Archived Newspaper articles
February 2007 "CatBib Study and native animals" Roleystone Courier, Roleystone, Western Australia
January 20, 2007 "Study Proves CatBib Works" Valley Reporter, Roleystone, Western Australia
October 2, 2006 "ASK THE VET" Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque, NM.
July 16, 2006 "Critter Watch" The Spokesman Review, Spokane WA.
June 5, 2006 "ASK THE VET" Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque, NM.
January 24, 2006 "Cat Bib birds' lifesaver" Free Press Leader, Knoxville, Victoria, Australia.
March 11, 2004 "Cat off the prowl" Register-Guard, Eugene, OR.
November 26, 1999 "Predators eyeing the bird feeders", Cape Cod Times, Yarmouth Port, MA.
September 1999 "Cat's bib May Keep Birds Safe" Sunday Mail newspaper, Adlaide, South Australia.
An online American company has made available a product that may be effective in preventing or limiting the hunting of native fauna by cats. The company refers to a study undertaken with the CatBib at Murdoch University, and the summary results appear below.
"In an attempt to provide sound advice to owners seeking to curb the predatory behaviour of their pet cats, we evaluated whether or not the commercial collar-worn product the CatBib reduces the number of vertebrates caught by pet cats. We also tested whether the colour of the CatBib influenced its effectiveness, or if supplementing the CatBib with a bell could reduce predation further. Fifty-six cats identified by their owners as known hunters completed the study, which took place in Perth, Western Australia over a six week period in November/December 2005 (southern hemisphere late spring/early summer). Each cat spent a period of three weeks wearing a CatBib and three weeks without it and the number of prey brought home during each period was recorded. Participating cats caught a total of 13 bird species, five mammal species, and 11 herp (reptile and frog) species. The mammal the Southern Brown Bandicoot was the only prey species of conservation concern. CatBibs stopped 81% of cats from catching birds and 45% of cats from catching mamamals. Protection of herps was limited. CatBibs of both colours were equally effective at reducing predation. There was no statistically significant evidence that adding bells conferred additional protection. Most cats (86%) adjusted almost immediately to wearing a CatBib, 10% took a day or so and only 4% took longer." The company providing the CatBib, Cat Goods, Inc. can be found online at www.catgoods.com
"In view of the latest controversy surrounding cats and the amount of native fauna they maim and kill it may be worth considering products that help give cats away when they are hunting. One of the tools that may be used is a "CatBib". CatBibs are sold by an American company online. Murdoch University conducted a study on the success of their product. A quote from the study states, "CatBibs stopped 81% of cats from catching birds, and 45% of cats from catching mammals." For more information on this product and a summary of the Murdoch University study go to catgoods.com."
Dr. Jeff Nichol on ways to reduce inter-cat aggression: "Cats are not like the rest of us. While their groups have hierarchies, most have little need to hang with their homies. The indoor cat has other instinctive requirements like hunting, stalking and pouncing on prey. If another indoor cat is weak and helpless, the aggressor cat can't resist. To stay out of trouble, indoor cats need more vertical space. Considering your cat population, I suggest at least two floor-to-ceiling carpet-covered cat trees with hidey holes. Locate them near windows for the bird's eye view. When a cat needs to attack, you can share stalk and pounce toys like feathers on a stick. With more of his primal needs met, he'll be less inclined to use a weaker cat as a rodent. Add a bell to his collar and a CatBib (catgoods.com), a must-have feline fall fashion accessory, and the aggressor cat will find predation of any sort difficult. To reduce the risk of urine wars, you should have one litter pan for each cat plus one. You can relax the masses with a Feliway diffuser, a calming pheromone, available at many pet specialty stores. If medications are necessary for the aggressor cat, try paroxetine. Buspirone can help the weaker cat be less anxious.
With a new hatch of young birds bringing song to our yards, it's worth pointing out, once again, that in the United States alone, cats kill a million or more wild birds EVERY DAY. "Not my Kitty!" you say. Yeah, sure. If you insist on letting your cat run free to slaughter birds, consider breaking out of the denial phase with a CatBib. The light flexible neoprene bib is easily attached to the cat's collar. A six-week study on 56 known bird-molesting cats indicated the product could stop 81 percent of the cats from catching birds. The bib was invented by Sue Mandeville, a bird-feeding cat-lover, as a way to keep her own three hunting cats from catching birds while outdoors. Info:The CatBib is available from Cat Goods, Inc., in Springfield, Oregon, www.catgoods.com.
