Cats are among the most popular pets. Chickens are gaining more and more popularity. But can you safely keep the two species together?
As predators, cats have a fondness for birds, among other things, and thus seem to pose a significant risk to chickens. On the other hand, the combination of velvet paws and poultry can be found on almost every farm.
These facts alone show that the answer is not as simple as it first appears. We will inform you comprehensively about all important factors and your options.
In this article you will learn if and when cats are a danger for chickens and how keeping them together can work. We also tell you under which circumstances chickens can become a danger for cats and when special caution is advisable.
Are cats dangerous for chickens?
Yes, cats can become a mortal danger for chickens. Even if we call them sofa lions, house cats and velvet paws, they are still predators with a hunting instinct.
Birds, amphibians and fish are on their menu, as are small mammals.
Chickens are only a limited exception to this rule. Why this is so, we tell you in the following section.
First, there is one more part missing from the answer: Chickens can be a danger to cats!
Although their flying skills are rather limited and their prey usually consists of insects and worms, they are anything but defenseless.
However, it is possible to keep cats and chickens together if you take some safety precautions.
Can cats eat chickens?
Adult chickens of a standard breed are usually far too large for cats to prey upon. So, if you keep only rich chickens, Brahmas or Bredas, neither your own cat nor the neighbor’s will be a problem.
It can be different with chicks, young chickens and dwarf breeds.
Since these are much smaller and lighter, cats have the opportunity to severely injure or kill them with a bite, carry them away and eat them.
Therefore, a young Araucana chicken or a bantam breda are more likely to be considered prey by a cat.
Chickens as a danger for cats
If you’re wondering if your cat or your neighbor’s cat is a danger to your chickens, it’s understandable.
After all, chickens can’t save themselves by flying to higher altitudes, don’t see well in the dark, and don’t seem very aggressive overall.
Now think of a cockfight.
Roosters have the task of recognizing dangers and driving them away or eliminating them. In doing so, they sometimes fight to the death.
Some hens are in no way inferior to them in this regard, vehemently protecting resources, offspring and themselves.
Pointed and sharp claws and beaks they have not only for digging and pecking.
They can therefore attack and injure animals perceived as a danger in the same way. As a result, they pose a risk to cats.
This brings us to the next point:
Keeping cats and chickens: safety first!
If you want to keep chickens and cats together, this is possible without any problems. However, you have to pay attention to comprehensive safety to avoid dangers for both sides.
Your chickens need a protected coop and run – even without cats around. Significantly greater risks are posed to poultry by the following animals:
Eggs, chicken feed, and the chickens themselves are a ready meal for many predators. Therefore, make sure that the aviary or enclosure has no gaps or points of attack.
If this is the case, you don’t have to worry about cats at all.
Can cats and chickens be kept together?
Yes, with sufficient habituation the animals usually get along well or ignore each other as much as possible.
However, you should not provoke danger by letting your cat into the enclosure together with chicks and their parents.
If you have to take one or more chickens inside occasionally, you should only let them be with a cat under supervision.
Injured or sick animals do not always behave predictably and may either act more aggressively than usual or suddenly appear as suitable – since weakened – prey.
Therefore, always secure chickens appropriately and do not allow them to be stressed by a cat or other pets.
Cats and chickens
If you want to keep both species together, you should be aware of the potential problems.
Especially if you plan to breed or raise chicks, safety should be your first concern.
This applies not only to cats, but to other animals in general. An all-around protected enclosure is crucial in any case.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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