Cat Bib – good or bad?

 Cat Bib in action

Cat Bib in action

I have only today heard about the cat bib. It shows you how big the internet is. The “cat bib” is a device that stops the domestic cat catching birds and other species of animal, and killing them. It is a triangular shaped piece of soft, washable material that hangs from the cat’s collar. It simply presents a barrier between prey and cat. “It defeats all the cat’s stealth and cunning at exactly the moment it’s needed…” It is meant to be worn when your cat goes out but can be left on all the time as it is claimed to not interfere with the normal activities of a domestic cat except hunting.

The 64,000 dollar question is: Is it a good idea? Well, it depends on how we relate to our cats and nature in general. As I see it there are two ways of approaching this product.

FOR: The manufacturers say that it is 81% successful and therefore is effective in stoping cats killing birds. This is a good thing many would argue. Cats kill billions of birds some people say. We must protect native species from the invasive species that is the domestic cat. However, people, including bird conservationists over egg the cake when discussing the data about cats killing birds. It is not as bad as they make out. The fact is we don’t have reliable information on the impact of the domestic and feral cat on native animal species, despite what people claim.

NOT SO SURE: As far as I can see no one has asked what the cat might feel with a fairly large piece of material hanging from his or her collar (your cat will have to wear a collar to use this). And how does the cat react to being prevented from expressing natural behaviour? Does the cat bib stress the cat slightly? We need to ask ourselves how we might feel if a major part of our natural activity was terminated at a stroke.

The cat bib seems to be one more product that further domesticates the domestic cat and reduces its natural behaviour. How far do we go to modify our cat’s natural behaviour and appearance? Breeders have created some odd looking purebred cats and this product seems to be designed to assuage our guilt at knowing that our cat might kill birds. This seems to be a bit similar to declawing only much more humane of course. But it is designed to modify behaviour or more precisely to curtail the effectiveness of natural behaviour. Declawing stops natural cat scratching behaviour and the cat bib stops natural cat hunting behaviour. How unnatural do we want our cats?

In defence of our cat companions, the cat bib looks wrong to me. I certainly would not buy one. It also looks ugly on a cat. A minor point perhaps but a point nonetheless.

But I see the argument. It is good from the bird’s standpoint and from the standpoint of protecting wild species of animal. The more important point is that people can do things that have a far greater impact on increasing bird population numbers without interfering with a cat’s natural behaviour.

We can stop damaging bird habitats. By far the greatest damage to all wildlife is due to habitat loss which in turn is due to human population growth and increased human activity. Can’t we talk about the unmentionable, human population growth, and deal with that? We will have to one day.

Also, as mentioned, we need to recognise that the killing of birds by domestic cats is highly exaggerated in my opinion.

In conclusion, I understand the reason behind manufacturing this product but don’t like the way a domestic cat’s behaviour is being further modified. If we want to protect wildlife we should first look at ourselves and ask what we can do. It is careless and convenient to blame to cat.

Comments for
Cat Bib – good or bad?

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May 21, 2012 Awful NEW
by: Anonymous

I think the Cat Bib is a horrible idea. My cats do occasionally catch birds, but not to the extent that I would force them into wearing one of these. It would put great stress on them… not to mention, our neighbors constantly leave their gate open and their dogs come running into our yard and chasing our cats. The bib would keep them from being able to escape, from being able to quickly climb a tree to get out of danger, or cause them to be unable to easily climb into the cat door to safety.

All in all, I see no reason for someone to use this on their cat. If bells on collars don’t work, then put up fake bobble-headed owls to ward off birds from your yard. Don’t punish your cat for simply doing what ages of evolution has bred him for.

Sep 24, 2011 BAD!!!
by: Maggie

These got mentioned while talking about how cats are destroying Australian wildlife. I’ll be honest, I wanted to punch the stupid woman who said she had put this cruel creation on her cat. And people say I’m cruel for having my cat indoors only… These ‘bibs’ should be illegal, I’ve never seen something so horrible. If you don’t like your cat killing animals, keep them indoors only, build them an enclosure, put 5 or 6 bells on their collars if you have to. Anything has to be better than putting a bib on your cat, what if the bib got caught in something and the cat got stuck? It could be days before the cat was found. There are too many reasons as to why these shouldn’t be used, and there are countless alternatives to them.