Bird savers: Remember the question two weeks ago regarding the bird killing cat? I suggested an Invisible Fence in part because it will keep pets in their yards and out of trouble. A reader has an option worth consideration. "To preserve the bird population, Simon the Diamon always wears a Cat "bib" that attaches to his collar and breaks his striking stride, but otherwise does not interfere with his movement. Occasionally, he wears it like a cape as he plays "SuperCat." Since we started dressing him for his forays, he has not caught a bird, and the neighbors think he is a laugh-riot. The Web site is catgoods.com." I really appreciate hearing about useful alternatives like this. Thank you to Simon's person for writing.
Dr. Jeff Nichol cares for pets with behavior and health disorders at VCA Wyoming Animal Hospital in Albuquerque.
An Upwey resident has discovered what he says may be the perfect solution to cats killing wildlife in the hills. Melvyn Bowler said several neighbours in his block of flats regularly fed parrots and raised concern when he and his two felines moved in. Mr. Bowler said he'd seen his younger cat, Bonnie, stalking birds and after several were found dead around the flats he knew he was in trouble. "I'd just got Bonnie from Animal Aid and I knew from one look at her she had a keen interest in birds,"Mr. Bowler said. "I tried bells, mirrors, reflective things, you name it, but nothing seemed to work." Frustrated, Mr. Bowler said he began searching the internet for devices that could help prevent his cat from attaching, his lengthy research eventually leading him to CatBib. The American-made rubber bib attaches to a cat's collar and interferes with the animal's hand-eye coordination as the cat lunges for the bird. The CatBib was introduced to Australia in 1999 but is not readily available on the local market. Mr. Bowler said he had not found any feathers of birds since buying the device recently. "It doesn't stop her climbing, jumping and getting around, but it's a barrier when she lifts her paws to strike," Mr. Bowler said. "It means she has freedom during the day and I can put her out and have an easy mind. It's terrific." So impressed was Mr. Bowler by the bib, he bought up big and has several spares available for cat owners in the hills who are desperate to stop their cats from killing birds and wildlife.
Local bird and cat lover aims to stop furry friends from preying on feathered ones. Have you ever bought a product you wanted everybody to know about? Something that can improve the world? A regular reader of this column did, and she put me in touch with a woman and her invention for saving birds. She and her husband love birds, and they feed hundreds in their garden. She also loves her cats, and was dismayed to discover many birds falling prey to them. Keeping the cats indoors wasn't an option, because when they tried that, the cats began to mark their territories in the house, instead of in the litter box. She researched the problem and discovered that 4.4 million birds are killed by cats every year. Even that dismaying estimate likely is low, as there are approximately 60 million cats in this country, and many of them are allowed to hunt outside every day. Some cat owners think birds being stalked by cats isn't a problem. Predators prey and their target species adapt. That's true up to a point, but the problem with domestic cats is that they were introduced by early settlers to this continent, and the native birds evolved with defensive strategies that didn't include them. What about bobcats, you say? There were here during that evolution. Studies show that bobcats are poor at preying on birds, and in fact, their diet is two-thirds rabbits and hares, with most of the remainder being mice, ground squirrels, gophers and muskrats. Also, just think about how many bobcats you've seen in your life. Compare that with the number of domestic cats you see in your neighborhood. Between that number of cats, and the reduction in habitat for many birds, we have losses that are unacceptable. She solved her problem with a device she patented as the CatBib. The CatBib attaches to a cat's collar and looks like a bib. It hinders the lunge that cats make at the end of their stalk, which seems to slow cats just enough for the birds to evade capture. The CatBib is a simple mechanical solution that is easy to use; it doesn't interfere with any of the outdoor activities of a cat' and best of all, it prevents cats from killing birds. Realizing the potential of her invention, she began local production of the CatBib, and it is available online. She has drawn customers as far away as Canada, Europe and Australia, as birders everywhere hear about this device. The CatBib is durable, washable, and comes in a variety of colors, including "purrple." It would make an excellent gift for the cat owner you know. We would love to see one on every cat in the neighborhood. You can bet the birds would love to see that too.
