk and what safety precautions you feel comfortable with.
I had a cat who could open doors. She would jump up up on knobs then could pull or push the door open . Not every cat can do that, maybe it's even extremely rare, but mine could.
We have had stories here of cats that seemed great around parrots during the day, only to one night attack the bird through cage bars.

I'm sure the members who have cats might find your thread and share their success stories. I leave that to them.

Sorry that we get passionate, but that's also what's great. You asked for opinions so its good you get different ones.

I have dogs and parrots , there are many that feel that is to big a risk. I did choose less prey driven dogs, and I do take precautions. There is still risk . And 40% of dogs carry Pasteurella bacteria. Dogs have killed parrots on the forum. As I mentioned before, we all have to weigh risks . I draw the line for myself at cats, or ferrets.

I commend you for taking the time to think about it. For asking for opinion .
 

chris-md

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Laura please don’t take it personally, I’m referring to a more forum-wide hypocrisy. Too many of us keep predators in our homes for us to credibly - and frankly hamfistedly, without thought to nuance - say “no, never, too dangerous”. Cat…dog…doesnt matter, they’re interchangeable, “insert predator species here”. That’s all I mean when I call out hypocrisy ☺️
 

Emeral

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I have 2 cockatiels (they are fully flighted as I don't believe in wing clipping). They are NEVER in a cage unless it's at night (sleep time). I would really LOVE to cat one day. I'd get it as a kitten to ensure there is LESS risk to my birds (or at least I hope that's the case).... but I am very worried wether it is SAFE for to me ever own a cat since I have birds... even if I get the cat as a kitten?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
Could you send us a photo of your birds?
What are their names?

Do they come when called?
What are their personalities?
What tricks did you teach them?

Would be lovely to see them 😀
 

Birds lover from Hawaii

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I have 2 cockatiels (they are fully flighted as I don't believe in wing clipping). They are NEVER in a cage unless it's at night (sleep time). I would really LOVE to cat one day. I'd get it as a kitten to ensure there is LESS risk to my birds (or at least I hope that's the case).... but I am very worried wether it is SAFE for to me ever own a cat since I have birds... even if I get the cat as a kitten?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
My 27 year old Senegal (BB) just passed away a week and a half ago. I have always love to have a little dog as well but as soon as that thought came to mind, I quickly pushed it out of my head. The reason is simple that I want BB to be 100% safe not 90% not 80% but 100%.

We are humans, no matter how diligent and how careful we try to be but bad things can still happen and that we call it "accidents" that you will never ever think it will happen. If you can endure the pain of losing your birdies if accident do happen, then you may consider bringing a cat in. Sometimes we all just have to make a choice in life and may not be able to have everything as we wish as your birds totally depend on you to keep them safe.

Like others, this is just my own personal opinion.
 
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Tropical Nature

Tropical Nature

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I'm thankful for all the replies! 💕 Before I started this thread I was 99.9% going to get a kitten in a few years... but now (after reading the replies) there is literally ZERO chance I will get a kitten when I have birds. I would never be able to live with myself if my birds got injured or worse just because I wanted a cat!

Having to keep cat in separate room from my birds is definitely NOT something I would ever want to sign up for. I hope my birds live a long time... but when they pass is the only time I will ever get a kitten.

I've wanted to adopt a Mustache Parakeet for the looooongest time but I was too worried the Mustache Parakeet might injure my tiels (they'd never be kept in same cage of course). I also have to make a decision whether I want to switch from being a bird person to a cat person!! I consider myself a bird person.... I love the way birds smell and am addicted to sniffing them!! Why do they have to smell so good LOL.

... I've had cockatiels my entire life (while having small dogs many years ago)... and I did have a cat when I was a kid. I will never have a dog again as I'm not huge into dogs.

.... but I think it would be a nice break/switch to become a "cat person" as birds are not the easiest to care for and I fell in love with cats after I was hanging around a cat that stays at an avian bird store of all places. My old neighbor's cat was so amazing and they had a DIY realistic cat tree... it was really cool.

I have many years to make my decision (if I want to switch to being a cat person) as my cockatiels are only 9yrs old and 4yrs old. I THINK I can make the switch from birds to cats.... but I'm not 100% sure. I've got plenty of time to decide... in the meantime I will enjoy my birds with NO cats!!
 

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