I live in the country with a large yard that goes into the woods a decent way away from my house. I have two indoor-outdoor cats, and also regularly set up bird feeders. Recently, I've been having a hard time with a bear at night. Now, I haven't actually seen the animal, but I am guessing that a raccoon isn't the one that bent a sturdy metal bird feeder pole in half. Anyway, so my cats are usually really good about being put outside at night, but recently, they've become spooked and cower when I go to put them out. I want to know if there is a way to deter the bear without using something harmful for my cats. Preferably something not super expensive and not hard to come by. I'd appreciate any suggestions.

  • 3
    Where do you live? Which country and state or province at least, county may make a difference.
    – Willeke
    May 1 at 4:49
  • 2
    Assuming it is a bear, your possible actions might also have legal implications. (e.g. you probably cannot just kill the bear)
    – PMF
    May 1 at 6:49

1 Answer 1


You need to remove your bird feeders from your yard. It is an easy source of food and that is what is attracting the bear. You need to remove this food source and the bear will stop coming around.

It is common in areas that have bears to take down bird feeders in the spring and not put them back up until the winter when bears are hibernating. You also will want to make sure that your garbage is secured properly so that the bear is not getting into that as well.

  • I live in the northeast USA. My garage is secure, and we don't keep any trash outside at all. The only thing the bear does is go after the bird feeders. I didn't use to have a problem with bears, though, so I was wondering if there is a good way to deter the animal without killing it. Is taking down the bird feeders the only way?
    – Jia
    May 8 at 13:51
  • In MI, the DNR reminds everyone in bear country to take down their feeders to avoid attracting bears. I can't tell you why you didn't use to have a problem with them but removing the thing attracting them is the only guaranteed way to stop them coming. Anything else may not work and in the meanwhile, the bear will be associating humans with easy food and become habituated to hanging around humans. Then if it gets in any trouble, it doesn't go well for the bear
    – Schleis
    May 8 at 14:06
  • Thank you! I appreciate the help!
    – Jia
    May 11 at 0:33
  • Can I ask, why would you set up bird feeders outside of the deep of winter anyway? What I have read so far was always to only put out bird feeders in the harshest of winters to support the local bird population, and preventing them getting accustomed to easy food sources during times where they could and should just go and forage themselves...
    – fgysin
    May 23 at 13:34

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