Do Cats Eat Chickens?

Do Cats Eat Chickens
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Last Updated on May 20, 2023 by Pauline G. Carter

Yes, cats do eat chickens. Cats, being carnivores, have a hunting instinct that makes them prone to prey on smaller animals like chickens.

Cats are popular pets around the world and are often regarded as gentle companions. However, these furry creatures are natural predators with strong hunting instincts. As obligate carnivores, the feline diet consists mainly of animal-based proteins, making them prone to prey on smaller animals like birds and rodents.

Chickens being smaller in size, are one of the potential targets of a cat’s hunting instincts. While many cats lead contented lives at home eating commercial cat food, stray cats or outdoor cats have been known to attack, hunt and kill chickens and other small animals. It is important to keep pet chickens out of a cat’s reach to protect them from any potential harm.

Do Cats Eat Chickens?


What Makes Cats Want To Eat Chickens?

Cats are fascinating creatures and beloved pets, but they also have natural instincts that often result in them hunting and killing small animals. Chickens are one such animal that cats may have an inclination to hunt, which can be concerning for chicken owners.

In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why cats hunt chickens and what makes them attracted to them.

Natural Predatory Instincts Of Cats

Cats are natural predators – they are born with an innate hunting instinct that is difficult to suppress. As predators, cats are hard-wired to hunt and catch their own prey, which includes birds such as chickens. Cats also have sharp claws and teeth that are perfectly designed to catch and kill prey.

Even domesticated cats that have never hunted before may still have these instincts.

Understanding Of Cat Hunting Behaviors And How They Relate To Chickens

When it comes to cat hunting behaviors, cats are very savvy creatures. They are patient, resourceful, and agile, making them excellent hunters. Cats stalk their prey carefully, watching for any sign of weakness or vulnerability. Chickens are naturally skittish animals, making them an attractive target for cats.

Cats will often target chickens that are sick, injured, or alone, as they are easier to catch.

How And Why Cats Are Attracted To Chickens, Including Smell, Texture, And Movement

Cats are attracted to chickens for several reasons. The smell of chickens is a natural attractant for cats – the scent of the feathers, flesh, and bones all appeal to their predatory instincts. Additionally, the texture of chicken flesh and feathers is enticing to cats, who enjoy using their claws to play with and manipulate their prey.

The movement of chickens is also appealing to cats, who are naturally drawn to anything that moves quickly. Chickens dart and flap about when they are startled or frightened, which makes them even more attractive to cats.

Cats are natural predators with a strong hunting instinct. They are attracted to chickens because of the smell, texture, and movement of these birds. Understanding the reasons why cats hunt chickens can help chicken owners take steps to protect their birds.

How To Prevent Cats From Eating Chickens

Do Cats Eat Chickens?

Cats are natural hunters, and their instinct to hunt and prey can get out of control, especially when it comes to chickens. Chickens are often easy targets for cats, which can be problematic when you’re raising your own chickens for food.

If you’re worried about your cats preying on your chickens, here are some effective ways to prevent them from doing so.

Controlling Access To Chickens Through Secure Housing And Enclosures

One of the most effective ways to prevent cats from eating chickens is to keep them separated. Here are some ways to control access to chickens through secure housing and enclosures.

  • Building a secure coop: A secure chicken coop can prevent cats from entering and harming your chickens. Make sure the coop has a securely locked door and windows with mesh or wire to prevent any possibility of entry.
  • Installing a fence: A sturdy fence around the coop area can keep cats from getting too close to your chickens.
  • Using a cat-proof chicken run: A cat-proof run made of strong wire netting can keep your chickens enclosed and safe from cats.

Behavioral Training Techniques To Discourage Cats From Hunting Chickens

Training your cats to stop hunting your chickens is important, and there are some effective behavioral training techniques you can use to discourage your cats from preying on your chickens.

  • Positive reinforcement training: Reward your cat with treats when they behave well around chickens. Offer your cat treats when they resist the temptation of chasing or catching the birds.
  • Noise training: Fill a can with rocks and shake it when you see your cat approaching chickens. The noise will startle your cat and discourage it from continuing the hunt.
  • Spray training: A spray bottle filled with water can also be used to discipline your cat when they try to catch or approach chickens. Spray your cat with a little water when they do anything that can harm the chickens.

Discussion Of Alternative Cat Diets And Other Methods For Keeping Cats Away From Chickens

Changing your cat’s diet can also prevent them from hunting your chickens. Here are some alternative diets for your cat that can keep them healthy and less likely to attack chickens.

  • Prescription diets: Prescription diets can help prevent your cat from catching chickens. Consult a vet to find a suitable prescription diet for your cat.
  • Herbal remedies: Some herbs like lemon balm, catnip, chamomile, and lavender can have a calming effect on your cat’s mind and can curb their hunting instincts.
  • Physical barriers: You can install physical barriers like chicken wire fences around the areas where your chickens roam. These physical barriers can prevent cats from getting too close to your chickens.

Controlling your cat’s access to chickens is important to prevent them from preying on your livestock. Using secure housing, behavioral training, and alternative diets can help ensure the safety of your chickens. Don’t be afraid to try different techniques to determine what works best for you and your cat.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Do Cats Eat Chickens?

Do Cats Attack And Eat Chickens In The Backyard?

Yes, cats are known for their hunting instincts and may attack and eat chickens if left unsupervised. It is best to keep chickens enclosed in a secure coop to prevent such attacks.

What Should I Do If My Cat Kills A Chicken?

If your cat kills a chicken, remove the chicken immediately and dispose of it properly. It is important to keep your cat supervised or indoors to prevent future attacks.

Will A Cat Eat A Baby Chick?

Yes, cats may eat baby chicks if given the opportunity. Therefore, it is important to keep chicks in a secure and supervised area away from cats.

Can Cats And Chickens Live In The Same Household?

While it’s possible for cats and chickens to coexist, it requires careful supervision and training from a young age. It is important to note that cats still have their natural hunting instincts.

Why Do Cats Attack Chickens If They Are Well-Fed?

Cats have an instinctual drive to hunt prey, even if they are well-fed. It is important to provide appropriate toys and mental stimulation to redirect this behavior and prevent attacks on chickens.


Overall, in answer to the question, “do cats eat chickens? ” The answer is yes, they do. However, it is not a universal trait and not all cats will go after chickens. It largely depends on the individual cat’s personality and upbringing.

If you are a chicken owner and have a cat in the house, it is important to monitor their interactions and take precautions to keep your chickens safe. This could include keeping them in a separate enclosed area or introducing them to one another gradually and under supervision.

Additionally, it is crucial to provide your cat with adequate nutrition to lessen the likelihood of them preying on your chickens. Ultimately, it is up to the owner to take precautions and ensure the safety of their pets. By understanding the nature of cats and their tendency to hunt, it is possible to create a safe and harmonious living environment for all of your animals.

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