My Cat JJ is daft- definitely 'more dog' normally...sneaks into the bottom of the shower when im in there for a scrub, sits to be blow dried after, attacks the vacuum when im hoovering, loves his belly scratched...he really is the most dopey non catty cat in the history of ever...IN the house.
Then he gets outside and its like the crazy switch flips and its instant predator mode...its like watching a NAT GEO program.
We live in a fairly rural area with a huge abundance of wildlife, or at least there was until my JJ arrived, so its impossible to police his killing sprees. I'd understand if he was hungry and actually ate the things he kills but its just for entertainment most of the time- ive seen him throwing mice around in the air and playing with them. Sometimes he doesn't even kill them properly before he gets bored and goes off to stalk something else. Sometimes he leaves them littering the garden and sometimes he drags them in through the cat flap for me.
This morning I woke up to a pheasant and half a squirrel smeared on the kitchen floor. As much as its nice to know just how much he loves me to bring such varied 'gifts' its getting silly. I'm scared to mow my lawn for all the dead rats/mice/birds/voles/squirrels/pheasant that are found rotting in the long grass. I mean I have a large garden, that backs onto fields...its like a bloody meadow, so I try to avoid gardening as much as poss- spesh now im almost 39wks preg, but last month I started strimming and only half way through I had found a squirrel, a blackbird, 2 and a half rats and what I think might have been a shrew (long nosed mousy little thing) anyway I digress...
I know cats are cats and they are less trainable than other 'domesticated' animals, but short of attaching a bell the size of big bens to him, and getting him a teeny tiny muzzle - is there anything I can do to discourage it?
He is really well fed, and played with. He has kitty friends in the form of the other cats from local other houses and farms who come and drink out of my pond and yowl at midnight with him. He is wormed regularly, neutered and totally non-terrarorial. He has a collar with a bloody big bell on it!
Keep him in after teatime/dusk and don't et him out until after breakfast would be a recommendation - low light conidtions are best for hunting. From his point of view. He'll adjust to the new timings.
Unfortunately, your long grass will also contain 'runs' for small mammals and the only way to avoid him getting there is to cut the grass way down and also cut back shrubberies that might provude lurking places near to where birds congregate.
Apart from that, I don't kno what else will realistically help. If you gain a Chief Blackbird, sometime, you'll be made - they seem to act as Watchbirds for the rest of the garden.
You could have a look at this and also maybe put up some actual bird boxes next year (in cat-unfriendly places) but I doubt there's much you can do this year from the sound of it and given that he's an outside-going cat.
We've a couple of magpies who've nested high up in a big tree outside and they've protected their youngster from next door's lovely young tom by dint of much (and very loud) expostulation and faffing around - but they're big birds and he's a little intimidated by them once he's up on a branch. Low hedges containing young small birds..............
Will try nesting boxes, but it'll be like a drop in the ocean as there are just SO many birds- cant explain my back garden- its all nesting hedgerows and fields, i'll attached a photo I think so you can make suggestions.
Sorry if it sounds like im a bit negative- I really really appreciate all suggestions, but I think the murder will continue no matter what I do...
Do cats do negative attention seeking like dogs? I think the pattern is that when he's not sat on my/my sons lap being fussed or with one of us, he goes an kills something...if I catch him mid pounce, I either go running out to rescue the victim(if its not too late) or call him back in. Not sure if the association with him killing something is being given attention?
can you put a collar on him? With a really tinkly bell? it didn't stop my cat completely, but it definitely cut down the amount of things she dragged home. I think maybe the chance of hearing the bell gives the prey a fighting chance?