Generally, cats are not poisonous to birds but cats can be unsafe for birds as there are some potential risks. Among them, cat saliva can be harmful to birds. They can kill birds if they hold and shake them or do anything that causes the bird to die. However, the cat’s saliva is not toxic enough to kill a bird on its own. But it can make the bird sick.
Birds and cats are adorable creatures that we love to keep as pets. We cannot ignore them when they play or nearby us. But when they are both in the same area, things can be more challenging.
Our article can make you feel better with an in-depth explanation of cat saliva and the risk to birds. We have shared the possible dangers and how to keep birds safe from them.
What is Cat Saliva?
Cat saliva is a liquid that is produced in the mouths of cats. It is a form of saliva that contains different enzymes and proteins.
Usually, a cat produces about 1.5 ml of saliva per day. The primary purpose of saliva is to moisten food in the mouth and initiate the digestive process.
Saliva also has several other functions, including:
- Keeping the mouth clean and healthy
- Protection of the teeth against decay
- Helping to control the level of acid in the mouth
- Protecting the gums from infection
- Aiding in the speech process
Cat saliva has many similarities with human saliva in terms of composition.
However, there are toxic substances that are found in cat saliva. These toxic substances include proteins that can cause allergies.
Also, they can cause salivary amylase to break down carbohydrates into sugars for digestion.
Cat saliva also contains bacteria, leading to oral diseases such as gingivitis or periodontitis in humans.
How Dangerous Is Cat Spit?
Cats are notorious for their hunting instincts. They will chase and kill any small animal they can find, including birds.
There are two ways cats can kill birds: catching them with their paws or spitting at them.
The saliva from the cat’s mouth contains enzymes that break down feathers, making it easier for the cat to grab hold of the bird.
The little paws have been known to kill birds. The question is whether they do it out of hunger or just for fun?
They are predators by nature, and they often hunt small animals such as birds. We can see them stalking their prey and then chasing and attacking them.
Again, there are many reasons why cats might want to hunt a bird. But the most common one is that they want to eat it.
Birds often have meat on them. So, it’s not hard for a cat to find enough meat in one bird to feed itself.
Cat saliva is a deadly weapon to birds. A single lick from a cat can inject a bird with bacteria that can cause severe illness or death.
The sharp incisors help cats easily puncture a bird’s skin. Their saliva is loaded with bacteria, including the deadly Toxoplasma Gondii.
When a cat licks a bird, the bacteria in its saliva can quickly invade the bird’s bloodstream and organs, causing septicemia (blood infection), meningitis (membranes inflammation), or even death.
Besides bacteria in saliva, cats also secrete a glycoprotein called Fel D 1 from their skin and fur. Fel D 1 is a significant allergen causing severe asthma attacks in allergic people.
Likewise, birds also are allergic to Fel d 1. Exposure to the protein can cause them to develop respiratory problems, eye irritation, and other health issues.
How Can You Prevent a Pet Bird From Being Exposed to Cat Saliva?
Cat saliva can be harmful to humans and animals. You can follow these below steps to keep your birds safe from cat saliva:
1. Use a Water Bottle:
Take a water bottle and fill it with fresh drinking water. Then, please place it in front of the cat’s mouth before it starts grooming.
It will ensure the cat does not lick its face and spit out saliva on the favorite pet bird.
2. Cover the Birdcage:
Cats are curious about their surroundings. So, you should arrange a secure cage or aviary where the cat cannot get inside.
It will give you relief even if you are out of the home.
Besides, you can place the cage to a stand tightly or with a sturdy table or ensure the cell is heavy enough.
So, the cat won’t be able to push it. We also suggest you use cage locks or carabiners for additional safety.
3. Use Separate Rooms:
You can keep the pet bird and cat in separate places or rooms. It will prevent the cat from stalking the bird.
Also, it will relieve the bird from getting unnecessary stress.
4. Do Not Allow Cats Near Birdcages:
It is better to give the bird its own space. So, you may stop the cat from spending time near the cage.
It will clear the thought of the paw about the bird’s area as its territory.
Cats and birds can remain together if you introduce them well. But sometimes, it appears too hard to put both together.
After all, it is dangerous for them; a big bird can stumble the cat while a cat can bite the bird.
That’s why we people keep asking, “is cat saliva toxic to birds?” Yes, it can be dangerous for birds.
They may get allergies, affected by bacteria, eye irritations, respiratory problems, and others. So, you should try to keep your bird safe from the paws.
To know more about avoiding infections from dogs and cats read the article from Harvard.
As a bird enthusiast, I write to inspire and educate others about the beauty and importance of avian species in our ecosystem. Find me in Twitter