parrot won't leave cage

Why Won’t My Parrot Come Out Of Its Cage?

Parrots normally enjoy getting out of their cage to stretch their legs and flap their wings. So, when a parrot refuses to come out of its cage, you’ll need to check for signs of health and behavioral conditions.

Some parrots refuse to leave their cage because they’re scared of something in their living environment. This includes other pets and people, a phobia of the outdoors, and past trauma. Injured, sick, or diseased parrots are also unlikely to come out of their cage because they feel tired and fatigued.

With time, patience, and perseverance, you can usually coax your parrot out of its cage using encouragement tactics. If your parrot feels unwell, its willingness to interact will increase as soon as the problem is cleared up.

Why Won’t My Parrot Leave Its Cage?

If your parrot refuses to come out of its cage, something is preventing it from doing so. This could be a health condition, an environmental issue, or a psychological problem that’s making your parrot feel uncomfortable. Here are some of the reasons why a parrot won’t leave its cage:

Phobia

A phobia is usually caused by long-term neglect and a lack of socialization by owners who become too busy to offer their parrots the appropriate level of interaction.

As a result, the parrot sees its cage as its safe space and will refuse to leave it. Consequently, the parrot will require training and encouragement to overcome its ingrained fear. Owners must interact with their parrots to make them feel comfortable and safe in their presence.

Trauma

If something traumatic happened while your parrot was out of its cage, it might develop a fear of going outside. Trauma could include an accident or injury, such as flying into a window or ceiling fan. The parrot may also have been spooked by a noisy appliance, such as a vacuum cleaner or TV. 

As a result, the parrot has developed negative connotations with being outside its cage. A potential way to deal with this is to move your parrot’s cage to a different location that’s not connected with past trauma.

should I let my parrot out of its cage?

Territorial Instincts

Parrots see their cage as their own, they will defend it – just like they would with their territory in the wild. This is most likely if the cage is shared with another parrot.

Macaws, lovebirds, and quaker parrots are most prone to territorial behaviors and will become aggressive while defending their cage. When you attempt to get the parrot out, it will lunge and bite.

Household Pets

Some parrots, especially the smaller species, see other animals as predators, which frightens them and causes them to seek refuge inside their cage.

Cats will stalk parrots. As explained by MDPI, birds are one of the most common species for cats to prey upon. Dogs are less likely to prey on parrots, but their sniffing may unnerve them.

Even though most owners keep other pets out of the room while their parrot is exercising, some birds can’t see past the danger and will refuse to leave the cage.

Injury

If your parrot has an injury to its wings, feet, or legs, it won’t feel like exercising or being outside its cage. If you suspect your parrot has an injury or health condition, check for these signs:

  • Limping or lameness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Aggression
  • Vocalization
  • Lethargy
  • Dull eyes
  • Poor feather quality or discoloration
  • Drooped wing
  • Inability to stand

How To Get A Parrot Out of Its Cage

Now that you have some idea of why your parrot’s refusing to vacate its cage, it’s time to try to coax it outside.

You can use several techniques but use slow and steady movements and work at your parrot’s pace. If you move too quickly, you might spook your parrot. Here’s how to get a parrot out of its cage:

Petting

Before reaching in and removing your parrot from its cage, spend 5-10 minutes stroking it and showing it affection. Use a soft, high-pitched voice to talk to your parrot, reassuring it that it’s not in any danger.

Once you’ve built up the trust level, try gently pulling it towards the cage door. If your parrot struggles or becomes aggressive, release it and try another time.

Treats

Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective training techniques, so try feeding your parrot its favorite fruits, nuts, and seeds to encourage it to step out of the cage.

You can either hand-feed or leave the treats by the door for the parrot to find in its own time. Leaving a trail for the parrot to follow will also encourage it to come out.

Toys

Use your parrot’s favorite toys and games to pique its curiosity. Parrots love being mentally challenged, and the most curious birds won’t be able to resist some fun and entertainment.

You could encourage your parrot to leave the cage by treating it to new toys that it hasn’t played with before. This will work well if your parrot gets bored quickly or often outwits its games.

Ignore The Parrot

This method is the one that most owners struggle with, but some parrots get stressed by too much fuss and attention. As a result, give your parrot some space until it feels comfortable enough to leave the cage by itself. 

You can sit in the same room to offer comfort and support, but stay quiet and remain still so that the parrot doesn’t get spooked by any sounds and movements. As soon as your parrot leaves the cage, you can begin playing with it.

How To Parrot Proof A Room

Before your parrot leaves its cage, the surrounding environment must be safe. If it’s not, the parrot will never feel comfortable exercising in its environment. You’ll need to parrot proof the room by doing the following:

how to get a parrot out of its cage

Remove Obstacles

Room obstacles that can harm your parrot include:

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Radiators
  • Heaters
  • Candles
  • Oven

If your parrot comes into contact with or flies into these items, it’s likely to hurt itself, developing negative connotations with the environment outside its cage.

Remove Household Plants

Some household plants are toxic to parrots. If your parrot gets hold of one, it could become unwell. As a result, remove plants from the room your parrot’s exercising in. The following plants are poisonous to parrots:

  • Amaryllis
  • Daffodils
  • Holly
  • Ivy
  • Lilies
  • Mistletoe
  • Morning glory
  • Philodendron
  • Poinsettia

Turn Off Electricals

If there’s too much noise, your parrot may become scared of its surroundings, refusing to leave the sanctuary of its cage. Turn off all appliances, such as TVs and radios, to minimize any noise that might be scaring your parrot.

Tidy Away Wires

The home is full of electricals and wires, which parrots frequently fly into. This risks electrical burns and injury, especially if the parrot chews through them. If this happens, the parrot will likely experience psychological damage from the trauma, refusing to come out of its cage.

Tuck all wires away or remove them altogether whenever your parrot’s exercising in the room. 

Keep Pets Out

As mentioned, other pets make parrots feel uncomfortable due to their predatory behaviors. Even if they’re not bothering it, the parrot won’t come out of the cage if it’s feeling vulnerable.

To prevent this from happening, lock all pets out of your parrot’s room, regardless of whether they’re friendly or not. Most parrots will refuse to leave their cage when other animals are nearby.

The worst thing you can do is force your parrot out of its cage. If it refuses to come out, you’ll need to stimulate your parrot’s mind and provide sufficient exercise through regular attention-giving, toys, and general fun.