General Question

silverfly's avatar

My cat just caught a bird, but the bird is still alive. Is there anything I can do to save it?

Asked by silverfly (4025 points ) May 7th, 2010

The bird doesn’t look too great. He’s slumped in the corner of my yard. He’s a little bloody and definitely not able to fly. Is there anything I can do to save its life?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

72 Answers

Mat74UK's avatar

Most probably not I’m afraid.
The most humane thing to do now is put it out of it’s misery before it dies of blood loss or shock.
If you can’t do it yourself ask a neighbour.

silverfly's avatar

@Mat74UK I can’t kill it and I can’t ask the neighbor.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I agree with @Mat74UK, short of taking it to a vet, there isn’t really anything you can do for it. You could try to move it to a save place so that no other animal gets to it and finishes it off if you are really concerned about it. If you take it to a vet, you’ll have to pay whatever the cost is for it.

Mat74UK's avatar

@silverfly – take it to a vets and just leave it there. He/she’ll put it do it for you. Just leave it on their doorstep to incur no charges.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’m not sure if you have this option but you could try calling the county or city animal control office and see if they might pick up the bird.

jfos's avatar

I don’t think “putting it down” would be the humane thing to do. I think it’s natural for animals to be hunted by other animals, and some weak hawk may survive because of this pre-injured meal. Even though it’s probably cute and/or beautiful, it’s nature.

silverfly's avatar

I decided to put it in our dog travel tent with some water. I picked it up with gloves and it looks like his wings are fine, but his foot is bloody. I’m hoping a few hours in the tent with some water and bird seed will calm him down enough so he can fly away. He just isn’t in bad enough shape to “put him out of his misery”.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

You might want to contact your local animal control office. I had a similar situation with a mourning dove last year. They came and picked the bird up, and treated it in their veterinary clinic, with the intent of releasing it when it was healed. I did not follow up, but I think I saw the same bird in my yard earlier this year.

gailcalled's avatar

When hunting, cats tend to make small puncture wounds with their incisors in the throats of rodents or birds. I fear this wee bird is done for. @jfos has a very good point about nature’s food chain. Try not to be too squeamish.

poofandmook's avatar

@silverfly: Did you see punctures in its body, head, or throat, the way @gailcalled mentioned?

I am surprised at the pang I got reading this question. This is one of the biggest reasons why my girls are indoor cats.

lillycoyote's avatar

In my area we have a bird rescue organization that could help. Do you have something like that where you live?

silverfly's avatar

@poofandmook No puncture marks. It looks like the bird’s foot was all that was harmed and he seems to be doing better.

silverfly's avatar

@lillycoyote Don’t think so. :(

slick44's avatar

Take it to the humane society, they will take it.

lillycoyote's avatar

@silverfly Look in your local yellow pages under “Wildlife Rescue” or maybe if there’s a bird store, one of those ones that sells seeds, feeders, bird books, etc. call them and they might know if there is a bird rescue organization in your area. Try putting him in a shoe box out of harms way and see if he gets better. If the bird is not too badly wounded he might just be in shock. I had a mockingbird fly into my window and knock himself out. I thought he was dead but I called the bird rescue people and they said to do that, and eventually he woke up but was a little groggy, the slowly recovered, he started to walk around, then flew off and was just fine as far as I know.

DarkScribe's avatar

Why was your cat allowed to roam free and kill the local fauna? Cats should be kept indoors.

slick44's avatar

@DarkScribe…again good point.

ValerieTeacup's avatar

@silverfly:You’re so sweet and kind enough to do that; to care for a wounded animal. (:
I wanna give you a hug. Heh.

silverfly's avatar

@DarkScribe Cats deserve to be outdoors just as much as any living creature. Why punish the cat for being itself?

@ValerieTeacup :) It’s the least I can do. I love birds too!

ValerieTeacup's avatar

:D!

I’m not too fond of all birds, but they are neat creatures. Doggies and puppies rock, but nevermind that.

Hope the bird recovers, really. <3

lilikoi's avatar

I find myself wondering if this is a stupid pidgeon. If it is some kind of endangered bird take it to proper authorities. If it’s a pidgeon, forget about it.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, look up your local wildlife rescue. Keep it warm, dark and quiet in the meantime.

The odds are not good without antibiotics as even the smallest cat bite/scratch is loaded with infectious organisms.

It’s only chance if the shock doesn’t kill it first is to be treated with Baytril or another popular antibiotic used for birds.

