In enjoy watching the birds that frequent my fenced-in backyard. Unfortunately, so does my neighbor's cat! What can I do to keep this feline away from my feeders and feathered friends?
—Helen Berends, East Grand Rapids, Michigan
George: Free-roaming house cats cause enormous problems for backyard birds. The quickest solution is to convince your neighbors to keep their cat at home, preferably inside. This is no easy task, because some cat owners often don't believe their pets are endangering avian wildlife. You also can try planting thorny shrubs, such as barberries or roses, beneath pole-mounted feeders to keep cats from lurking at their bases. My book, Bird Watching for Cats (available at www.thebackyardbirdwatcher.com), is aimed at entertaining indoor cats while attracting wild birds to eat and bathe safely outside your windows.