Are Cockatiels Afraid Of Cats? How To Make It Work

Are Cockatiels Afraid Of Cats?If you are thinking about getting a cockatiel but you already have pets, you may be wondering what this bird is like with other animals. In particular, a lot of pet owners ask; are cockatiels afraid of cats?

FREE video course:
Stop Your Bird's Biting

    Are Cockatiels afraid of cats? Cockatiels are naturally scared or apprehensive of cats. But you can still own both of them as pets, as long as you make sure that they are used to being in the same room together and they have been introduced before while being supervised.

    FREE video course:
    Stop Your Bird's Biting

      So, let’s have a look in more detail and see ways you can make sure your cockatiel and cat can live together and how you can understand your cockatiel’s behavior better.

      Are cockatiels Afraid of Cats? Let´s Talk About That!

      So, you want to know whether cockatiels are afraid of cats. The answer to this question is most likely yes. Birds are natural prey species and this means that they are always aware of their surroundings and whether there are predators out there to harm them.

      This means that it is natural for them to be scared of new things and other animals. This can include cats. In contrast, cats are hunters and they are naturally attracted to birds; they want to stalk and play with them.

      Of course, this makes it sound like it is impossible for a cockatiel and cat to ever live with each other. This is not true. Cockatiels and cats can live together in harmony.

      It just may take some time and patience to make it happen. This includes introducing your cockatiel and cat to each other from a distance.

      It is important to remember that your cockatiel and cat will (probably) never be best friends. It is never a good idea for them to be right beside each other unattended. But it is possible for them to be in the same room without anything terrible happening.

      You just need to know how to make this possible.

      How to Tell if a Cockatiel is Scared or Angry

      A lot of people ask; how on earth can you tell if your cockatiel is upset about something? Well, it is all about paying attention to their body language. This is going to be the key to understanding when they are content and when things are scaring them, such as your cat.

      In particular, the crest is going to tell you a lot about how your cockatiel is feeling at that moment in time with the cat. This is the feathers that are on the top of your furry friend’s head. They will move depending on their feelings. So be sure to pay attention to understand your bird.


      If you hear your cockatiel hissing, this is definitely a bad sign. This means that they are angry and this is usually the last sign before they bite. (Why show you further reasons for hissing and what you can do here!)

      So, if you are anywhere near your cockatiel then make sure to move away and give them space. If it is the cat they are hissing at, make sure to move them away too.

      Fully Up Crest

      If you notice that your cockatiel’s crest is fully up and extended, this means that they are feeling anxious and scared. It is a sign that you should respect their space and remove the cat from near them. They may need more time before they are introduced to your furry friend.

      A Flat Crest

      A flat crest on your bird is a bad sign. This means that they are very angry and they may lash out if you do not stop what you are doing. This behavior will mean that they really do not like the cat being around and you should appreciate this.

      Perhaps it is too soon for them to be introduced to new things or simply things are moving too fast.

      FREE video course:
      Stop Your Bird's Biting


        If you notice your Cockatiel swaying from side to side, this is a sign that they are not happy with the situation.

        Perhaps the cat is too close to them or they just do not like something new being there. Either way, this movement is a sign that they are upset or scared and you should pay attention to this.Cockatiels And Cats

        Ways to Live with a Cockatiel and a Cat

        If you already have a cat and you are introducing a cockatiel, this is going to be a lot easier than the other way around.

        Cockatiels can get used to their surroundings and they are not always the best with change. But if you already know the temperament of your cat, it can be easier to introduce a cockatiel.

        Let’s look at some of the ground rules for introducing your new cockatiel to your cat.

        Set Boundaries

        First of all, it is essential that you set boundaries between your cockatiel and cat. In other words, do not let your cat do what they want around your cockatiel. This means preventing any predatory behavior, such as climbing on the cage and pawing at your cockatiel through the bars.

        Do Not Leave Unattended

        Until you are entirely convinced that you trust leaving your cat with your cockatiel, it is best to not leave them alone together. While it is unlikely that anything can happen to your cockatiel in their cage, you do not want them to be frightened by the cat.

        So, make sure that they are supervised for a long time before you can leave the room.

        Do Not Let Cockatiel Out

        The number one rule that should never be broken is letting your cockatiel out to play and fly around when the cat is in the room. It is natural for your cat to see a bird and stalk and pounce at them. It does not matter if your cat is normally relaxed and docile.

        FREE video course:
        Stop Your Bird's Biting

          It is in their nature to chase birds. So, be sure to only let your cockatiel out when the cat is not in the room. This will make sure nothing bad happens and that your cockatiel does not feel afraid and threatened.

          Take Things Slow

          Remember that your cockatiel and cat are not going to get along overnight. It is a long and slow process that is going to depend on the personalities of your pets. You should start at a long distance from each other and over time allow your pets to become closer.

          Also, you should start by keeping your cockatiel and in separate rooms. Then you can bring them into the same room for extended periods every day until they can be free in the same room together.

          Related Questions

          Are cockatiels afraid of dogs? It is natural for your cockatiel to be afraid of dogs at first. Just like cats, dogs are a predator that enjoy chasing and catching birds. Cockatiels are also a natural prey species. This means it will take some time for your cockatiel and dog to be in the same room.

          Can cockatiels live with other birds? Cockatiels are known as submissive and docile birds. This means that they can live with other birds, but they should be similar in this way. This means they can live with budgies, some finches and parakeets. But they should not live with larger parrots and lovebirds.

          Photo of author

          Gaurav Dhir

          Gaurav is an animal enthusiast. He lives in beautiful Ontario with his energetic family. As a part of his work at, he has been working with ace parrot trainer, Cassie Malina to understand bird behavior and learn more about how he can train his feathered companions.

          1 thought on “Are Cockatiels Afraid Of Cats? How To Make It Work”

          1. Thank you for this wonderful info. I’ve been wanting to get a cockatiel for a long time but didn’t because I have cats. This gives me hope that they can be ok together.


          Leave a Comment

          This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.