Free-roaming cats are a problem around the world for bird populations, and have been shown to decimate ground-nesting and backyard birds in many areas. Whether the cats are free-roaming pets or feral cats, you may have to obtain a live-trap to humanely capture them and bring them to a local shelter. Audubon believes the best way to protect birds from cats is to keep cats indoors.

Many counties or municipalities have ordinances that protect homeowners from pets that damage neighbor's yards. Check to see all the ordinances that currently exist relating to pets. Problem cats may, in fact, not be someone's pets, but instead might be true feral cats. A feral female cat that is not neutered can have many young that remain wild -- so you can get a large population of wild, bird-eating cats in a very short time.

If you do not have an ordinance now to keep cats indoors or with collars, you should talk to your local elected officials about the process to propose one for a local vote. Also check with your local wild bird store to see what they know about this issue.

Audubon is a partner in a national campaign called "Cats Indoors!" led by the American Bird Conservancy. Below is a link to their website that will provide you with facts, materials, and suggestions for leading a public awareness campaign in your community. www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/cats/index.html