Sep 18, 2011 Last 2 comments
by: Michael

Agreed. These are products for humans not for the cat’s benefit.

Sep 18, 2011 A few more contenders
by: Ruth

cat cages in houses
scat mats
flea collars
squirt bottles

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Sep 18, 2011 A contest….anyone more prizes?
by: Anonymous

A contest for inventions for cruel or selfish or stupid people to force un-natural behavior on their cats …

1st prize de-clawing
2nd prize the cat bib
3rd prize the cat pram

Sep 15, 2011 B A D with a capital B!
by: Jane

I totally agree with everyone else.
This is a sickening invention to those of us who love cats and what some people see as their faults and all.
So,the human race can blast birds from the sky and no one can complain,that’s a bigger fault to me than any natural hunting that cats do,but cats aren’t permitted to follow their natural instinct.
Instead the cats belonging to idiots are forced to wear a bib.
What is this world coming to?

Sep 15, 2011 BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
by: Barbara

I’d like to take that bib and stuff it right down those two antipodeans’ throats! I have never seen anything so bloody stupid in my whole life, firstly the cat in the video was getting her paws tangled up and it looked at one point like she was going to fall rather than jump, secondly as Monty’s mum points out how dangerous the stupid things are if a cat goes tree climbing and thirdly what about if the cat was attacked by a dog or some other creature how could she defend herself properly and escape with that thing hanging in front of her? Whoever came up with that idea is a moron(and didn’t it say “researchers” at some university, so that implies to me cats in a lab being used to try the damn thing out on)and the woman who says it helps her find her cat more easily is also a moron as is the man who says it they were trying to find a way to ALLOW people the pleasure of OWNING a cat. If people have to resort to this sort of thing why the hell do they have a cat?
Cats catch birds = Fact! Get over it!
How come (as Kattaddorra has already said)people can kill birds with guns, pesticides, by taking away their habitat and by all the disgusting ways they kill them to stuff them down their own throats and yet cats are not allowed to follow the instincts they were born with?

This is just another sickening invention of the so called superior race – mankind? NO mancruel!

Barbara avatar

Sep 15, 2011 Bad?
by: Anonymous

More like EVIL!

Sep 15, 2011 BAD
by: Rose

For God’s sake!
As Ruth so rightly said,what next?

I watched that video of that poor cat stumbling along with that impediment and I hated that woman extolling its praises SO MUCH I could have burst.
The mentality of take their freedom,take their claws,shove collars on,dress them up,shove them in cages to show off,do whatever you like with them,they are in your power,makes my blood boil.

Cats are CATS,they like being cats.
Cats hunt,it’s what cats do,it’s Mother Nature’s way of balancing life.
As the other Ruth said,sometimes it’s just a game.
What do people want cats to do?
Sit pretty and do NOTHING?
It seems so to me!

Sep 15, 2011 Bad idea
by: Ruth (Monty’s Mom)

I’m afraid Monty could get caught on something if he were wearing a collar outside and maybe choke himself or get stuck way up in a tree. This bib thing would make me worry even more. He likes to climb– wouldn’t the bib interfere with safe tree climbing? I just monitor what he’s doing outside closely. I make it my job to scare away his prey. He thinks I’m exasperatingly stupid: “Mom, I could have had that!” I find letting him out near dusk when the birds are asleep works well. Also, since he is confined to our fenced yard it seems like the birds are getting to know he’s there. They warn each other when he’s out. He hasn’t even come close to catching one in a long time, even without my interference.

There is also this really annoying squirrel who seems to enjoy picking on Monty. It’s like he knows the cat can’t get out of the yard and shakes his little tail at him as if to tease. He even comes down into the yard quite near the cat, daring him to give chase, but always scurrying up the nearest tree just in time. Once out of reach he makes this incessant, annoying chirping sound. I wouldn’t want anything hampering Monty’s ability to chase that squirrel. When he gets it someday, is it safe for him to eat it? Would there be parasites or anything? I’m hoping it doesn’t bite him in the process, but I’m thinking Monty will snap it’s little neck before it would have a chance. I try to love all God’s creatures, but like a parent who becomes too invested with her child’s handling of a school yard bully, I want so much for Monty to kick that squirrel’s furry little hind end. I cheer him on when he comes really close to catching it. Then other times it seems like Monty let him get away. The squirrel seems to bother Monty less than it does me. Sometimes I think they are just playing with each other, like it’s a game they enjoy, and it will never end because Monty will let him get away so they can play another day. There is more going on in the animal kingdom than we can perceive or understand.

