When a baby bird is injured by a cat, it will die without antibiotics (within 8 hrs) because of the enzymes in the cat's saliva, which is on the cat's nails and teeth. The bird may not seem injured if it only has a small scratch or bite but the damage is done. It will become paralyzed and die even if it is as lively as a healthy bird. Thousands of babies die every year due to feral cats and cats that roam outside. It is totally unnecessary because cats are meant to be indoors with their families or in a screened in porch where they can get fresh air and watch wildlife from afar. If you have a cat that you let outside, please consider the lives that are lost and consider taking them out on a leash or providing them a contained area where they can't harm the birds. Just about all of us wildlife rehabilitators have cats and we love them, but we understand their fascination with feathery things that hop! So, we are careful and responsible to serve both the wildlife we love and our pets by not letting them outside without a leash.
According to the American Bird Conservancy, there are more than 90 million pet cats in the U.S. and most of them spend at least some of their time outdoors. There are many problems facing wild bird populations. The reduction in population of grassland birds like the Bobolink is an example of a problem that defies an easy solution. Other problems like cat predation are more easily addressed. The American Bird Conservancy has a program called 'Cats Indoors!'. They have excellent material on the subject on their website. The link below will open directly to the Cats Indoors! website.