Not a pretty sight I know, but that is cats. If you are going to invite a cat into your home, you have to be prepared to expect a few little ‘presents’ brought home. Cats are hunters it is their instinct to hunt and it does not matter if you feed them plenty of tasty things their need to hunt is primal and built in they will do it regardless of how well fed they are. There is likely a level of enjoyment for them as well. They practice hunting skills from the second they can move around. Whether they are playing with siblings or playing with toys they are practicing whether they know it or not.
You can see from the image to the right that even though the cat is after a toy it exhibits a hunting posture. This is standard for all cats they will always hunt. There is no reason to be alarmed or worried that your cat does this, however it is natural for us to want to minimise any damage to wildlife that cats in our care may inflict. Thankfully there are a few ways we can do this. In many cases people are content with cats hunting mice and other rodents as they are undesirable to have in the area. Even wearing a bell doesn’t generally protect rodents as cats can still hunt these particular creatures quite well, bell or not, wearing a bell just seems to make the game more challenging for the cat but still plenty of fun.
Bells however can protect birds. Most people are fond of small birds and would rather not have their cat hunting them. So, a simple addition of a collar and bell can help this. In some cases, 2 or even 3 bells may be needed. There are very quiet small bells that come standard on collars, and there are also hunting bells that are a little bigger and louder. So, make sure you have the right bell that is likely to deter your cat the best.
Cats do tend to lose their collars, this is due to the quick release safety features on most cat collars in case the cat gets caught somewhere. There are different types of quick releases and some suit some cats better than others, you may have to try a few types before you find one your cat will keep on but do persist as usually you will find one. I myself went through about 6 collars before I found one that has stayed on for an extended period. She may well loose that one at some point, but my aim was to find the type that suits her and if she loses that I will replace it, just so long as I’ve gotten several months out of it as opposed to several days.
You can find a selection of collars and bells here: Cat Collars & Bells. In my experience the elasticated collars stay on the best and the quick release buckles are lost very easily.
If you have found the perfect collar and your cat is wearing a myriad of bells and is still bringing little birds home there is another option, you can try and that is a cat bib. This is a lightweight soft and flexible bib the cat wears to make catching birds too difficult. Bibs can be found here: Cat Bibs
Lastly you can choose to keep your cat indoors or minimise outdoor access and time. This can be tricky but is doable if it is what you want.
Whatever you decide just know that cats will be cats know matter what you do, they are fascinating creatures that are very capable of looking after themselves out in the big bad world.