When you read the title of this column, you probably thought it was going to be about the hawks that make frequent raids on just about everyone's feeders, especially during the winter. Well, you are partially right; I will get to that topic, but before I do, there is actually a far more serious predator that is decimating out wild bird population. Cats. Yes, cats. The superb hunting ablilities of these free-ranging felines make them a real threat to our native species. Believe it or not, it is well documented that cats kill more than a billion birds every year. Before we had agencies that monitored our wildlife, most people probably thought that it was just a natural thing for cats to kill birds and that letting a house cat out for a few hours of fresh air and recreation every day couldn't possibly have any effect on bird populations. Birds are threatened by extensive loss of habitat, both where they breed and where they winter, as well as the effects of poisons used on lawns, gardens and agricultural lands. Add in a burgeoning cat population and it's clear that we must take a variety of measures to stop the loss of our birdlife. Cats are natural hunters, and if your cat is a hunter, then your cat is part of the problem. Fortunately, there is a simple, inexpensive, safe and benign way to stop your cat from killing birds. It's a device called the CatBib. Attached to your cat's collar, it's a triangular piece of foam (broader at the bottom) that hangs loosely over a cat's chest and interferes with the line of sight, timing and coordination needed to catch a bird. Strange looking it may be, but look at what is accomplishes. When a cat lifts its paws to catch a bird, it simultaneously lifts the CatBib which is then between the cat's line of sight and the bird. I'd say that was pretty clever, wouldn't you? To find out more or to order a CatBib for your cats, go to http://www.catgoods.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Now on to the hawks you were expecting would be covered... Elinor Millor, Cape Cod Times, Hyannis, MA
An obscure American invention may prove the answer to the problem of cats killing native wildlife. Studies have shown more than four million native animals across Australia are killed each year by domestic and feral cats. But Belair cat Benny has not attacked a single bird since his owner, Shane, fitted him with a CatBib more than three weeks ago. Shane, a bird lover, had often been upset by the dead and dying birds Benny left around the house, but the final straw came in July when Benny proudly carried a still-breathing rosella into the kitchen. That led Shane on a frustrating search for a solution to Benny's killing. But until he found the CatBib on the Internet, the best advice he could find was to "keep the cat inside all day and all night". Benny is the first cat in Australia to try the device - a simple, light foam-rubber and neoprene bib that attaches to a cat's collar and stops attacks by interferring with paw-eye coordination. Shane faced a family fight to fit Benny with the CatBib. His fiance, Sue, and her children, Dean and Ashley, and his son, Victor all thought it would be cruelly uncomfortable. "But it's not uncomfortable for him at all. The cat does not even know it's got it on. It lounges around and sleeps and climbs trees and does everything a cat does normally," Shane said. "He purrs when he's got it on. The neighbors are quite impressed and are thinking of getting one for their cat." He said now they had the best of both worlds with a happy cat and safety for the local birdlife. Now that he knows birds will be safe, Shane, a former native bird breeder, wants to put nest boxes into the trees around his house. Ms. Sabine Kloss, of the RSPCA, said the society would "watch with interest" the effectiveness of the new product and be thrilled if it protected native wildlife without harming cats.
July 16-19, 2006 - 143rd Annual American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) 2006 conference Honolulu, Hawaii. Dr. Jacqui Neilson, a veterinarian specializing in animal behavior, lectured on feline behavior problems. She mentions the CatBib as a new tool against inter-cat aggression.
Montana State University Master of Fine Arts Science and Natural History Filmmaking students, Simon Schnieder and Ed Watkins, made a film about the CatBib. "A Bib for a Bell". It was accepted and shown at the International Wildlife Film Festival held in Missoula, Montana in May 2006.
The International Wildlife Film Festival was founded as the world's first juried wildlife film competition in 1977. Their mission is to foster knowledge and understanding of wildlife and habitat through excellent, honest wildlife films and other media. Judges from around the world screen all of the films entered and select award winners for public screenings and special events throughout the year. Through the organization's EarthVision Film and Video Library and Post Festival Tours, the best films are made available to schools, organizations and a wide range of other audiences. The International Wildlife Media Center provides workshops, educational programs and special events year-round, which raise awareness and understanding of wildlife and habitat issues and promotes high-quality, ethically produced and scientifically accurate films. The festivals promote excellent and honest film production, create new markets and train young people and newcomers to the wildlife-film industry.