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Other Pets and Your Cockatiel


   You can happily own a cockatiel without having to give up or deprive yourself of other types of animals. However, you must still exercise care when owning more than one type of pet. Your bird's cage must be out of reach of all other animals. There is a product called a ScatMat that you can place in front of your bird's cage. It produces a small electric shock when stepped on, useful for training animals to stay away from your bird.

Cats. Cats, of course, are natural predators of birds. This means you will need to employ several different types of methods to keep your bird safe. Bear in mind that cat saliva contains a bacteria (pasteurella) that is fatal to your bird, though harmless for your cat.. One bite from a cat, and your bird will probably not survive, even with emergency vet care.
 Do not allow the cat to climb onto the bird cage, ever. Tell the cat "no" firmly whenever it attempts to. Never trust any cat alone in a room when your bird is out! You may need to lock your cat in another room while your bird is out of its cage.

Dogs. Many dogs instinctively hunt birds. They think there is no greater joy than to present their master with their "prize." When you bring your cockatiel home, you should observe your dog to see what kind of reaction it has. If your dog attempts to jump onto the cage, or barks at the bird, you will need to remove one or the other from the room until you have trained the dog to leave the cockatiel alone.
  Never trust any dog alone in a room when your bird is out, if you are not there to supervise! Even if they aren't aggressive towards the bird, they can accidentally injure it.

Reptiles. There's no problem keeping turtles, snakes, etc., as long as you wash your hands thoroughly before handling your bird. Reptiles should never come into contact with your bird. Reptiles carry salmonella (it's in their digestive tract), and any bird found with salmonella will be euthanized by the Health Department. So take care if owning both.

Fish. All fish tanks should have lids, or be removed when your bird is out of its cage. Cockatiels cannot swim, and an open tank is inviting disaster.

Small animals. Hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats should not be housed directly next to your bird, and good hygiene should be utilized. Rabbits, in particular, can carry pasteurella, which, again, is a virus that can kill your pet bird. Mites are also a concern.

Other birds. It is a bad idea to attempt to house cockatiels with any other type of bird. Because of their laid-back attitude, cockatiels are often picked on by both bigger and smaller birds. Parakeets will attack cockatiel toes, and should not be in the same cage. Cockatiels have been known to lose toes or even be killed when housed with other species. For their health and happiness, they need to be caged separately, regardless of how "friendly" it may appear with other species.


   Many people want their different species of pets to "interact" with each other. This is a great example of a really bad idea. Since many small and exotic animals carry diseases that can harm your other pets, it is best to keep them all separate, and spend individual time with each one. This will help in preventing illnesses from spreading from pet to pet, in addition to keeping them safe from any potential harm one animal might inflict on another.