Study of cat collar designed to reduce songbird deaths seeks feline participants

New York-based St. Lawrence University is trying to make it a little harder for domestic cats to get their paws on unsuspecting songbirds.

The school is testing the effectiveness of a brightly colored, highly visible cat collar intended to give songbirds advance notice that cats are nearby, according to North Country Now.

Dr. Susan Willson, professor at St. Lawrence University, said she is seeking 50 local cats to participate in the study. Cats selected for the study will be outfitted with free collars made by Birdsbesafe, a small company in Vermont.

The trial design will see feline participants going about their normal lives for four weeks, followed by four weeks spent wearing the collar. During that time, owners will attempt to observe whether fewer birds are killed while the cats are wearing the collars.

According to Willson, the researchers are asking owners to bag and freeze killed birds, making sure to note the date on which they were found. Willson said owners can either drop birds off on the school's campus or else she will pick them up at scheduled times.

Cat owners interested in participating can contact Willson at [email protected] or 315-566-9588.

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