Reasons Why Cats Like To Watch Birds Out The Window

If you’re a cat person, then you’re well-familiar with the fact that cats are whimsical and often misunderstood creatures.

They do whatever they want, however they want and whenever they want, regardless of what everyone else thinks they should do. And unless you’re fluent in meow, chances are you’re not always sure what’s going through your pet’s mind when it’s sitting on the window perch or when it’s trying to watch TV with you.

And yes, cats do watch TV, usually if there are mice, birds and other tiny animals on the screen.

In fact, most cats adore watching small animals more than you know, especially when it comes to birds. Furthermore, you might even hear cats chirping or chattering when there’s a furry little birdie somewhere nearby.

But why do cats watch birds? Why do they like staring so much?

If your kitty’s tail position isn’t a good enough telltale sign for you to guess its emotions, keep reading further. We’ll explain the reasons why cats like watching birds below.

Why Do Cats Like Watching Birds?

Instincts Of A Hunter

By default cats are among nature’s best hunters, regardless of their breed or overall temperament. Kitties of all ages have strong inborn hunting instincts. Even though felines have been domesticated for centuries, they still have their untamed ancestors’ enviably heightened senses and the instincts of a hunter.

Whenever they spot a possible prey, they become predators, whether it’s just for play time or for survival. Cats consider birds as prey. Thus, it comes only natural for their instincts to kick in whenever they see a feathery creature. Even if your pet is completely stiff and isn’t stalking the bird by walking around the window or the TV, it could still be thinking about hunting it.

If this is the reason why your cat is watching birds, there’s one particular downside to it – the kitty could become anxious, irritated or even depressed due to the fact that it can’t experience the satisfaction of catching its prey.

Everyday Boredom

Similar to us, human beings, cats can suffer from boredom too. When your fluffy friend is feeling bored out of its mind, it could indeed stare at birds without making any attempts to hunt them. In other words, it’s just a way for the cat to entertain itself from afar without engaging in any activities.

Boredom can lead to destructive behavior, as well as to obesity. Needless to say, both of these outcomes aren’t healthy. Check out our articles on toys for cats, which are great for overweight or bored kitties. You’ll find a few tips and tricks for keeping boredom at bay and preventing any issues derived from it.


Young kittens, as well as hyperactive breeds are extremely curious by nature. New odors, sights and noises can easily attract their attention. The need to satisfy their curiosity will make them do some crazy things, such as pawing at the TV screen whenever it’s showing chirping birds.

Of course, you can’t really predict where curiosity will take an adventurous cat and what mischief it will do. One of the ways to prevent anxiousness from unreachable birds is to distract the cat with something else. Investing in a cat tree with multiple entertainment options is an excellent way to keep your furball away from the window or the TV screen.

Territorial Behavior

Cats are well-known for their territorial ways. They can easily get jealous even when it seems like there’s no reason for their jealousy. It’s possible for your pet to be jealous of the birds because they get to play in the bird bath or roam the branches in your yard freely.

It’s also possible for your kitty to get angry if it thinks the harmless birds are invading its territory. And if another cat is in the yard and is stalking them in the same time, this will definitely make your pet feel territorial. You can cope with this by placing blinders or curtains on the window. Unfortunately, if your feline companion has set its mind on monitoring the outdoor world, it might try to tear them up out of angst that they’re blocking its view.

Food And Hunger

Last but not least, is another inborn instinct felines have – to work for their food. Regardless of the type of cat food or homemade recipes you’re using, your feline friend could be watching the birds as a way to stalk a prey in order to eat it.

Many cats won’t make the difference between a real animal and the ones on the TV screen. As such, it’s completely possible for your cat to be watering its mouth in front of your TV. Don’t punish the cat for getting excited, angry or anxious from watching birds. Instead, try to distract it with something else that offers a harmless activity.

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!