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How to Put Lovebirds Back in Their Cage

Sakina loves birds and has had pet parrots and budgies. Now she has two lovebirds, one of which is a peach-faced male she hand-raised.

Lovebird Mumu waiting to jump out of his cage.

Lovebird Mumu waiting to jump out of his cage.

Lovebirds are playful birds. They love staying out of their cage all the time. Tired of trying every possible method of putting your lovebirds back in their cage? Do you have an emergency on hand? Fear not, this article discusses some simple ways in which you can coax your pets into going back inside their cage.

Steps to Coax Your Lovebirds Back Into Their Cage

Sometimes it's really annoying when lovebirds don't want to go inside their home or cage. In times of an emergency, there are some ways that may help you send your pet back inside his/her cage. Let's see what these are.

1. The Slow Move

  • For this step, you have to first let your pet perch on your fingers.
  • Slowly take him/her towards the cage.
  • Put your hand inside the cage and slowly transfer your bird to one of the perches.
  • Quickly remove your hand and close the door of the cage.

2. The Balance Trick

  • For this step, you have to let your pet perch upon the cage's door.
  • Slowly raise your palm behind his/her back.
  • Your bird is likely to jump inside on a perch as his/her balance is disturbed.

3. The Toy Trick

  • Take your lovebird's favorite toy and place it behind the cage.
  • Make sure your pet sees the toy.
  • He/She will think that the toy is inside the cage and will rush to grab it.
  • You can shut the cage door after your pet gets inside.
Lovebird Lulu waiting to jump out of her cage.

Lovebird Lulu waiting to jump out of her cage.

4. The Finger Trick

  • Let your lovebird sit in front of/near the cage.
  • Slowly slide your fingers into the cage bar and shake them. One finger may do the trick.
  • Your lovebird will look at your fingers and jump inside the cage in an attempt to play with them.
  • You can close the cage door after he/she gets inside and remove your fingers from between the cage bars.

5. The Food Trick

  • Take your lovebird's favorite fruit or vegetable. Most lovebirds love green, leafy vegetables like spinach. One of these will do the trick.
  • Place the fruit/vegetable behind the cage and move it slowly, making sure that your pet sees it.
  • He/she will surely run inside the cage to grab it.
  • If possible, either fix the fruit in between the cage bars or throw the spinach (if you use this) inside the cage. Your pet will be happy and think of it as a treat.

6. The Pretense Trick

  • For this trick, make sure that you have something which is completely new to your pet. Maybe a small rope, or a tiny thread. Anything which can raise his/her curiosity.
  • Wiggle the object in the air and pretend that you're having fun. Your pet will fly towards you and will probably want to catch what you're holding in your hands.
  • Slowly move it behind the cage and try to squeeze it between the cage bars.
  • If your bird gets inside, you can close the cage door and remove the object from behind.

My Personal Experience

To give you a little idea about how I trick my lovebird into going inside the cage, I've included two videos that were shot while I did the trick.

The first video shows how Mumu, my lovebird, isn't willing to go inside the cage despite my urging him to go. Please watch the video below.

The second video shows Mumu, my lovebird, being tricked successfully into going inside the cage.

Why Won't My Lovebird Go Inside the Cage?

The above question can be answered by looking closely at a lovebird's behavior. There are many reasons why your pet isn't interested in going back. Let us have a look at what these are.

1. Hunger

One of the most common reasons why your pet doesn't want to go inside his/her cage is hunger. They can't tell you they're hungry, but they can give you signs. So, the next time your pet doesn't want to step inside his/her cage, trying feeding him/her.

Once he/she is well fed, you'll notice that your pet has flown inside the cage by himself/herself!

2. Desire for Attention

Lovebirds, or pets in general, want your attention all the time. They need to feel loved, pampered, and they want you to play with them. My male lovebird, Mumu, loves to sit on my shoulders and also plays by jumping on both of my knees.

My female lovebird, Lulu, has begun to enjoy sitting on our shoulders recently, and she too tries to grab attention when she sits on my knees. Wanting attention is another reason why lovebirds don't want to go back to their cage.

3. They Want Scratches

One reason why your lovebird won't leave your side is that he/she might want to be scratched (in the case of hand-raised ones). At times, your pet will scratch his/her head against your palm or finger. Gently scratch their head, cheeks, and neck, and you'll find him/her getting sleepy soon. Pets love scratches as they feel itchy most of the time.

