IMPORTANT: Putting a real scrunchie on your cat is dangerous for the cat (read on to find out why). Don’t do it! This article discusses a special, scrunchie-like product that is safer for cats. Please, for the safety of your feline, don’t just put any old thing around their necks.

Okay guys and gals, it’s time to dust off your scrunchies again! Not sure where you put them? They’re in that box in the back of your closet. Yeah, that one labeled, “scrunchies, banana clips, slap bracelets, and Swatches.” C’mon, it’s for the good of the birds!

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Are we all gonna just sit here and pretend that this cat doesn’t look like the “Creepy, Thin Man” from Charlie’s Angels?

The Weird and Amazing Way Cats Wearing Scrunchies are Saving Wildlife in AustraliaABC

A two-year study out of Murdoch University in Western Australia, spearheaded by Ph.D student Catherine Hall, concluded that putting scrunchie-like collars on cats reduced the amount of native wildlife killed by 54 percent.

While the sudden appearance of a scrunchie in a cat’s repertoire could make it want to hit up Lalapalooza while sporting a pleather jacket from Contempo Casuals, thusly eliminating any spare time they had for indiscriminate hunting, the cause seems to be a bit more simple.

“You think this is gonna stop me from catching a bird? As if!”

The Weird and Amazing Way Cats Wearing Scrunchies are Saving Wildlife in Australia

 

Scrunchies, especially the more colorful ones, make cats more visible to birds. “Bright colors are very noticeable to songbirds, they should see the cats further away, allowing them to escape earlier,” Hall said. “Because it’s based on color and vision, cats won’t be able to learn how to make it stop working.”

Considering that a 2013 study by Environment Canada found feral and domestic cats to be the top cause of bird deaths across the country, coming in at 133 million avian fatalities, the desire to prevent this is an understandable one.

“I get that we’re trying to alert birds to my presence, but is having them laugh themselves to death at my appearance any better?”

The Weird and Amazing Way Cats Wearing Scrunchies are Saving Wildlife in Australia

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Historically, cats have been able to figure out ways to thwart intended alert systems, such as bells on collars. Being the smart little buggers that they are, they just learned to move in a stealthier manner as to avoid the jingling which, in effect, made them even better hunters.

“Sometimes, I like to play ‘Stay’ over and over again. Lisa Loeb just gets me.”

The Weird and Amazing Way Cats Wearing Scrunchies are Saving Wildlife in AustraliaBirds Be Safe/Twitter

There’s no working around looking super fly, however, and that’s great news for the birds, reptiles and amphibians who will be alerted to the cat’s presence, thanks to their new accessories. Sadly, animals with poor color vision do not find this feline homage to Jessie Spano as helpful.

“I’m gonna catch you faster than you can say, ‘Zig a Zig ahhh.’ Wait, where are you going?”

The Weird and Amazing Way Cats Wearing Scrunchies are Saving Wildlife in AustraliaBirds Be Safe/Twitter

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While it’s great that going full Spice Girl on your feline can help wildlife populations, the safety of your cat is also important. A true and legitimate scrunchie that you used to wear in your hair (or maybe still do, we’re not here to play Fashion Police) will be too tight for your furry friend and can cause injury or stress.

The Cat Protection League out of the U.K. urges, “While recognising that cats catching birds is a concern, the use of scrunchies could cause serious harm to the cat if it becomes caught or tangled. For this reason, the only articles placed around a cat’s neck should have a quick release fitting or a snap opening. Cats prefer to hunt at dawn and dusk so Cats Protection believes an effective way to reduce hunting is to keep cats in at night.”

“I’m an indoor cat. You’re just doing this to entertain yourselves at this point.”

The Weird and Amazing Way Cats Wearing Scrunchies are Saving Wildlife in AustraliaBirds Be Safe/Twitter

We agree that keeping cats indoors is the safest bet, not just for wildlife, but for cats themselves. Having said that, if you’d like to cover your bets and jump on this colorful trend as well, UK company Birds Be Safe makes covers for your cat’s existing collar. Fluffy can look snazzy while birds can live on to tell their bird friends about the weird thing they saw that day.

But, seriously you guys, he looks just like him. 

The Weird and Amazing Way Cats Wearing Scrunchies are Saving Wildlife in AustraliaABC/Film School Rejects

Lead image source: Take Part/Twitter