Will Cat Food Hurt Birds?


No, it won’t. Cat food is safe for birds, so it will not hurt them. On the contrary, cat food is a rich source of nutrition for predatory birds in the same class of feeding as cats.

Actually, you will find that you are drawing more birds in your compound if you feed your cat outdoors. You can decide to leave the leftovers to the birds. Both backyard and wild birds find cat food delicious and irresistible.

Types of Cat Food

There are two broad categories of cat food;

  • Dry food
  • Wet food

Cat food will mostly contain meat as a significant component. Usually, it will be beef, pork, or fish. I like buying cat food (can you buy using food stamps?) in a rotation manner, whereby I buy food with different ingredients each time.

For instance, when I buy food rich in fish, I will take on beef next time, after food rich in pork. Alternatively, if you can, buy different food types and alternate the foods during feeding.

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Cat Learns to Dance

The same case applies to the food types; as much as the wet food smell may disgust you, it is essential for your cats and kittens. Therefore, you should feed the cat both wet and dry food.

So, Will Cat Food Hurt Birds?

No, cat food is healthy for cats and any other animal or bird. If you have both cats and birds in your yard, you can decide to feed the same type of food to both.

However, it is worth remembering that there are different cat foods, all with different nutritional values. Basically, cat food will be rich in fiber, fats, and proteins. If it is not winter, birds will not do well with food that is rich in fats.

Therefore, if you intend to feed the birds the cat food, you have to consider the rich in proteins and fiber. As mentioned earlier, you can then consider the food with higher fat content during winter, which will enhance warmth during the season.

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Nevertheless, it will help note that you cannot rely on cat food if you keep birds. True, cat food has a variety of protein, fiber, and even vitamin nutrition. But there is bird-specific nutrition only in bird food.

Therefore, as much as you may occasionally feed the birds cat food, getting bird food as the primary source is excellent for your birds. The best part about bird food is that you don’t necessarily have to get it from the supermarket. Picking green leafy vegetables from your backyard, such as spinach, and getting fresh nuts from your kitchen may be all you need.

Is It Safe for Birds to Eat Dry Cat Food?

So, is it okay for birds to eat dry cat food? Yes. Dry cat food consists of meatballs and food pellets. The pellets are more attractive for smaller birds, as they are easier to fit into the beak. Nevertheless, with the larger birds, any cat food will be a good choice for them.

Why do birds eat dry cat food anyway? Birds will prefer dry to wet cat food, as you may have observed. This is because it is easy to fill up fast with giant meatballs and pellets. The birds will have to keep picking for minutes to get a fill with the wet cat food.

Besides, a lonely bird will easily pick a chunk of a meatball and leave before a frightening flock scares it away.

The best part about the dry cat food for birds is that you can put it anywhere, and it is easy for the birds to pick. This is more so if you are feeding wild birds, which tend to compete for cat food.

Do Birds Eat Cat Kibble?

Yes, they do. Cat kibble is a form of dry cat food, and when you leave it outside, it will surely attract birds.

However, you have to be careful which cat kibble you feed to birds. If it has large chunks of biscuit that the birds could choke on, it would be preferable not to feed them. This is even worse if you are feeding smaller birds.

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However, larger birds like sparrows and blackbirds will still manage the significant cat kibble components.

Can Birds Eat Wet Cat Food?

Yes! Though birds will always go for dry food when choosing presents, they also take wet cat food. Actually, if you are feeding chicks, wet cat food is the best option. It is easy to take in, so the chicks will feed enough. After all, there is no risk of choking with the wet food option.

Moreover, just as with cats, birds will need a mix of cat food varieties. Wet food provides a hydration opportunity, especially during winter when the water outdoors is too cold for the birds.

Birds that Feed on Cat Food

As cliche as it may sound, maybe it is worth repeating; not all birds eat cat food. Some birds thrive on nectar, others on grains. Then there is our favorite cat food-eating bird, the carnivore. Better still, birds that feed on both grains and meat.

Only carnivorous birds will eat cat food because cat food will always contain some meat content, even the cheapest.

Do blackbirds eat cat food? Funny enough, blackbirds are among the most common birds that are attracted to cat food. Other birds that find satisfaction in cat food are sparrows, pigeons, robins, warblers, and in some instances, woodpeckers.

How Do You Serve Cat Food to Birds?

You can put the food on a platter and keep it outdoors where the birds will have an easy view and access. Alternatively, you can hang the food platter on a tree, which will be even more accessible.

Having birds as an alternative for cat food helps minimize wastage. You can always give them the cat’s leftovers, and they will be grateful.

I wouldn’t recommend feeding the cats and birds at the same time. The competition will end up being a disadvantage to either.

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If you have an aggressive cat, it will scare away the birds from the food. On the other hand, when you have a little kitten, a flock of birds will keep the kitten away from the food.

Therefore, you should feed your cat separately and preferably first before inviting the birds over.

What are the Disadvantages of Feeding Birds Cat Food?

While it is a good idea to feed birds cat food, this has its downside. Let’s have a look at these cons;

  • Firstly, feeding the cat and the birds at the same time could discourage your cat from eating. If a flock of birds suddenly crowd the cat food bowl, the cat may run away. Hence, the purpose for which you bought the food will be sidelined.
  • Secondly, feeding birds leftovers from the cat’s bowl may lead to infection. If the bird has a disease, it will easily transmit it to the cat.
  • Thirdly, cat food, especially large biscuit chunks, may choke the birds. They may also be difficult for the birds to digest, causing an illness.
  • If you decide to feed your cat and birds the same food, your birds may be disadvantaged. This is because cat food does not cover all the nutritional needs of a bird.
  • Finally, it is expensive to feed wild birds your cat food. You will end up spending a lot of money, so if you are on a budget, it is not advisable.

Will Cat Food Hurt Birds?

No, it won’t. You can feed the birds’ cat food. However, always remember to get the birds something more than just cat food for balanced nutrition.

Final Thoughts

So, if you were thinking of making good the cat leftovers by feeding birds, go ahead. It is an excellent and commendable idea!

However, you can also improve the bird’s diet by including leafy vegetables, especially if the cat food does not include fish. This way, your birds will also have a wholesome diet.

Dinu Sri Madusanka

Dinu Sri Madusanka is a science graduate (B.Sc.) who is currently pursuing his Ph.D. He is a well-experienced writer with more than 7 years of experience. He interests in writing mostly animal welfare and advance technologies. Even though he is busy with research works, in his free time, he gives his contribution to several blogs by writing, reviewing, and analyzing information to provide more accurate and useful information for the reader. WalkwithCat is one of his major contributing places which is dedicated to improving the knowledge of cat parents.

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