4. Your Bird Wants You to Carry Her

When your pet feels sleepy, at times, he/she might want you to put them to sleep. They'll either rub their head against your palm and signal that they want to be scratched, or will become fluffy and "plop" down on you. My lovebird, Mumu, mostly loves to sleep on my thigh and on my palm at times.

After your pet falls asleep, you can gently carry and place him/her inside the cage (see step 1).

5. A Desire for Freedom

Your pet doesn't want to go inside his/her cage simply because he/she doesn't want to be caged! Your pet needs freedom, the freedom to play and fly around your house, which is his/her house as well. They love being free because it is in their basic nature.

The next time your pet troubles you while you try to put him/her inside the cage, leave the trying and let him/her enjoy. Once your pet feels that the playing or flying is enough, he/she will go inside the cage without your need to run behind.

This picture was taken when my lovebirds, Mumu and Lulu, sat on my sleeping dad's head. They wanted him to wake up and play with them.

This picture was taken when my lovebirds, Mumu and Lulu, sat on my sleeping dad's head. They wanted him to wake up and play with them.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: I have 2 untamed lovebirds. I let them out of their cage because I wanted them to have a good time. They aren't hand-raised and won't let my hands near them. They won't go back inside even to eat or sleep. I'm going on a holiday tomorrow and need to get them back in swiftly. They've never slept outside their cage or skipped meals. Normally, they go back in by themselves. What should I do? There's millet and new toys.

Answer: No, keeping them outside isn't safe. Try to take the cage (without the base only the top with the bars) and keep it on one of the birds if they're on the floor. If the cage has a perch, the bird will step on it. Similarly, you can try to keep the other bird inside as well. I've done the same with untamed/not hand-raised birds as well. They learn how to go inside themselves after a while.

Question: Can I have lovebirds with budgies in one cage?

Answer: If the birds are comfortable with each other, then it's okay. Firstly, please put them in separate cages and keep the cages close by. You will get to know if they're interested in becoming friends or not if they come near their cage ends to observe each other. Let this go on for some time. If you let them out, supervise them and make sure they don't fight. Once you feel they're comfortable, shift them in one cage and see how it goes.

Question: I have a mated pair of Lovebirds about 8 years of age. The male is very sweet and affectionate. The female has become very abusive to him and is getting worse. Should I just separate them? He gets stressed and it's gotten worse recently she has started to bite me and has drawn blood from me and him. Can I just mate him with someone else? Separate them? I'm not sure what is happening, they still preen each other and spend time together. Any ideas?

Answer: Please keep them separate cages for some minutes and see what happens when you put them back together. I think the female might be undergoing a molt or must be about to lay an egg (both cases make them hormonal and depressed/aggressive, some birds react to it differently than others. Is she eating well? Please add some multivitamins in their water bowl. Please keep a close watch on them.

Question: I have pommies and cats. I am afraid to let birds fly outside their cage. What do you suggest?

Answer: If your furry pets are comfortable with you and your house, they won't mind the birds. You can let them fly out and supervise the interactions between the birds, dogs, and cats. If you find discomfort, put them back in their cage. Do this on a daily basis, and your pets will get comfortable with each other.

© 2017 Sakina Nasir


Sakina Nasir (author) from Kuwait on May 09, 2020:

Hi Pradi! :)

Please don't use the net as they will get scared and lose your trust in you. Please let them be out and let them go inside on their own. My birds are naughty too haha they take time to go in as well.

pradi on May 09, 2020:

hi ! I really love your write ups and they helped me a lot. But now i wish to ask for a suggestion because nothing else helped to get my now-tamed lovebirds back into cage. I got them last November and i really put a lot of work in to make them trust me and now they do but they never felt confident enough to venture out of the cage until 6 days ago. They come out daily now and play a lot with us but are very reluctant to get back in the cage. I cant even lure them in with their favorite food ( sweet corn) inside the cage. So i took to catching them with a bird net and i do the same everyday because whenever i try to get them in they fly from my hand / shoulder / head. Now theyre very scared of the net and gets terrified by the very sight of it. The male enters on his own whenever he sees the net in my hand but the female .. Oh my goshh. She's more cuddly with me than the male is and she loves me more than he does too i'm sure about it. But it takes me around 30mins to get her back in the cage. So my question is.. will this activity of mine gradually lead to loosening of their trust upon me ? or is it totally fine? they still take cuddles and head scratches and food from me after i put them in. I put a lot of effort and tolerated a lot of bites to tame them (they werent hand raised and untame at its best) and i dont want them to lose their trust on me :( If you have any suggestions then please help really in need of one :((

Sakina Nasir (author) from Kuwait on May 24, 2018:

@Haris Hi! :) Thank you so much. No, you don't need to be afraid, rather they will be. They will take around 1-2 weeks to get used to the new environment (your house) and you will find them exploring stuff. They may even hide under shelves or in dark places. But don't worry; it's normal.