DarkScribe's avatar

@silverfly DarkScribe Cats deserve to be outdoors just as much as any living creature. Why punish the cat for being itself?

You are punishing living creatures with you attitude. Cats can live indoors quite happily, many do. By allowing your cat to hunt and kill other small creatures you are being thoughtless, self centered, and uncaring. You are also risking your cat, indoor cats live far longer than outdoor cats. It can get run over by a car, or trapped by someone like me. I have a waterfront property with a lot of natural wildlife, parrots and other birds including owls, reptiles both lizards and snakes, possums, koalas, and water rats. They all live quite happily here. Guess what I do if a cat comes onto my property? Do you think that I will allow it to wreak havoc, to kill the natural fauna that lives here? I trap them or shoot them – I have no hesitation. Cats are not natural to this country and have no business in the wild. (I own a cat, he is a great little guy, but he is never allowed out.)

Cats are the only animals aside from humans that habitually kill for amusement sake – they don’t hunt only to eat. Maybe that is why they are the only common animal not mentioned in the Bible. A couple must have sneaked onto the ark. Bad Noah!

poofandmook's avatar

@DarkScribe: I don’t understand why you’re concerned about the animals the cats are hunting, when you will not hesitate to shoot a cat. You say they’re not natural to the country, which means you’re more than likely shooting someone’s pet. What if the cat escaped by accident, and someone is looking for it? I think you’re setting a horrible double-standard here by saying that @silverfly is punishing living creatures with her attitude.

DarkScribe's avatar

@poofandmook DarkScribe: I don’t understand why you’re concerned about the animals the cats are hunting, when you will not hesitate to shoot a cat.

A single cat allowed to roam can kill dozens of small animals every month. They don’t kill to survive they simply kill to entertain themselves. When you weigh the damage to local fauna that one cat can do in its lifetime, how could you not responsibly kill it?

If it is someone’s pet that escaped, tough – the owner should have taken more precautions. I won’t second guess why the cat is there, I just make sure that it doesn’t pointlessly kill any animals that I can protect.

If someone kept a large cat, a cougar or jaguar, I’ll bet that people wouldn’t say “Leave it alone – it has a right to hunt”. It comes down to a matter of perspective – those who don’t care about wildlife and those who do. When the risk includes themselves – their attitude changes – the “big” cat has fewer rights.

ShwartzAndCompany's avatar

@poofandmook I agree with you. @DarkScribe I understand your point, though that is a double standard. I mean, think about it. You won’t hesitate to shoot a cat which could very well be someone’s beloved pet, yet you lecture silverfly for allowing her cat some fresh air? It’s not like people go around purposely feeding birds to their pets. Silverfly is obviously worried about the poor bird. It’s called an accident, honey. Everyone makes them.

poofandmook's avatar

@DarkScribe: My cats get out of my apartment in the approximately 5 seconds I have the door open, all the time. Accidents happen. A child, for example, can’t always be vigilant enough to make sure the cat doesn’t escape. So it’s okay to shoot a child’s escaped pet because he had an accident and let it escape?

DarkScribe's avatar

@ShwartzAndCompany I understand your point, though that is a double standard.

There is no double standard in killing one animal that should not be there to save hundreds that are naturally there, and fresh air can come through a screened window. I have no time for cat owners who allow their pets to slaughter wildlife.

ShwartzAndCompany's avatar

@DarkScribe Being the owner of a cat yourself, you should understand how attached people can get to their pets. Shooting someone’s pet is just inhumane.

DarkScribe's avatar

@poofandmook . So it’s okay to shoot a child’s escaped pet because he had an accident and let it escape?

Yes! Emphatically yes. There is a responsibility attached to owning things that are a danger to others. Mistakes don’t negate that responsibility and the consequences regarding it.

poofandmook's avatar

@DarkScribe: I’m glad I’m not your neighbor. You apparently have less regard for humans than you do for some stupid birds who will probably idiotically fly into a window and kill themselves anyway. Cats are natural predators. The greater cosmic whatever you choose to believe in made them that way for a reason. Birds are natural prey.

And if some poor cat was dumped on the side of the road by someone who didn’t want him? That’s the cat’s fault? And in that case, they are hunting to survive.

DarkScribe's avatar

@ShwartzAndCompany Being the owner of a cat yourself, you should understand how attached people can get to their pets.