Sep 15, 2011 BAD BAD BAD
by: Ruth

Whatever next !
The only other thing I’ve seen as unkind and ridiculous as these bibs are those stupid prams some people think are wonderful to take cats for walks in.
I’d like to put the inventor of the bib and the people who hamper their cats with them, in one of them hanging down to his/her feet day and night, see how they would like their natural behaviour curbed.
People kill more birds and wild life than cats ever could, they take their natural habitat, they use pesticides which poison their food, they happily eat any bird or animal they fancy.
Oh yes people have to have their rights !
What a pity cats have no rights !
Well when domestic cats are all shut indoors or fitted with bibs and all the ferals killed and the world is over run with rodents, I hope those people who think up the ideas to stop cats being cats don’t think they have the right to complain !!!!

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Cat Bib – good or bad? — 19 Comments

  1. My cats wear these bibs and they have been a complete success. They are not stressed in any way!! They climb trees, run fast, eat etc etc i also have bells too. Anyone who thinks that a cats absolute comfort comes before the cruel killing of birds is nuts. Finally they can enjoy the sunshine without killing.

    • Thanks Jak for your sharing your personal experiences. Personal experiences are the best. As you were a new commentator your comment was moderated by any future comment will be published immediately.

      The question I have for you is: how many birds does your cat kill? Do you know?

  2. So let’s get all the people who enjoy killing birds for fun decked out in these bibs shall we and save MILLIONS of birds lives, those cruel people kill far far more birds than cats do!

  3. Well I am going to try it out. Our cat ate something outside that caused his small intestine to stop working. We were plagued with anxiety trying to find out what it was. Finally the vet had to do exploratory surgery, it was negative. But after putting the cat through the stress of surgery and recovery, we have to find a way that can allow him to play outside for short periods without eating anything that could make him sick. We think the bib may be helpful.

    • Hi Ki, sorry to hear about your cat’s illness. The bib may work but what if he ate something dead, something inanimate which poisoned him? The bib won’t help in that situation. I hope he gets better. Thanks for telling us.

      • Hi Michael

        Thanks for your well wishes, Rama is recovering nicely.

        We think he ate something that moves like a lizard. Many times I have rescued the little critters from his feline jaws. We don’t want to deprive him of outdoor play but he will be limited in the amount of time he spends outside from now on, so we are hoping the bib will be
        somewhat of a deterrent.

        Have a blessed day.

        • I am pleased you think it was a lizard. The bib should work then. Thanks for telling me. You photo was too large to upload – sorry. If you’d like to try again you might read the instructions below the comment box.

  4. Greatest thing ever. I have three feral cats. All rescued, two were more than 9 months old, but they were tamed. I have one that hunts all the time. I made my own device because I could not wait for one to come in the mail. She still catches mice, and has brought home one lizard but the birds have stopped. She doesn’t just kill them, she plays with them for prolonged periods, and then finally kills them. I decided to put one on her after I watched her torturing the last bird. I managed to get the bird from her, and it did not seem injured, and flew from my hand. At that time I decided a bit of discomfort was worth it to try and stop the carnage. I made it out of a stubby cooler with a loop of elastic to hold it onto the collar. She jumps via a gate post to the second floor of our house, and back down again. I was worried that she would fall if the device got in the way. She has been wearing it for about a month full time and she has not had any accidents. One cat does not hunt, so she does not wear one. She has only ever bought home a mouse and a bird nest. The third cat also wears one just in case she decides she might start. Again no problems with getting used to wearing it.

  5. One of my cats is a very good hunter and has been wearing a bib for 2 years. He doesn’t appear in any way to be bothered by it or to even notice he has it on. My cat still hunts he just doesn’t catch any thing – except baby bunnies who cry pitifully. If I hear one I rescue it but they don’t survive. Next summer
    Einstein will wear the large size bib. The problem with cats and birds is there are so many cats. Birds are endangered by so many human behaviors and I agree we must help them in any way we can.

