I am an animal lover, all animals. I put bowls of dry cat food on our porches for strays. Although I feed the birds at several different feeders, the birds are always eating the cat food. This results in droppings on our porches and railings. I conducted an experiment; I put a bowl of bird food next to a bowl of cat food, and then I watched. The birds devoured the cat food and paid almost no attention to the bird food. (I bring the bowls in at night.)
By Emmy from Mogantown, WV
As far as I know there is no way to stop birds from doing this. The jays have cleaned out a large bowl at my house in just a morning. I just feed my cat and bring the bowl in and out, in and out.
Jays are meat eaters. If they can, they even steal squirrel babies as well as bird babies. Jays do not like to crawl inside anything. You may see what the cats can tolerate in the way of going inside some type of cover that the jays will not enter. Experiment. Good luck.
Yes, jays & crows like cat food. During mating/spring especially. They need the extra meat protein for their own chicks, which is why they steal babies from other birds. After watching 3 nests of songbirds destroyed, I started putting cat food in our driveway (away from small birds nests) to satisfy the meat need & save some nestlings. I saw many fewer raids on nests after that & fledglings emerging from nests. After leaving the nests they are vulnerable & hope the cat food allows more to survive.
Try setting out the food only at night. Cats are nocturnal, your problem birds are not. I put out two big bowls of cat food for the feral kitties in our neighborhood every night, and by morning the food is gone. I have never had a problem with any birds eating the food. I have had 2 opossums, but I love opossums, so it's all good. I have a neighbor who puts out food in the morning before she leaves for work, takes any leftover food inside, then feeds the kitties again in the evening when she gets home. She hasn't had any problems either. I'm so glad you're feeding the homeless kitties! Just be sure to get those babies spayed/ neutered and vaccinated against rabies.
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