What has that to do with not being a responsible pet owner? If I kept a pet crocodile, would you be as forgiving of any damage it might do if it escaped – on the basis that is was a beloved pet?

DarkScribe's avatar

@poofandmook You apparently have less regard for humans than you do for some stupid birds who will probably idiotically fly into a window and kill themselves anyway.

How old are you? Birds and wildlife are not stupid, they have more right to live in their natural environment than a marauding cat. What has an occasional bird flying into a window to do with the fact that one cat in its life time can kill or maim hundreds of birds. Where does regard for humans come into the equation? Teaching humans to be responsible for their actions is an essential part of their acceptance by society.

ShwartzAndCompany's avatar

@DarkScribe You are arrogant and narrow-minded. A cat, as a living creature, has every right to roam outdoors. I thank God you are not one of my neighbors.

DarkScribe's avatar

@ShwartzAndCompany I thank God you are not one of my neighbors.

If you allow your cat to roam free, then I expect it should also thank God that you don’t live near me.

I am often arrogant, but never narrow minded. Caring for the broad spectrum of animal life rather than a narrow issue of one irresponsible pet owner and their pet is hardly narrow minded.

jfos's avatar

@DarkScribe What do you do when you trap them?

poofandmook's avatar

@DarkScribe: I am 27 in two weeks. What the blue fuck does my age have to do with this? You blatantly contradicted yourself in the middle of insulting the asker of this question because she, like thousands and thousands of other people, lets her cat outside. She is trying to save the damned bird and you say she has no regard for animal life.

Incidentally… last I checked, birds can fly way faster than cats can run. I think it’s safe to say that the cat isn’t really the one with the advantage here.

DarkScribe's avatar

@jfos DarkScribe What do you do when you trap them?

I take them to the local animal shelter. There they will allow the owners to reclaim them and warn them about the risk of allowing to roam again. There are laws proposed here currently that will make it illegal to allow cats to roam free, or to own one that is not de-sexed. This is already in place in some communities.

DarkScribe's avatar

@poofandmook What the blue fuck does my age have to do with this?

Your response was childish – it made me wonder about your age.

She is trying to save the damned bird and you say she has no regard for animal life.

If she had concern for animal life her cat would not have attacked the bird. It will do it all the time if allowed to roam – all cats do. She has just happened on the evidence and feels guilty – wants to make some sort of amends.

ShwartzAndCompany's avatar

@poofandmook Excellent point! @DarkScribe You lecture her on having no regard for other wildlife, when you have no problem at all shooting someone’s pet cat. Taking the cat to the local animal shelter is the right thing to do, and I’m glad to see you have some sense.

jfos's avatar

@DarkScribe What do you do when you shoot them?

poofandmook's avatar

@silverfly: I apologize if I derailed your thread. I just can’t believe you were the one attacked for not caring about animal life by someone who shoots people’s pets.

DarkScribe's avatar

@jfos DarkScribe What do you do when you shoot them?

I only shoot them if I find one in the process of attacking an animal – climbing one of the nesting trees etc., or stalking a Koala or Possum. I leave set humane traps out at all times.

If I shoot one I cremate it.

They are such a problem when feral that on occasion the Australian Army spends several weeks baiting and shooting them. They sometime get hundreds in one night – feral cats that are attracted to a half a beef carcass used as bait.

ShwartzAndCompany's avatar

@silverfly: I am glad you actually care about what happens to the poor bird. I apologize for getting so off topic. I just find it so wrong that you getting lectured for trying to save the bird by someone who shoots other people’s pets. I hope the bird gets well :)

jfos's avatar

@poofandmook @ShwartzAndCompany Give him a break. He has made it clear that he’s not a cat hunter—he sets traps to catch them and deal with them, and he only shoots the ones on his property that are attacking animals. You two are apologizing for derailing the conversation, yet doing so even further in the same post.

poofandmook's avatar

@jfos: What part of your admonishing was part of the conversation about the bird? Oh, look, none if it had to do with the bird. And we were being scolded for derailing.

@silverfly: Any updates on how the patient is doing? I actually feel really bad for the poor bird (though I do not fault the cat)

escapedone7's avatar

You can stop the bleeding with cornstarch and flour, holding pressure on the wound. Cat saliva contains bacteria that will invade the bloodstream. The bird’s best chance is to get it to a wildlife rehabilitation professional.

silverfly's avatar

@everyone… I’m not a She. :)

It’s okay for getting off topic. I think DarkScribe had a traumatic experience with cats when he was younger. :) ...kidding @DarkScribe I do see some of your points, but I feel that my cat has every right to get fresh air, sunlight, and play time as the other animals. Sure, she’s susceptible to cars, disease, etc. but just because they can survive and are content indoors doesn’t mean they prefer it. My cat loves to be outside. She cries at the door all day so I’ll continue to let her out… I’ll just have to be out there with her from now on to avoid her playful, yet dangerous nature.

