Cat-proof Birdbath




Intro: 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

Step 1: 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

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

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

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

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

Step 6: Make the Base Neat

Purely a cosmetic detail, but let's make it nice.

Step 7: Base & Bolt

Base, bolt & washer ready to fix to the tree

Step 8: Fix It to the Tree

Now bolt the base to the tree

Step 9: Silicone the Base

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

Step 10: 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

Know locally as the devil

Step 12: Admire

Ok, it's a bit silver

Step 13: Fill It With Water

It's time to fill the birdbath with water.

Step 14: 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



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    17 Discussions


    6 years ago on Step 14

    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!

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 14

    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.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    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...?


    9 years ago on Introduction

    uhh...cats climb trees. Unless your cat is already de-clawed, you made a very tall scratchpost; but hopfully not a cat-feeder... D:


    9 years ago on Step 11

    Aww, look at the cute little kitty!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    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 :(


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I like the Idea, but I agree with Tibet, you should buy a post or something instead of cutting down a healthy tree.

    1 reply

    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.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    it´s nice, but cutting a healthy tree this way is terrible!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I will be waiting for the update. Good hunting.:)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    1 reply

    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.