The best part of owning a cat is being able to cuddle it. But the second best part? Dressing it up in embarrassing ways.
Mashable reports a Vermont-based company called Birdsbesafe came up with a creative way to stop outdoor cats from chowing down on local songbirds: a neon-hued cat collar cover resembling your favorite hair accessory from 1995.
According to the Birdsbesafe, songbirds have eyes specially designed for color detection.
#cats Birdsbesafe cat collars look clown-ish, but bright colors are super-visible to birds--warning birds to fly away. pic.twitter.com/B1NLgvXe — Birdsbesafe (@birdsbesafe) May 17, 2012
Their eyes have more rods and a specialized fourth type of cone made for low light situations.
From an Australian repeat customer, caption says: "I really don't know which one to wear!" Bird-saving fashionista! pic.twitter.com/SHxVatpedT — Birdsbesafe (@birdsbesafe) December 7, 2014
Birds are more likely to escape the claws of a hunting house cat if an animal that's normally gray, black or white suddenly becomes turquoise and magenta.
Emmy, spokescat: The St. Lawrence U. field study of our bird-saving product will be published soon. Can hardly wait! pic.twitter.com/fLHbHwg1sY — Birdsbesafe (@birdsbesafe) January 15, 2015
Thanks to the collars, cats are anything but sly hunters.
Verdant Vermont and a customer's cat in this photo. Cats will hunt for birds--winter or summer. Birdsbesafe can help! pic.twitter.com/s6r36DJwiK — Birdsbesafe (@birdsbesafe) January 22, 2015
Of course, cats prefer to be composed and dignified.
#cats Birdsbesafe cat collars look clown-ish, but bright colors are super-visible to birds--warning birds to fly away. New South Wales, AU. This cat's owner says "he has been unsuccessful in his attempts to hunt birds" since Birdsbesafe pic.twitter.com/V9e1SJsDi6 — Birdsbesafe (@birdsbesafe) January 28, 2015
In the interest of protecting local environments, however, owners are more than willing to put the ruffled collars on their felines for short periods of time.
We discovered how to keep cats away from most birds. Songbirds have special color vision-- we made cats more visible! pic.twitter.com/S8LvBQz0t8 — Birdsbesafe (@birdsbesafe) February 1, 2015
ABC Australia reports a Murdoch University two-year study, which included more than 100 predatory cats, showed significant reductions in deaths when the cats wore colors.
Songbirds have a 4th cone in eyes for color vision & extra rods. Proven: Colors make a cat easier to see and avoid! pic.twitter.com/wpDKi8LQv9 — Birdsbesafe (@birdsbesafe) February 5, 2015
The scrunchies cover pre-existing cat collars, acting as flashy but functional sleeves.
"I thought you might like this photo of Cleo gazing longingly at the birds she can't catch!! Best wishes, J. (UK)" pic.twitter.com/D8Vbl1fDwS — Birdsbesafe (@birdsbesafe) February 18, 2015
They range in price from $10 to $15.
Emmy, our Birdsbesafe spokescat, is looking glamorous & obvious to birds (or she would be if she was outdoors). pic.twitter.com/ewrtTiQ6OC — Birdsbesafe (@birdsbesafe) February 19, 2015
Birdsbesafe scrunchies are quite the style statement.
The Mirror gets the science right, and calls our bird-saving device "jaunty"! Loving it! See more at birdsbesafe .com pic.twitter.com/NIrledCt1N — Birdsbesafe (@birdsbesafe) February 20, 2015