  6. The cat bib is not cruel to a cat, but it does keep her from killing songbirds. There are so many extreme comments on this site, but folks speaking from real experience will tell you that they love their cats, and they love the birds of the air too–and the cat bib allows the two to coexist happily and safely. We follow the directions and got our girl comfortable with the collar first then added the bib whenever she went outside. We take the bib off when she comes in at dusk.

    • Thanks Darlene. I welcome your opinion. I don’t believe there are a lot of extreme comments on this site though. There is passion for cat welfare and some strong opinion but it only represents a small percentage of the overall content. Personally, I don’t really like these artificial aids to prevent natural behavior. We don’t this sort of thing to people.

      • Why would you identify yourself to cat behavior? Cats like to play and will kill anything that moves, including birds and other wildlife. Most of the time, they don’t even eat their “toys”.
        If you truly want to be a responsible cat owner, you will keep them indoors, but some of us can’t do that, for various reasons. There are so many dangers to cats that are outdoor cats. Just look at the statistics.
        “Statistics indicate that the life span of an indoor cat is much longer than an outdoor cat. On average, an indoor cat lives twelve years but some cats can live for as many as twenty years. In comparison, an outdoor cat’s life expectancy is less than five years. – See more at:

        • Hi Karen stop I am not sure that I do identify myself with cat behaviour. I am just speculating about how a cat might feel with quite a large object hanging around their neck in front of them.I realise that in America, in many parts of the country, it is sensible to keep cats indoors because of the dangers outdoors. I just think that ideally it is better to find a more sophisticated solution to making the cat’s life as good as possible. I’ve always felt that with the amount of space available to many Americans who own detached houses and relatively large backyards that there is ample opportunity to build large outside enclosures which provide a domestic cat with safe place to roam outside, to smell the air and get a sense of what it is like to be in a natural environment. Despite that opportunity nearly every American who owns a cat does not have a large outside enclosure in their backyard, which I find surprising. They prefer to keep their cat indoors than build a decent size outdoor enclosure.

  7. I have 6 cats, all feral to domestic. 2 of them are very good hunters, bringing birds in on an almost daily basis and they were also bringing in other little creatures. I have used these bibs for these two, and have noticed a decrease in the number of birds killed. The cats do not mind the bibs. It took a day to get used to a collar and another day when I attached the bib to it.
    Recent estimates are that 40 million birds are killed every year from cats in the US.
    Be responsible owners and care for the wildlife as well as your cats.

    • I agree, Karen that responsible cat owners should think about wild species and try and protect them from their domestic cat’s predation. Personally, I don’t think the bib is satisfactory but that is a personal viewpoint. As to the number of birds killed by domestic and stray cats annually in America, there have been many attempts to estimate a correct number but nobody as yet has come up with an accurate figure despite what the scientists claim and state. All estimates are based upon relatively small surveys and then extrapolating to work out a countrywide figure.

      Experts who are more critical have decided that this method is a failure. Every day we read about the thoughts of ornithologists and cat hating scientists who come up with exaggerated figures about the numbers of birds killed by cats. That said, as mentioned, we should do our best to avoid cats killing birds but at least when they do it, it is a natural event. When humans kill wildlife they often do it for the pleasure of it in what they call “sport hunting”. There is a difference. Or we kill birds inadvertently through our buildings and our sprawling urbanisation et cetera. Humans either directly or indirectly kill far more birds than cats.

      There’s an interesting story newspaper today about how the Chinese have all but forced the bunting (a small bird) into extinction because they have eaten their way through the entire Chinese population of this once incredibly populous bird.

  8. I’m pro outdoor cats if their neighborhood is safe from traffic. However, one of my cats routinely kills songbirds that nest in our yard and garden. She is a serial killer–daily. I’ve had enough. It’s disheartening to see birds work to raise their young who are then killed by Scout. I’m going to try the BirdsBeSafe collar cover and hope it works, but I doubt it. Scout is an intense/excellent hunter. Very smart. I won’t hesitate to try the bib. I don’t care how it looks. Enough is enough.

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