Are Cats an Effective Bird Deterrent?

Most birds are very welcome in our gardens and workplaces. There are few things nicer than looking out of the window to see robins, blackbirds, tits and other colourful delights hopping around outdoors. On the other hand, some birds are a lot less welcome. If you own a cat, or there’s a cat at your business premises, is it enough of a deterrent to keep pest birds at bay?


Plenty of people rate feral pigeons as pests, for example, even though it was us humans who domesticated them in the first place and it’s mostly our fault they’ve been so hugely successful. Sadly these bright, interesting and intelligent birds are sometimes present in such large numbers, thanks to our efforts, that they can ultimately create mess, damage and even disease.

The same goes for seagulls. The biggest culprit seems to be the humble herring gull, a magnificent creature, big and beautiful as well as surprisingly clever. Feed a seagull on your windowledge once and it will literally never forget, coming back every day for years to see if you’ll do it again. If you’ve ever been attacked while eating alfresco, you’ll already know what a nuisance herring gulls can be at the seaside. Again it’s our own fault, but the birds suffer for it. For some great advice and products that can help if you have a bird problem pay a visit to

Other gulls are less badly thought of, for example the small, neat black headed gull, a regular visitor that flocks to our coastal towns and cities.

Why birds can be a problem

Many birds – including feral pigeons – have very acidic urine, which can corrode everything from fabric to metal and plastic over time. Debris like moulted feathers and old nesting materials can block gutters, drains and ventilation. Sometimes birds get inside cavity walls and roof spaces, making a terrible mess, causing damage, dying in there and resulting in dreadful stinks as well as dirt and disease. Plenty of birds carry bacteria and parasites that can lead to really nasty human illnesses like encephalitis, salmonella, meningitis and toxoplasmosis.

Do cats make good bird deterrents?

As a result of herring gull and feral pigeons being such a success, there are a whole load of products designed to repel them. But will your cat to a good enough job on his or her own, leaving you free from having to buy potentially expensive bird free gel, bird deterrent gadgets and bird deterrent spikes?

As it turns out, seagulls can and do attack cats. Pigeons steer well clear of cats and are afraid of them, a jolly wise move when a single moggy can easily drag an entire feral pigeon through a cat flap in one fell swoop and break its neck with one judiciously-placed bite.

The thing is, you’d need a gang of cats to keep a flock of gulls or pigeons out of the way. Cats are not there 24/7, they have to eat and sleep. Unless you have a load of felines handy 24/7/365, they’re not going to keep nuisance birds at bay.

There’s more – the last thing you want to do is make it clear to your cat that it’s OK to attack birds. Your cat cannot, after all, tell the difference between a pigeon, a seagull and something like a wren, sparrow or robin, birds that don’t harm humans or the things humans build and make, and don’t carry nasty diseases in the same way.

The only real way to repel gulls, pigeons and other bird pests effectively is to use one of these…

Bird free gel

Bird Free gel keeps all birds away without hurting them in any way, a really good solution.It alters bird behaviour so well that they will completely desert a habitat, even one they have used for decades, when they spot Bird Free. It’s a special gel that deters birds from landing. It’s really quick and easy to install, is perfect for outdoors, doesn’t damage to buildings or other structures and can be applied vertically, or even upside down. It has been  ahuge success at airports, sports stadiums, schools, railway stations, hospitals, factories and anywhere else birds are a nuisance or a hazard to human health.

Bird deterrent spikes, wires, chimney protectors and netting

Bird deterrent spikes, wires, chimney protectors and netting work really simply by preventing birds from landing, never mind nesting. They are widely used to repel gulls and piogeones from nesting in places they are not wanted, making surfaces either uncomfortable, uninviting or even intimidating to birds that like to roost on property.

Faux birds of prey

There’s nothing quite like a really good plastic repro of a bird of prey to keep pigeons away. A good quality plastic bird of prey, for example, keeps pigeons away and it usually takes a good long while for them to realise it isn’t real.