@poofandmook Status of the bird: the bird seems to be doing okay. I have him in a small pet tent in the back yard with a bowl of water. It looks like he took a bath and now he’s laying on a blanket, and seems alert and well (despite his encounter with my fuzzy brat). I’m going to get some bird seed a little later and keep an eye on him. We’ll release him as soon as possible.

poofandmook's avatar

@silverfly: Oh I hope he gets better!

gailcalled's avatar

@silverfly: Be alert to the difference between seed eaters and insect eaters. The birds have different bills.

For example, a cardinal or yellow grosbeak has a beak that can crack the hull off a sunflower seed (and also remove the end of a human finger).

Sparrows, warblers, etc, have small, straight sharp beaks for finding insects. There are also the worm-eaters.

silverfly's avatar

@gailcalled Thanks. I’m actually a birder myself, so I think I’ll pick a good seed. These doves are often in my yard and I’ve fed them before.

DarkScribe's avatar

@silverfly I feel that my cat has every right to get fresh air, sunlight, and play time as the other animals

Your cat has rights? Rights that include the gratuitous death of other innocent animals? Deaths that are completely unnecessary, deaths that only occur so that your cat doesn’t get bored?

Tell me something to clarify my conception of your attitude.

If you were aware that your cat had a highly contagious disease, one that would instantly kill any other small animal that it came in contact wish, one that no cure or inoculation existed for, one that was guaranteed to kill at least one or two animals every time your cat was allowed to roam, would you still let it exercise its “rights” and turn it loose?

It is exactly the same thing, as far as effect goes – cats are killing machines – only it puts you and your regard for others in a very different light.

silverfly's avatar

@DarkScribe I’m not going to go through hundreds of analogous scenarios with you to determine if what I’m doing is right or wrong. My cat enjoys going outside. That’s a fact. I feel awful that she harmed an innocent dove and I’ll do my best to be more responsible with her actions to avoid further incidents such as this one. I’m doing my best to heal the dove and that’s all I can do. You can keep killing and trapping cats that come onto your property and I’ll continue to let my cat enjoy my backyard and be more careful in the future. Lesson learned.

DarkScribe's avatar

@silverfly I’ll continue to let my cat enjoy my backyard and be more careful in the future.

If your cat will stay in the one backyard, then contact Guinness – you have a new record for them. At least make sure it has a few bells attached to its collar – give the wildlife a fighting chance.

silverfly's avatar

@DarkScribe Surprisingly, she does actually stay in the backyard. And I think I will do the bells on the collar… that’s a great idea! I’ll still have to supervise though.

And another status update: The dove’s feet and wings are fine. It looks like my cat scraped up his abdomen and pulled out a few feathers. He was bleeding, but I don’t think the wounds are very deep and I think he’s going to make it.

What a mess! Thanks for all your concerns!

DarkScribe's avatar

@silverfly He was bleeding, but I don’t think the wounds are very deep and I think he’s going to make it.

Birds often go into shock and recover given time and warmth. I have had birds that I was about to bury – no discernible heartbeat even with a stethoscope – suddenly revive. I now wait a day or two after one seems to be dead.

I am glad that you are considering bells.

Coloma's avatar

I am a birder, a wildlife lover AND a cat lover. One can be all of the above.

My cat has never brought in a bird in his entire 14 years, he does keep the gophers in my yard in check. He brings me everything, and his everything has never included a bird, it has been only small rodents and lizards.

I love gophers too, but hey, it’s the nature of things and I am not concerned my cat will single pawedly wipe out the pocket gophers on my mountain which number about a dozen per every 50 sq. feet of earth.

I can see where a large feral cat population could be an issue, but, a cat taking down a few songbirds or rodents is part of what is in life, nature.

I also don’t exterminate the house sparrows and starlings that have taken over my bluebird boxes from time to time.

They are not native species either, but they are here and a life is a life, be it a Bluebird or a Sparrow.