No, please don't cut their wings, they get really depressed. Let them out and wait for them to get used to it. If they don't feel comfortable, they will go inside the cage themselves.

Do keep in mind to close all doors and windows, fans, etc when they are out. Also, don't sit/stand close to them; stay away. They will trust you and will appreciate having their own space.

After taking them out of the cage for a couple of days, you can place fruits, seeds, and water near them, they will eat/drink from it in some time.

Hope this helps. Good luck!



Haris on May 24, 2018:

Hi Sakina,

Very nicely written and informative post. Keep posting.

I got two love birds two weeks ago, and they are still in their cage. I am afraid to let them out. My friend advise me to cut their wings before letting them out. Do I have to cut their wings a bit?


Sakina Nasir (author) from Kuwait on March 30, 2018:

Hi, Judy! :)

Oh my! Please spray water on them, so their wings will become heavy and they will not be able to fly for some minutes. Then you can either hold and put them in their cage. If that's not possible, you can put the cage over the lovebirds when they are on the floor. Hope that helps.

Judy on March 29, 2018:

My two love birds are not tame and have been out of their cage flying around for 3days now and have tried everything to get them in. Have any ideas as to what I can do ?

Sakina Nasir (author) from Kuwait on November 24, 2017:

@Sabah Mukadam Hi! :) Thank you so much for your comments. I hope you can benefit from this.

Lovebirds are playful and truly love our company once they trust us enough. :)

Sakina Nasir (author) from Kuwait on November 24, 2017:

@Ashi Hey! :) No, I'm so sorry I didn't quite get to see your comments.

I can view two of your comments now. One where you mentioned whether I had seen your last comment and the second one where you've tagged me and asked if I could see your comments.

I got to see your previous comment now and thank you so much! Mumu and Lulu love to play with us, especially with my dad. :) I'm happy you could find this article of mine helpful. Do you have lovebirds?

Sabah Mukadam on November 24, 2017:

Another gem of an article from you. Thanks

Ashi on October 15, 2017:

@Sakina Nasir,

Are you getting my comments?

Ashi on October 15, 2017:

@Sakina Nasir,

Did you receive my comment for this article?

I posted last week but I cant see my comment here :/

Sakina Nasir (author) from Kuwait on October 15, 2017:

Thank you so much! :) Lovebirds are active birds and love to play a lot.

hatim on October 07, 2017:

really very effective article suprb great work keep it up

Sakina Nasir (author) from Kuwait on October 07, 2017:

Hi, dear friend. :)

Thank you so much once again, I've emailed you and hope to hear from you soon. Take care, buddy.

Ashi on October 05, 2017:

@Sakina, Sakina. This is wonderful tips and tricks on How to Put Lovebirds Back in Their Cage. I am sure bird or lovebirds owners are going to find this very useful.

I am really pleased to see photos of Mumu and Lulu. They are so adorable and charming. My favorite photo is where Mumu and Lulu, sitting on your dad's head..haha...its really funny.

Excellent Hub.

Bless you.

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on September 23, 2017:

Dearest Sakina :)

Sweet friend, you ARE always welcome. You deserve all of my compliments . . .and many more.

Keep up the Great Work.



Sakina Nasir (author) from Kuwait on September 23, 2017:

Hello, Kenneth, dearest buddy. :)

Thank you so much for these warm comments about Mumu and Lulu. They say hi to you too and that you're an amazing writer yourself.

Thank you reading and I'm glad you liked it. :)

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on September 22, 2017:

Hi, Dearest Sakina :)

What a delightful, highly-informative hub!

Loved every word and your topic was not only a must-read for all who are interested in lovebirds, but a blessing to read.

Say hi to Mumu and Lulu--and YOU, Dearest, keep up your fine work.