Caring for a Cockatiel

Are you considering adopting a cockatiel? These cute little birds have lots of personality, and make very fun pets! A Walnut, CA vet discusses basic cockatiel care below.


Cockatiels have some wonderful qualities: they’re quirky, personable, and charming. They can also be quite hilarious! However, think carefully before adopting one. Cockatiels need daily care and lots of attention. It’s also important to realize that Polly can be, well, kind of a messy roommate. Longevity is another thing to consider. These pretty birds can live over 20 years! Make sure you can commit to caring for your feathered pal for her entire lifespan. Also, cockatiels are very sociable. If Polly will often be home alone, consider getting two cockatiels, so your pet doesn’t get lonely.


Polly’s cage should be at least 2 feet tall, 18 inches deep, and 20 inches wide, though you’ll want to get the biggest cage you can afford. The bars should be ¾ of an inch apart, at most. Cockatiels climb quite a bit, so choose a cage with horizontal bars. You’ll also want to pay attention to the material. Make sure the cage isn’t made of lead or zinc, which are toxic to birds.


Polly will need some accessories, such as bowls. You may want to get more than one set: that way one can be in use while the other is being cleaned. Cockatiels also need lots of toys, as well as perches of different strengths and materials. Change your winged pal’s toys and perches regularly to keep things fun for her.


Birds all have specific nutritional needs. Ask your vet for dietary advice, including portion sizes, safe and unsafe foods, and suitable treats.


Polly may need time to adjust. At first, put her cage somewhere she can see and hear you, without being exposed to too much commotion. Spend lots of time near the birdcage. (Tip: this is a great time to have your coffee or check social media!) Talking to your cute pet will help her get used to your voice, while offering toys and treats will help her relax.


Birds have extremely sensitive lungs, and can get very sick from breathing things like perfume, smoke, or aerosol. Make sure Polly always has clean air!

Please contact us, your Walnut, CA vet clinic, for more information about cockatiel care. We’re here for you!

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