Nancy Brennan’s cat George was killing multiple birds every week. Brennan wanted to find a solution that would still allow George to spend time outdoors. She remembered reading that birds see bright colors and so she sewed up a prototype of a bright colored collar for George.
“He stopped catching birds,” Brennan said. “At first I thought, ‘That’s this week.’ But then a couple of weeks and a month went by, and I thought, ‘Wait, he’s really not catching birds.'”
Brennan began sewing and selling the “BirdsBeSafe” collars online.
“An ornithologist and professor at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, named S.K. Willson was a customer of Birdsbesafe, and had experienced, anecdotally, the effectiveness of Brennan’s collar on her own cat. But would the collar hold up to the rigors of a scientific study? Willson decided to find out.
Her independent scientific field study was conducted at St. Lawrence University, in New York, U.S. based on two 12-week studies involving 73 cats in the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014 and found that the “novel cat collar” was “highly effective” in reducing bird deaths. The study is reported in the Global Ecology and Conservation Journal. It estimates with year-round use, one can expect about an 87% reduction in birds caught by cats that wear Birdsbesafe® collar covers.
Another science study was led by Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. Their study showed their local birds with good color vision and herpetofauna were significantly protected by the collar, with a combined 49% reduction.
Sales went through the roof for Brennan. She no longer sells the collars herself, but they are still manufactured in the USA.
A three-year study completed in 2013 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute estimated that feral cats and indoor pets allowed to roam outdoors kill from 1.4 billion to as many as 3.7 billion birds in the continental United States every year.
“Cats have contributed to the extinction of 33 species and continue to adversely impact a wide variety of other species, including those at risk of extinction such as Piping Plover.” states the American Bird Conservancy.
Website states: “The Birdsbesafe collar cover is shaped like a tube, and you insert a breakaway-buckled cat collar inside of it. Both parts will release under pressure for your cat’s safety.”
It also has reflective trim to help protect your cat from cars at night. Bonus: Shine a flashlight in your yard at night to spot your cat easily.”
*I have not used this collar. I also do not benefit financially or in any other way from this company for writing this article.