How to Train Your Pets to Get Along with Your Bird

Mr.-KatoIt is unnatural for a cat or dog to leave a bird alone. There are many inherent dangers in combining a cat, dog and bird in one household, but if you have the time, persistence and patience, you can use training to have your pets get along.

There are some basic rules:

  • Never leave your pet alone in the room with a bird. Supervise them at all times when together.
  • Don’t allow your cat or dog to lick or scratch the bird. It could cause a fatal disease in the bird.
  • Watch all three animals carefully at all times for the slightest sign of aggression or a feeling of being threatened.

That said, you might begin by slowly introducing the bird to your other pets in a safe manner. You can hold the bird on your finger, gradually letting them closer to the cat or dog and watching the reactions of all three closely. If the bird doesn’t seem threatened, you can eventually let your cat or dog smell—but not lick!—the bird to become more familiar with it.

If the larger animal makes any move to play with, or touch, the bird, say a loud “No!” so they get the message loud and clear that this is unacceptable. If your dog or cat will not obey this command, it is best to keep them totally separate from the bird at all times.

You can try to let your cat or dog approach the bird in a non-threatening manner, and praise them when they are behaving the way you want them to. The larger pets may be very curious at first, but your hope is that they will eventually ignore the bird.

You also need to watch your parrot closely for hormonal nesting behavior (females) or aggression (males during breeding season). Even puppies and kittens trained to get along with birds will react if the bird becomes aggressive.

Combining a cat, dog and bird in one household can be quite difficult. Only you can know if your cat or dog are mellow enough, or trainable enough, that it will be possible for them to coexist. If you decide that it will all be too much for you or for your pets, you can always get your “parrot fix” by volunteering at Sy’s Piece of Heaven. Call our sanctuary at (908) 475-8750 for more information.