Picture of Cat-proof birdbath
In this Instructable we will make a birdbath that (hopefully) will be immune to unwelcome feline attention. To do this we will use:
1 tree
2 London taxi-style hubcaps, as found on the verge
1 bolt
1 washer
1 tube of silicone
Assorted standard tools

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Cut down a tree

Picture of Cut down a tree
Well, not exactly 'cut down', but it certainly won't be buying you a drink next time you meet.
Essentially we're looking for a tall post that will prevent cat-pouncing, well anchored to the ground. Sounds like the first 10' of a birch tree... We had a suitable candidate, a beautiful tree, but sadly its root system was starting to destroy our pathway.

Step 2: Trim the tree

Picture of Trim the tree
We need something vaguely horizontal, otherwise the water'll fall out, so trim the tree to give a nice, neat, horizontal post.

Step 3: Drill a hole in it

Picture of Drill a hole in it
Now we need to drill a hole so that the bird bath can be securely fixed in place. Might as well drill a hole in one of the taxi hubcaps at the same time...

Step 4: Cut the hubcap down to size

Picture of Cut the hubcap down to size
This hubcap is the connection to the tree, it has a hole in it (so far), now let's cut it down to a frisbee-esque disc that'll form a good base for the other hubcap (oh yes, you'll need two)...

Step 5: Wash the hubcaps

Picture of Wash the hubcaps
You can't have a dirty birdbath: the wee sweeties'll sicken. So wash those hubcaps.

Step 6: Make the base neat

Picture of Make the base neat
Purely a cosmetic detail, but let's make it nice.

Step 7: Base & bolt

Picture of Base & bolt
Base, bolt & washer ready to fix to the tree

Step 8: Fix it to the tree

Picture of Fix it to the tree
Now bolt the base to the tree

Step 9: Silicone the base

Picture of Silicone the base
The base gets siliconed generously, so as to adhere securely to the second hubcap

Step 10: Squidge on the second hubcap

Picture of Squidge on the second hubcap
Press the second hubcap onto the remains of the first.
Use a spirit level to try and get it reasonably horizontal.

Step 11: The enemy

Picture of The enemy
Know locally as the devil

Step 12: Admire

Picture of Admire
Ok, it's a bit silver

Step 13: Fill it with water

Picture of Fill it with water
It's time to fill the birdbath with water.

Step 14: Postscript

Picture of Postscript
It's a few months since the installion of the birdbath, it's been quite popular with the birds.
The main problem with it is cleaning & refilling it, which I need to do atop a set of steps.
The tree has regrown a surprising amount
suayres3 years ago
Unfortunately, I don't have a handy tree in my yard/garden. But, I do like the hubcap idea. I actually have some hubcaps from a long-since-departed car, which are quite pretty, really. So, I think we can figure out how to make a sturdy, immoveable (anchored in the ground) base on which to mount them. Thanks for the idea!
clockworkdoorbell (author)  suayres3 years ago
Great, glad to have inspired you!
The birdbath is still very much in use, and I've allowed the tree to grow up a little around it, so it blends in a little more now.
I have found that it's best not to fill it completely, because the birds prefer a shallower-sloping edge to their bath.
I dig the safety jacket... good on you bru !!
panks5 years ago
Its a great idea! The only problem is that it will be hard to clean since its so high. These things tend to get full of bird poop and feathers and need to be cleaned out every few days.

If you only lopped off the top off the tree and left the root system intact I think it will still keep growing and eventually break the concrete sidewalk...?
sukinmaru6 years ago
uhh...cats climb trees. Unless your cat is already de-clawed, you made a very tall scratchpost; but hopfully not a cat-feeder... D:
Rotten1946 years ago
Aww, look at the cute little kitty!
ModrnHippe6 years ago
Very cool idea! I recently saw a submission on contest Choose to Reuse where a lady had found an old bathroom sink and decorated it to look like a Peacock and now uses it as a bird bath! Great ideas on what to reuse old things for.
Momma_Bear6 years ago
Birds generally prefer to bathe about 2-3 feet from the ground. Seldom any higher. If your bird bath tree is way up as it appears, you may have built a mosquito hatchery instead :(
danlab6 years ago
I like the Idea, but I agree with Tibet, you should buy a post or something instead of cutting down a healthy tree.
clockworkdoorbell (author)  danlab6 years ago
The tree had to go anyway; it was only when I was cutting it down that I thought about using the base of it. The four-foot lengths I cut the rest of the tree into are stacked to provide wildlife habitat.
tibet6 years ago
it´s nice, but cutting a healthy tree this way is terrible!
SinAmos6 years ago
I will be waiting for the update. Good hunting.:)
lemonie6 years ago
Do the cats try to get up there. or do they know they're beaten?

clockworkdoorbell (author)  lemonie6 years ago
I haven't seen them try yet, but it's early days.
Well, it certainly looks cat-proof. L
SinAmos6 years ago
With no evidence that birds are bathing in your pool, you just lopped off a tree, so until then, you have failed in the minds of internet skeptics.
clockworkdoorbell (author)  SinAmos6 years ago
Touché! You are absolutely right... I will have to try & catch birds using it. I saw one on it almost as soon as it was in place, but he didn't bathe, just drank.Do you think a couple of stones placed in it would make it easier to get in & out? Rest assured I will endeavour to get photographic evidence.