A cat with a bell on its collar.

A cat bell is a bell attached to the collar of a cat to prevent the cat from harming local wildlife.

The bell can warn potential prey of the cat's approach. Cats eventually learn to walk without ringing the bell and pet owners are therefore encouraged to regularly change the bell[1] or attach two bells on the collar.[2]

Attaching a bell on a cat's collar has been shown to reduce the amount of captured birds by 30–40%.[2] With one collar, birds were found to be hunted 2.7 times less than without the collar.[3]

However, some animal care organizations also claim that cat bells are irritating to cats due to their sensitive hearing, and may just confuse birds by interfering with their natural defense mechanisms.[4]

Some owners worry that as well as alerting prey, a bell could alert large predators to a cat's presence, given most predators' acute hearing.[5][6] However, the acute hearing of predators is good enough that it is unlikely to make a difference in practice.[7]


  1. ^ Jasper Copping. "Change your cat's bell to save birds", telegraph.co.uk, 30 May 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b Anton Karis. "Katter dödar 16 miljoner fåglar om året" (at 8 min), Studio Ett, Sveriges radio, 28 June 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016. (In Swedish)
  3. ^ Jensen, Margaret B.; Willson, Susan K.; Powell, Abby N. (2022-04-14). "How Effective Is the Birdsbesafe® Cat Collar at Reducing Bird Mortality by Domestic Cats?". Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management. 13 (1): 182–191. doi:10.3996/jfwm-21-055. ISSN 1944-687X.
  4. ^ (in German) Halsband mit Glöckchen für Katzen? Nein! www.haus-und-wildtierhilfe.de
  5. ^ "Animal Wellness Magazine". 8 August 2019. Archived from the original on 2020-06-26.
  6. ^ "Should Cats Wear Bells on Their Collars? | PurrfectPost.com". www.purrfectpost.com. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  7. ^ "Should I Attach a Bell to My Cat's Collar?". Office for Science and Society. Retrieved 2022-11-01.