Dogs do a lot of damage too, killing fawns, waterfowl, and many other things, harrassing and attacking livestock…anyone that hates cats is no friend of mine.

rooeytoo's avatar

omg @DarkScribe is now shooting cats and crocs on the Gold Coast!!! What a guy!

Coloma's avatar

Yep, well, gotta give him credit for being a well rounded asshole! lol

gailcalled's avatar

Milo has rings on his fingers and bells on his toes. In two years he brought me one dead warm bird and put it in my bedroom (week one of his residency) and one very dead, cold guy, which he left in the driveway.

However, after shelling out $500 to have the vents, heating and cooling systems replaced in my car, due to mice living and eating under the hood of my car, I am thrilled at the 50 mice Milo dispatched last summer.

The barn swallows nest on the eaves of the open boathouses in Lake Placid. I have watched a mother, on one beam, lure her babies out of the nest, on a nearby beam at fledgling time. Several are always too weak to get to a safe spot. They fall in the lake, and unless we are there for rescue detail, they drown.

Coloma's avatar

@gailcalled

Oh my gosh..I had the same thing happen to me last year, AC in my car started making weird noise and my mechanic found a mouse and his stash of cat food and birdseed in the fan of the AC. Mouse was chopped up and hence the weird sounds…ewwww! hahaha

gailcalled's avatar

@Coloma : Three years later, when I turn on either the AC or heat, sunflower seed husks fly out the vents and litter the floor of the front seat. They must have stored a 40lb. bad in there.

You were lucky it was only one mouse and not minced mice to serve 20.

Coloma's avatar

@gailcalled

lolol, too funny!

I also had a huge black widow that had a giant web under my dash, ( no more cracked windows in the garage ) I lived in fear of it jumping out on me while I was driving and finally had my car bombed which smelled horrible for about a week. Country life ey?

gailcalled's avatar

@Coloma: You and I live in different countries if you have black widow spiders. And I shudder to think of having pest control spray anything from their line of products near me.

Next time hire a teen-ager and try to get the spider into a large glass jar covered with cardboard. Where you would relocate him (spider and not teen-ager) is a mystery however. I guess they have babies.

“Black widow spiders are nocturnal and, thus, are active at night. They prefer dark corners or crevices. They are said to avoid human dwellings, but you can find them in such areas as outhouses and garages. Only the female black widow bites humans, and she bites only when disturbed, especially while protecting her eggs.” Source:

Coloma's avatar

@gailcalled

Yes, I am familiar with black widows, they are fairly common in this area, normally I would have not disturbed the situation but driving with one under the dash was too stressful and potentially dangerous, so opted for the big guns.

Yeah, the night driving was what freaked me out the most, not knowing if it was hovering over my legs somewhere. haha

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@gailcalled Your cat brought you a cold, dead guy? Hope you have a good lawyer. :-)

gailcalled's avatar

@Dr_Dredd: Dead guys tell no tale. I did mean “bird guy” rather than “guy guy,” I think.

There is also the species Medicalis Wise Guys.

Mat74UK's avatar

@silverfly – What happened to the bird?

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@gailcalled It took me a day or so to get that. Cute! :-)

silverfly's avatar

@Mat74UK I let him out of the dog tent after 48 hours and he was roaming around the yard. He couldn’t quite fly away. And eventually, he was gone. I’m going to say that he flew away and is living happily! :) I made sure no animals went outside while he was in the yard and gave him plenty of food and water so I’m hoping he’s doing alright.

lovelifetoo's avatar

You are a saint for helping the bird. I hope it is doing good. NOt sure what is up with that loony old man, shooting cats? what right does he have to play god? I wish someone who’s cat he murdered would shoot him.

christypoppins's avatar

This is an old.feed but I looked into it since I saved a cliff swallow once and nursed it for 3 weeks until it could fly. Sadly my cat snuck in and jumped 8 feet and snatched it out of the sky. One puncture and he was gone in a day :( I heard cats have a natural toxin in there claws that acts like a poison. Myth? As to the crazy old guy darkwhatever cats are one of natures carnivores. Dogs can live a vegan life. Cats can not. Evolution made them house cats. And arent owls killing tons of mice? Reptiles kill .fish and so on, have a pet rat once. Best pet ever next to my dog! He is just another hypocrite. Doubt he is even a vegan let alone a vegitarian. He does no research just has prejudice for some reason. Good for you for saving an animal the right way. Not by killing another. All animals deserve to live. I dont eat meat but if I were starving I would kill to eat. It called nature

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther