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Bells on collars

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
We feel a ton wild birds. Never thought we'd own a cat until someone dropped an 8 week old kitten inside our fenced yard. What were we to do? So we have a really sweet 4 month of kitten now and she's starting to sit out by the feeders and watch the squirrels and birds.

I a bell the answer? She loves the outdoors and I'm not the type to deprive a cat of that pleasure, especially since we don't have busy roads around us.

Will the bell around her neck drive her crazy? Turn her into a neurotic cat. Right now she is such a joy.

Thanks for any insight,
post #2 of 16
My girlies are inside only, but have always had bells on their collars.
post #3 of 16
I can only speak for Kitty but having a bell alone didn`t work so I put a bell and an ID disc so they clinked together and that seemed to work better
He somehow still managed to catch things with the bell by itself
As it`s a young cat I would guess it`s easier for them to get used to
post #4 of 16
Mine were never bothered by bells when they had them, but a few years ago I read something somewhere -- I forget now where it was -- that made me take the bells off their collars. The point that was offered was that cats are more than capable of moving quietly enough that the bell doesn't sound, thus being no help to the prey; more importantly, though, it was suggested that should the shoe be on the other foot, i.e., should the cat be in flight mode, trying to evade danger herself, the bell would likely sound and might actually compromise the cat's safety. FWIW.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Interesting point about her having to escape something after her. And also about cats moving so slow it doesn't really matter. I know the bell against her tag is driving me crazy in the house!

Thanks again,
post #6 of 16
Bells don't really help... cats that are hunters will be able to catch birds even wearing a bell.

I would suggest that you stop feeding the birds, or else feed them somewhere far away. Maybe you could donate birdseed to a bird sanctuary in your region instead?

Also, cats are most likely to hunt at dawn and dusk (when birds are most active), and to some extent at night. If you let your cat out only during the daylight hours, you'll reduce the risk of kills.
post #7 of 16
I used to have a bell on Shareena's collar, thinking that when she gets out (which she isn't supposed to do) I would be able to find her more easily. It worked maybe one time. Then she learned how to run so the bell doesn't make a sound. Shortly after that she managed to pull the bell off the collar and just use it as a toy to bat around.
post #8 of 16
I can't stand bells on collars, so I always take them off. I have no clue what effect they would have on a cat. Sorry!

Don't mean to sound harsh, but a cat doesn't know what is good for it, so just b/c a cat "likes" be go outside doesn't mean it is safe for them. There are other risks besides busy roads. I wouldn't risk it. When my son was younger he would have "liked" to play in the middle of the road, doesn't mean it is safe for him and I should let him do it.
post #9 of 16
The collar Albus has has a bell and it's more for our sake- my boyfriend is easily startled and Albus likes to startle!

I've never seen a cat seem to notice it. They seem to be more bothered by wearing a collar at all; whether or not it has a bell doesn't seem to make a difference.

I think you should just keep the cat inside or else build an enclosure for her that will protect both her and the birds!
post #10 of 16
Our cats have always been extrememly good at losing the collars anyways, so our solution to the bird carnage was to stop feeding the birds in the spring and resume when the snow starts flying in November. The cats are much less interested in going out when the temp is below freezing, and none of them would stand in 2 feet of snow by the feeder. And the birds really appreciate the food and are much easier to spot w/out the leaves on the trees.

Our late Gracie was a proficient predator anyways so at least anything she caught she had to earn this way...

Midori would much rather be inside than hunt anyways (giant lazy butt cat).
post #11 of 16
If your cat doesnt mind the bells, I say its a good idea. it is supposed to help the birdies and such escape better.

But, since your cat goes outside a collar is important whether it has bells or not. mine never ever go outside, and they hate collars with a passion so i gave up trying to make them
post #12 of 16
Both my cats have bells and it doesn't seem to bother them in the least. Sometimes it drives us crazy(especially in the middle of the night) but for them, they could care less. Not sure if it will work in regards to the birds but it shouldn't drive your cat crazy,
post #13 of 16
My cat goes absolutely crazy if you put a collar with a bell on her, and we have tried several times thinking she'd get used to it! She runs around as fast as anything, scratches you if you go near her, and ends up staying so still, frozen, so the bell doesn't tinkle! Last time we tried she ended up sat in her litter tray for nearly an hour...and we gave up. She's happier without it!
post #14 of 16
I'm not surprised. I would hate to have a bell ring every time I moved for the rest of my life.
post #15 of 16
When I was a kid my cats often brought "offerings" and left them at the back door, or under my mom's bed. My mom was terrified of birds, she ran through K-Mart one day screaming because a bird in the pet shop area squawed
You should have seen her the day she came home and opened my brothers's bedroom door and was greeted by an injured owl he had brought home. We found her in the coat closet hollering for help
After that we put bells on our cats and it didn't even slow them down, the offerings kept arriving
post #16 of 16
all my guys have collars with id and bells even though they are indoor only cats. They only have bells for their own good. my last roommate didnt pay attention to who tried to run out the door and down the steps with him, so i figured if they had bells he would hear them jingle and realize a cat was following. I can also tell whos running around and getting into trouble by the sound of their bells (strange since they all have the same exact collars, bells & IDs) They have become very good at jumping up on the counters without having their bells make a noise....boggles my mind each and every time they do it. Bells are for my own sanity!
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