Are Bird Cages Cruel? (Things You Must Need to Consider!)

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Are bird cages a form of cruelty, or can they keep your bird safe?

Are bird cages cruel?

The answer to this can be quite complex.

We often see birds in flight.

In fact, we associate birds with the open air and the skies, no? So why should we even think of keeping them in cages when they are meant to be free?

On instinct, we may think that keeping birds caged is a sadistic way of keeping a pet, especially one supposed to be in flight.

However, there may be other reasons why keeping a bird in a cage may be a more humane thing to do. It all may depend on several factors.

Check: How Often to Clean Bird Cage

Can Birds Survive in the Wild?

a bird out in the wild

Of course, they can. The wild is their natural habitat [2].

Under no circumstance should birds from the wild be caught and kept as pets. Doing that would most certainly be a form of cruelty.

HOWEVER, for birds that have started as pets, suddenly setting them free may be the opposite.

Like any other pet, birds born and raised in a home may not have the skills needed to survive predators in the wild.

They also will, most probably, not even know how to forage for food that they will need to survive. Setting them free may even bring more harm to them than good.

They’re now part of a family.

When they start as “pets,” they will continue as “pets.” Being a pet means that it is now part of a family, and it now views itself as so.

Can Birds Bond with Human Beings?

a human feeding a wild bird

Birds do know how to bond. In fact, they may even have a sense of community.

Driving them out of your household could be pretty heartbreaking and may even cause confusion and stress on their part – probably, even a sense of rejection.

Admittedly, there are many sorts of behavior exhibited by birds who are kept caged that very well show that keeping them confined gets them stressed.

Behavior such as feather plucking, extreme vocalization, and aggression may be signs of mental distress in caged birds. Again, given specific scenarios, though, having them in a cage may be a better option.

If you must keep a bird in a cage, you may want to consider these suggestions to minimize the stress you may induce by limiting your bird’s freedom to fly and move around.

READ MORE: How long does it take baby birds to fly?

What to Consider When Getting a Bird Cage

Some suggestions on bird cages are listed below:

1. Bird Cage Size

bird cage size

Make sure that the birdcage provides ample size for your bird to move around and fly.

It is already bad enough that he has to be kept in a cage when flying is natural for him.

The least that you can do now is make sure that he can do so even when inside his cage.

2. Bird Toys to Keep Them Entertained

Bird toys are an excellent alternative for keeping your bird busy [1]. Puzzles and chew toys can also trigger your bird’s curiosity and reduce stress levels.

Check out this video of toys for birds:

3. Allow them Time Out of the Cage

The number of “flying hours” each bird needs depends on the type of bird you have.

Some bird owners leave the birdcages open, so the bird has the option to fly around the house and go back into its cage as he chooses.

Doing this means that you will have to ensure that your house is free from things that can endanger your pet bird. This includes any other pet that may harm your bird.

4. Keep the Cage Clean

bird cage being cleaned

After all, who would want a dirty living space?

5. Play With Your Pet Bird

playing with pet bird

Some birds can be social animals in need of companionship. This is especially true for birds like doves and parrots. If you have a pet bird-like these, you may need to interact with them, so they don’t end up feeling lonely.

Getting them a companion is a good idea if your schedule won’t allow you to have much playtime with them.

6. Watch out for Signs of Distress and Anxiety

an angry bird

As mentioned, birds that are stressed [3] out exhibit unusual behavior.

Feather plucking, excessive noise-making, or aggressive behavior may all be signs that your bird is stressed out.

Be sure to bring him to a competent bird doctor if behavior like this comes up. It may even be a sign of an underlying disease or sickness that is just being overlooked.

CHECK: Should I Leave My Bird Cage Open?


Do birds like being in cages?

Birds do not like being in cages. You can however make the cage habitable for your bird by providing food, water, toys, and perches.

What are the disadvantages of keeping birds in cages?

a bird inside a cage

Captivity causes temper tantrums and mood swings in birds. Birds suffer from loneliness, malnutrition, and stress.

In Conclusion

Birds are creatures that need to be free. It is part of their nature to fly and be one with the skies above us. However, Some circumstances may merit the use of cages that will ultimately be for their good.

While we would still advocate against the use of cages, if necessary, the next best thing then is to make sure that their cages are part of your home while ensuring that they are surrounded with the love and care they need.

Are Bird Cages Cruel Towards Pet Birds

Are bird cages cruel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


  • 1. 7 Ways to Help Prevent Your Pet Parrot From Becoming Bored [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jan 6]. Available from:
  • 2. Creating Bird Habitat at Home [Internet]. Smithsonian Gardens. [cited 2022 Jan 6]. Available from:
  • 3. Common Signs of Stress in Birds [Internet]. River Landings Animal Clinic in Bradenton, Florida. Available from:
Barry Stingmore
Barry Stingmore

Barry Stingmore is a British content writer living in Fuerteventura, Spain. An animal lover at heart, he shares his home with a dog and four rescue cats and has a passion for writing about animals big and small.

Barry loves finding answers to your animal-related questions, the more research involved the better! You can rely on him to find the facts.

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