Will birds use cat hair for nests?

Answered by Robert Dupre

Birds can indeed use cat hair for building their nests. Many bird species, particularly those that build cup-shaped nests, are known to incorporate a variety of materials into their nest construction, including feathers, twigs, grass, and even fur. Cat hair, with its soft and insulating properties, can be an excellent choice for birds seeking to line their nests and provide additional warmth and comfort for their eggs and hatchlings.

To attract birds to your outdoor space and provide them with a source of cat hair for nesting, there are a few steps you can take:

1. Groom your cat regularly: Regular brushing of your cat’s fur will help collect loose hairs, preventing them from being shed around your home and instead providing a steady supply of cat hair for bird nests. Be sure to clean your brush after each grooming session to remove any dirt or debris.

2. Set up a winter suet holder: Clean your suet holder thoroughly and fill it with the collected cat hair. Hang the suet holder on a tree or in an area where birds frequently visit. The birds will be able to access the cat hair easily and incorporate it into their nests.

3. Create a bird-friendly environment: Birds are more likely to choose your outdoor space as a nesting site if it provides an abundance of natural materials. Planting native trees and shrubs that offer suitable nesting sites and food sources will attract a wider variety of bird species. Additionally, providing nesting boxes or platforms can also encourage birds to nest in your yard.

4. Be patient: It may take some time for birds to discover and start using the cat hair you provide. Keep replenishing the supply regularly, especially during the nesting season, to increase the chances of birds finding and utilizing it.

It’s important to note that not all bird species will use cat hair for their nests. Some birds may have different preferences or may not incorporate fur at all. However, providing a variety of materials, including cat hair, increases the likelihood of attracting nest-building birds to your yard.

Birds can and do use cat hair for nest-building purposes. By collecting and providing a source of clean, soft cat fur, you can contribute to the nesting success and comfort of birds in your area.