What Happened to the Bird That
Got Away From My Cat??

It probably died.

And here's why...

More than 64 species of bacteria have been identified in the oral flora of cats (August 1988). Several of these are deadly enough to kill a bird rapidly. Veterinarian John August (1988) discusses the types of complications to humans that can arise from cat bites and states "Physicians agree that all bite wounds require meticulous cleansing, high-pressure irrigation, and careful debridement". He also recommends antimicrobials for people bitten by cats. Given the many infections and complications that can result to humans by bites, it is likely that a small bird, with no access to medical facilities, could succumb to even a small bite. Some birds die just from the shock of being cat caught. Carol Fiore picked up several bird casualities from her study cats, but despite constant nursing, they all died (Fiore 2000). Incidentially, call a veterinarian or a wildlife rehabilitator for help. You must be licensed to care for injured wild birds (see The Migratory Bird Treaty Act).

August, J.R. 1988. Dog and cat bites. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 193: 1394-1398.

Fiore, C. 2000. The ecological implications of urban domestic cat (Felis catus) predation on birds in the city of Wichita, Kansas [thesis]. Wichita State University (KS). 179 p.

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